As much as I hope ’31 Days of Prayer’ has helped you grow in your knowledge of prayer and in you prayerfulness, there’s only so much that short, daily reflections like this can achieve. So today, I’m providing a short guide to some of the best books on prayer.
Remember, reading about prayer is not the same thing as praying. If we think highly of prayer but never actually do it, then something is seriously missing. So if you’re going to embark on reading a whole book about prayer, do it thoughtfully and carefully, and with a willingness to change your priorities so you pray more.
That said, all these books will do you good. No doubt there are many others that could be added to this list, but these are the ones I’ve found most helpful (or which people I trust have recommended to me). Why not pick at least one, order a copy, and set a time to read through it?
Prayer and the Voice of God by Phillip D. Jensen & Tony Payne – A wonderfully clear, no-nonsense book on prayer that covers the key biblical material and will answer most people’s biggest questions about prayer. Biblically rich and wonderfully practical. 190 pages | Kindle / eBook
A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson – Essential reading. Carson works through the apostle Paul’s prayers, showing how they should transform not just our prayers, but every part of our spiritual lives. A modern classic. 230 pages | Kindle
You Can Pray by Tim Chester – I always appreciate Tim Chester’s earthy, insightful approach to the Bible, and this is no exception. It opens with a Trinitarian approach to prayer, then moves on to consider challenges and questions that make praying difficult. 170 pages.
The Valley of Vision – a collection of over 200 prayers from Puritan writers. A brilliant resource that will teach you to pray, and help you to pray biblically when your own words won’t come. 400 pages | Paperback
Praying by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom – Typical Packer, this book is thorough and biblically rich. I like his choice of title – selected deliberately to convey the idea that thinking about prayer doesn’t matter nearly as much as actually praying. 320 pages.
Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell – (unread) From the back cover: “Praying Backwards introduces believers to the transforming process of beginning our prayers in Jesus’ name – not by moving a simple phrase, but by understanding and embracing the meaning behind the phrase. To truly pray in Jesus’ name is to reorder our priorities in prayer – and in life – away from ourselves and toward Jesus and his kingdom. It is to pray, “Not my will, but your will be done.” It is to pray boldly, expectantly, and persistently. If you want to revolutionize your prayer life, begin by Praying Backwards.” 210 pages | Kindle (on special for just $2 at time of publication)
Prayer by Tim Keller – (released November 2014) If you’re a fan of Tim Keller’s growing body of work, you’ll want to add this to your list.
JC Ryle – Prayer
‘The Chat Room’ on prayer – an enlightening and enjoyable half-hour discussion on biblical prayer