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Why We Pray
by William Philip
Publisher:IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published:15 February 2015
William Philip’s aim was to produce a modest volume on prayer that would not ‘depress and discourage’ his audience, as he considers this the worst of crimes for a preacher. By and large he has succeeded, dealing in four chapters with the prayer-roles of our speaking Father God, his Son, His sovereignty and the Holy Spirit.
Beginning with the breakdown of communication caused by the fall, the book explores God’s restoration plan and our adoption as full sons of God alongside Jesus, emphasising the difference between praying and ‘saying your prayers’ and debunking the myth that successful prayer will necessarily be a prolonged, intense and fluent performance.
The Sovereign God chapter that attempts to address the paradox of free will is understandably the weakest, but it does highlight the dangers of unthinking acceptance of such human sound-bites as “prayer changes things” and the importance of humility in our relationship with our Creator – a subject which is covered further in the final chapter concerning the Holy Spirit, and how human interpretations of strong faith can tip over into idolatry if we do not keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.
Entirely accessible in both length and style, this is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to look deeper into the reality of prayer, and a positive, uplifting message for those who may be floundering.
Reviewer: Diane Morrison (08/12/15)