The Possibility of Prayer

Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World

by John Starke

The Possibility of Prayer
  • Length: 204 pages
  • Published: February 11, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4579-8
  • Item Code: 4579
  • Case Quantity: 48

The world clamors for efficiency and productivity.

But the life of prayer is neither efficient nor productive. Instead, as we learn in the Psalms, prayer calls us to wait, to watch, to listen, to taste, and to see. These things are not productive by any modern measure—but they are transformative.

As a pastor in Manhattan, John Starke knows the bustle and busyness of our society. But he also knows that prayer is not just for spiritual giants. Prayer, he writes, is for each of us—not because we are full of spiritual wisdom and maturity, but because we are empty. Here is an invitation to discover, via the church's ancient rhythms and with Starke's clear, practical guidance, the possibility of prayer. Here is a book about prayer that is really a book about the whole Christian life.

"Prayer has never come easy to me, and there have been seasons when it has seemed impossible. I so want a life of prayer, but the possibility of prayer in the present moment often eludes me. In this book, my friend John Starke offers deep pastoral and biblical wisdom for those who want to answer God's invitation to prayer and to a deeper relationship with Him."

Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America

"The information saturation and attention decay of the present moment can make prayer seem counterintuitive. In this book John Starke shows us how prayer has always been just that, a pull away from the ephemeral into the eternal. This book will show you the way to clearing your attention and your schedule in order to communicate with the One who loves you and holds your life together."

Russell Moore, president, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

"If you find the idea of prayer impossible in today's hyperconnected world, you're not alone. But it's precisely this dilemma that makes The Possibility of Prayer such a powerful book. In this excellent volume, Starke explores how our established habits and daily rhythms will either make space for prayer or silence it before we even begin. With a pastor's heart, Starke then invites us, not simply to the act of prayer, but to lives of which prayer is a natural and necessary part."

Hannah Anderson, author of Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul

"There are all sorts of reasons to praise The Possibility of Prayer: it is honest, rich, practical, realistic, deep, refreshing, sometimes poetic, and frequently profound. But the highest praise I can give it is that it did exactly what I'd hoped for—it helped me to pray. I am so grateful for John Starke, and for this book."

Andrew Wilson, teaching pastor, King's Church London

"The Possibility of Prayer is beautiful and deeply countercultural. John isn't asking us to layer another obligation on top of our lives but inviting us to a fundamental reorientation rooted in God's presence. Because John pastors a busy people in a busy city, he knows the cultural obstacles and the existential hurdles. But this is a profoundly hopeful and eminently practical book. What a gift this is to all of us!"

Chuck DeGroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality, Western Theological Seminary



Part 1: The Possibility of Prayer
1. The Impossibility of Prayer
2. The Places of Prayer
3. The Invitation of Prayer
4. Outgrowing the Reactionary Heart
5. Pain in Prayer
6. Waiting and Prayer

Part 2: The Practice of Prayer
7. Communion
8. Meditation
9. Solitude
10. Fasting and Feasting
11. Sabbath
12. Corporate Worship


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