A debut guidebook on how to pray more successfully.
Most Christians acknowledge the importance of prayer, but that doesn’t mean that they’re praying as much as they should be, according to Washington, the senior pastor of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Abundant Life Community Church. Prayer isn’t only for Sundays or moments of extreme stress, he says, noting that those who pray infrequently can’t expect God to answer them. Christians should be praying a lot more, he asserts, and he wrote this book to tell them how, asserting that “Effective prayer is the key element to rising above a mediocre, average, or ordinary Christian life.” The author examines not only prayer’s purpose, but also its mechanics, dynamics, and content. He offers extensive quotations from Scripture and a bit of theological discussion as he lays out a regimen that’s anything but casual. Readers may think they know how to pray, but do they know the “Seven Principles of Physical Needs” or the “Five Essentials for Good Stewardship”? What about the “Six Weapons of the Armor of God?” At more than 400 pages in length, the book presents a much more complex view of prayer than most people have likely experienced before. Still, Washington’s deep dive is friendly and accessible, without many of the admonishments that one might expect. That said, the author is a fan of lists and acronyms, which begin to feel cloying, and some lines feel devoid of real substance: “Spiritual Purity + Effective Prayer + Effective Praise = Power for Effective Living. This equation also gives the order or normal progression of events that result in power for effective living.” Washington mostly bases his interpretation of God on biblical accounts, but the rather needy vision of the deity that emerges may not mesh with many readers’ beliefs. For readers who are looking to increase the intensity of their prayer, however, it’s difficult to imagine a more enthusiastic guide.
A comprehensive prayer manual that takes a maximalist approach.