BOOK REVIEW: Enjoy Your Prayer Life

How do you feel about your prayer life?

Michael Reeve’s book, Enjoy Your Prayer Life, starts with the assumption that most of us, if we’re honest, struggle in our prayer lives at times. It can be hard to find the time to sit down and pray, and there are so many distractions. Reeves sees this difficulty as part of the reality of living in a fallen world, which is set up to prevent us from carrying out the most important expression of our faith.

‘Prayer is the primary way that true faith expresses itself.’ Paraphrased from John Calvin.

Most of us have heard advice on how to pray better and more frequently: set aside a specific time every morning, try a prayer app, etc. According to Reeves these sorts of tips are good, but they run the danger of treating prayer as an abstract activity; a ritual in which we rattle off a list of requests. We need to focus not just on how we pray, but on why we pray, and on what prayer fundamentally is.

Our Father

Reeves urges us to reframe our view of prayer, to see it as the primary outworking of our relationship with God, rather than as an abstract activity. He focuses heavily on the relational nature of the Trinity. Jesus, with the Holy Spirit working in and through Him, is always together with the Father: praising Him, receiving His love, and interceding for the world. Through prayer we are brought into this Divine relationship. We stand beside Jesus, filled with the Spirit before the Father, sharing in their dialogue and mutual love.

Reeves posits that Jesus’ relationship with the Father should be our primary example of how to pray. When teaching people to pray in Luke 11, Jesus said we should begin by saying, ‘Our Father’. Jesus modelled how to live in constant communion with God, living in complete dependence on Him. Jesus was the first pray-er, and so prayer is learning to join in with and enjoy what Jesus has always enjoyed.

‘That is prayer: relating to the Father as our Father.’

According to Reeves, the more we grasp this idea, the less we see our prayer lives as distinct from the rest of our lives. In a good parental relationship, entire lives are shared together, not just specific moments. Similarly, we should include God in every aspect of our lives through constant prayer and openness to His voice. However, strong relationships also require spending quality time together, and so we need to set aside quality time with Him – both as individual sons and daughters and in coming together before Him as His family. Not out of a sense of obligation or guilt, but because our hearts long to spend quality time in the presence of our Father.

Enjoy your prayer life

I believe you will find the book’s reframing of prayer refreshing, and that it will inspire you to find new enjoyment in your prayer life. In just 46 short pages it sets out a powerful theology for prayer, simple enough to be understood by anybody, yet profound enough to spend the rest of your life unpacking it. You can easily read through it in one setting, and you can buy a cheap copy through our 10ofthose partnership page.

Jesus was the first pray-er, and so prayer is learning to join in with and enjoy what Jesus has always enjoyed. 

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