Merit Award, World Guild Christian Living Book
Praying is an action that is of the essence of Christian existence. It involves our beliefs, emotions, values, hopes and fears, certainties and uncertainties, knowledge and ignorance.
As J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom explain, "Our aim is not just to clarify Christian understanding but to foster Christian living. In real praying, head, heart, and hands go together." With wisdom, humility, and sincerity the authors lead us through different moods of praying, including brooding, praising, asking, complaining, and hanging on.
In Praying the authors offer hope for those of us who daydream when we try to listen to God and stumble when we try to speak. Yet they don't just teach us about prayer; they challenge and inspire us to do it by pointing us to a clearer realization of the reality of God and his character. Let Packer and Nystrom guide your praying to our powerful God, and let him move your praying through mere duty to delight.
"This book is a powerful reminder that through prayer God speaks into our hearts. And if God is speaking, nothing else matters but listening."
"This is not just a book about prayer; it's a book about God. It's not only about technique and practice; it's about the majestic God of the universe who bends his ear to listen to his children and who loves to respond. If you read this, you'll not only learn to pray, but you'll also learn more about the One you're praying to."
"Utilizing the inviting metaphor of a long and invigorating hike, Packer and Nystrom are unusually gifted and trusted guides—not only for experiencing more delightful prayer but also for living a truly formative and flourishing Christian life. As apprentices of Jesus, we are invited to a disciplined and grace-filled journey, one that is well worth the exhilarating climb. I loved this book and highly recommend it!"
"Over their shoulders, through their hearts, J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom offer windows into the truest prayer, one that allows us into the graces of honestly knowing God. Drawing us into the movement from 'duty to delight,' from what we should do to what we long to do, these wise saints write with humility and insight about the rhythms of the heart that make a life lived in the presence of God—seeing what God sees, hearing what God hears, and feeling what God feels—our very reason for being."
"If prayer is speaking to God, then one reason people struggle with praying is that they don't know how to speak to strangers. This is why Packer has written a book on prayer that is less 'how to' than a 'to whom' book. In fact, Packer, the 'last Puritan,' has, with the help of Carolyn Nystrom, written a book that is as practically helpful as it is doctrinally sound. Only such a dual approach can do justice to their topic, prayer, 'the essence of Christian existence.'"
"There is much to be gained from reading this book! Not only do the authors tell us what prayer is, but also what it is not. They do an excellent job in stressing how we should pray according to Scriptural principles."
"Praying gently pulls readers in with its conversational style, quotations and excerpts from beloved works."
To the Reader
1. The God We Pray To
2. The Path and the By-Paths
5. Prayer Checkup
8. Hanging On
9. Joining In
10. With My Whole Heart
Postscript to Christians Becalmed in Their Praying
For Discussion and Reflection