Each month, I review a Christian-based book that I have read in the recent past. Though the Bible is my main source of knowledge about God, I do like to read books by other authors that can help me to understand God better. And maybe even find tips to live a life that better serves the Lord.
Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home
This month, I have chosen Prayer – Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. This book was recommended to me early this year by a fellow Christian mama at Read Aloud Revival. I had been a premium member there for a few years and was mostly active in the Prayer Request forum. This is mostly because I do not have a Christian community where I live to make these requests to.
In one of my more stressful moments (just before a homeschool inspection), a fellow prayer warrior mentioned the Prayer of the Forsaken. Her description was so compelling that I felt the need to check the book out for myself.
I was not disappointed.
If you’ve ever felt that your spiritual life is stale or that you seem to be missing something in this spiritual discipline, I highly recommend this book.
Richard Foster does an excellent job of breaking down many different forms of praying. Even more importantly, he backs up these formulas with scriptural examples. The examples written in the book of Psalms. Those spoken by the prophets of the Old Testament. And those used by Jesus and His followers. Among others.
And Foster organizes these different types in such a way that you can easily jump around if you are looking for a specific one.
There are three sections:
- Moving Inward, Seeking the Transformation We Need;
- Moving Upward, Seeking the Intimacy We Need;
- And Moving Outward, Seeking the Ministry We Need
Each one of these sections then breaks down the different examples that will help us to fulfill the needs we have as followers of Christ.
Seeking the Transformation We Need
In Part I, Moving Inward we encounter seven different types for spiritual growth:
- Simple Prayer;
- Prayer of the Forsaken;
- The Prayer of Examen;
- Prayer of Tears;
- The Prayer of Relinquishment;
- Formation Prayer; and
- Covenant Prayer.
These examples are those that we use most often in order for spiritual growth. They force us to look inward, asking God for help in times of trouble, in times of repentance, and sometimes just to help us strengthen our faith.
Seeking the Intimacy We Need
In Part II, Moving Upward, Foster explores seven types that cause us to simply look up at our Heavenly Father.:
- The Prayer of Adoration;
- The Prayer of Rest;
- Sacramental Prayer;
- Unceasing Prayer;
- The Prayer of the Heart;
- Meditative Prayer; and
- Contemplative Prayer.
Often what we pray speaks more about who we are than who our God is. This section teaches us to pray about the wonderful attributes of the One and Only Creator God so that we bring Him glory. And that we don’t just turn our prayers into the “me hour.” Focusing only on our life as His followers.
Seeking the Ministry We Need
And lastly, in Part III, Moving Outward, we learn seven more types that help us to be better disciples of the Living Lord in the world around us:
- Praying the Ordinary;
- Petitionary Prayer;
- Intercessory Prayer;
- Healing Prayer;
- The Prayer of Suffering;
- Authoritative Prayer; and
- Radical Prayer.
Each of these final examples give us some of the ways we can pray in our own ministry. We are called not just to grow in faith ourselves. But to spread the Gospel message to those around us. And to encourage and rebuke fellow believers.
Get a paper copy!
I originally bought this book on the Kindle (trying to save money and space on the bookshelves). And it took me months to finish. Partly because I read on a schedule (this book I read every Sunday). And partly because it is so packed with useful information that I didn’t want to rush through it and miss something important.
I also wanted time to meditate on each example and how I could use it in my own life.
There is so much to be learned about this discipline. Many of us are using a fraction of the ways that God has taught us to pray in the Bible. And we can spend our entire lives sometimes not even praying a specific example listed in this book. Often because we don’t know how.
Which is why I find this book to be so important. Especially if you are looking to grow your own spiritual life. And it also the reason why I will be purchasing a physical copy of the book. I do this so rarely (again for financial reasons as much as for space). But it is so full of wonderful information. And I want to be able to flip through it over and over again as I explore each of these prayers in turn. I have no other option but to have it in hand. Right next to my Bible.
I give this book a 5/5.
Pick up a copy and start revolutionizing your own spiritual life through praying.