The best books on prayer and why it is so powerful

Who am I?

I’m often introduced as a “prayer expert” but I’m not. I’m just someone who’s found herself praying a lot—for my family, my friends, and even sometimes complete strangers. And while there are all sorts of ways we can pray, I like praying the Scriptures—taking the actual words of the Bible and using them to shape our perspective as well as our prayers. Not only has that approach made my conversations with God more diverse and creative, but it has made them more powerful. Plus, praying this way has equipped me to trust God and experience freedom from worry or fear—even when things don’t happen the way, or in the timing, that I want them to.

I wrote...

Praying the Scriptures for Your Life: 31 Days of Abiding in the Presence, Provision, and Power of God

By Jodie Berndt,

Book cover of Praying the Scriptures for Your Life: 31 Days of Abiding in the Presence, Provision, and Power of God

What is my book about?

Praying the Scriptures for Your Life is the latest release in the bestselling Praying the Scriptures series. With short, easy-to-read chapters, this book invites you to experience a deeper intimacy with God and discover how connection to Christ equips us to live meaningful, satisfying, purposeful lives. The 31-day format includes select Bible readings, questions for reflection, and powerful prayers you can use to talk to God about every area of your life—from relationships to faith to finding freedom from worry and fear.

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The books I picked & why

How to Pray

By Pete Greig,

Book cover of How to Pray

Why did I love this book?

With Pete Greig’s How to Pray, the subtitle says it all: A Simple Guide for Normal People. Greig is a worldwide authority on prayer, but as a self-described “scruffy Brit,” he writes in a way that makes prayer both appealing and accessible. With disarming humor and candor, Greig addresses questions we’ve all asked, from why God heals some people but not others (Greig’s wife, for example, suffers severe epilepsy) to whether or not it’s okay to pray for a parking space. (Spoiler alert:  Greig says yes to parking place prayers, since doing so equips us to live life with greater gratitude. Love that.) I have more than two dozen well-loved books about prayer on my shelf, but How to Pray might be my favorite. It is, to borrow a word from the Brits, “brilliant.”

By Pete Greig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Pray as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2021 ECPA Award Finalist in the Christian Living Category

“An instant spiritual classic.” ―Christianity Today

Is prayer the most challenging area of your Christian journey? It doesn’t have to be. Pete Greig, one of the founders of 24-7 Prayer International, is passionate about introducing people to simple, honest, relevant conversations with God.

How to Pray is a raw, real, and relevant look at prayer for everyone―from the committed follower of Jesus to the skeptic and the scared. Full of biblically sound wisdom, How to Pray will offer honest encouragement and real-life methods to refresh your spirit and help you practice…

Book cover of With Christ in the School of Prayer

Why did I love this book?

If you’re looking for a well-loved prayer “classic,” you won’t find many books with more staying power than Andrew Murray’s With Christ in the School of Prayer. Murray doesn’t see prayer as one facet of the Christian life; rather, he says that it is the “root and strength” of all that we do. “Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach,” Murray writes, “only how to pray.” And the secret to a powerful prayer life is abiding in Christ—growing into his likeness—so that our lives (including our thoughts and desires) look more like his. As we enroll in Jesus’ “school of prayer", we will learn to pray in harmony with God, be equipped to impact our world, and discover the true purpose of prayer.

By Andrew Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked With Christ in the School of Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally titled: 'With Christ In the School of Prayer: Thoughts on Our Training for the Ministry of Intercession,' to Include: Lord, Teach Us to Pray - In Spirit & Truth - Pray To Thy Father, Which Is In Secret - After This Manner Pray - Ask, & It Shall be Given You - How Much More? - How Much More the Holy Spirit - Because of His Importunity - Pray the Lord of the Harvest - What Wilt Thou? - Believe That Ye Have Received - Have Faith in God - Prayer & Fasting - When Ye Stand Praying, Forgive…

Book cover of Live a Praying Life!: Open Your Life to God's Power and Provision

Why did I love this book?

Live a Praying Life is, hands-down, my top pick when it comes to making a study of prayer. Jennifer Kennedy Dean understands that we want to know the “why” and the “how” behind prayer, and she tackles the thorny questions to equip us to persevere when it doesn’t look like the needle is moving. In looking at the lives of folks who’ve gone through more than a few tricky places (guys like Joseph, who thought he was supposed to be a ruler but wound up being sold as a slave), Dean warns us not to mistake God’s will for his ways, or confuse what he is doing with how he is doing it. We only see part of the picture. And, she writes, “We cannot control God or tell him how to accomplish his plan.” We can, however, partner with him to accomplish his best purposes—and the way that we do that is through our prayers.

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live a Praying Life! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Practical yet powerful insights from Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s life’s work and best-selling Live a Praying Life®!
Now in a newly designed format, Live a Praying Life®! will… 
• Provide the biblical basics of prayer’s purpose, process, promise, and practice.  • Give easy-to-understand illustrations, stories, and details to answer complex theological questions.  • Clean out myths about prayer!   • Help you rev up a powerful, ongoing connection to God.

Book cover of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

Why did I love this book?

Tim Keller writes for the “thinking” person, using carefully crafted logic and contemporary illustrations to bring biblical principles to life. In Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Keller appeals to skeptics, seekers, and serious students of Scripture, noting that prayer is both the key to knowing God and to genuine self-knowledge. Prayer is also, he says, how we make it “safe” for God to give us the things we most desire. Keller shows us how to pray about any number of situations—including suffering, grief, and doubt—with the blessed reassurance that God will answer—and that he will “either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows.”

By Timothy Keller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renowned pastor and New York Times bestselling author of The Prodigal Prophet Timothy Keller explores the power of prayer.

Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act.

With his trademark insights and energy, Keller offers biblical guidance as well as specific prayers for certain situations, such as dealing with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness. He discusses ways to make prayers more personal…

Book cover of What Every Child Should Know about Prayer

Why did I love this book?

Prayer isn’t just for grown-ups, and Nancy Guthrie invites children to experience the joy and peace that come with talking to God in her book, What Every Child Should Know about Prayer. With child-friendly language and inviting illustrations, each page in this book helps kids (and adults!) know how and why we should pray, whether we’re asking God to do something, telling him how we feel, or giving thanks for all the ways God shows us his love. As a fan of Bible-based prayers, I love the fact that every one of the lessons Guthrie teaches is rooted in Scripture, and I appreciate the simple—but oh-so-powerful—prayers she provides. I can’t wait to share this treasure with my grandchildren!

5 book lists we think you will like!

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