Book Review on “When You Pray”: Scripture’s Teaching on Prayer

Many books on prayer have been written. Yet many fail to do justice to the biblical nature of prayer. The author of this book, however, is careful to maintain Scripture’s teaching on the subject. Every aspect of prayer and every scope of the author’s argument ows from the rich fountain of Scripture. The author puts it rightly, that “our prayers are totally governed by that word” (pg 5).

What stands out powerfully in the book is the author’s treatment of God’s sovereignty in prayer. The modern man’s prayer has reduced God’s sovereignty to the level of his carnal mind. He imagines God to be a pushover Whose eternal counsel can be changed by prayer according to his liking. The author correctly refutes this vain notion. He argues that “prayer presupposes the truth of God’s complete and absolute sovereignty, but it also determines the character of our prayer” (pg 17). Thus “the privilege of prayer, the right to pray, the knowledge of how to pray, and the ability and power to pray…is all of God” (pg 17).

The author is well aware that the request of Jesus’ disciples to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1) also characterises the saints of all ages. He acknowledges that there are times where “spiritual questions and problems so overwhelm our souls, and a sense of our unworthiness is so great, that prayers die on our lips and God seems far away” (pg 27). God’s people, nevertheless, have the blessed assurance that their heavenly Mediator prays for them.

Thoroughly expounding Scripture, the author aptly points out the rich truths of prayer in God’s Word. He faithfully explains what God demands of His people in prayer because in prayer “we speak to the living God, who is exalted in the highest glory” (pg 28). The author also touches on different kinds of prayer for a range of situations God’s people experience in this life. Whether in private or public prayers the author directs our attention to the throne of grace where God is pleased to hear His people’s petitions.

The clear and simple language that the author employs throughout the book renders it extremely readable. It is truly a book suitable for all ages and highly recommended for the child of God who desires his Father’s will in prayer.

Title: When You Pray
Author: Herman Hanko Reformed Free Publishing Association, Michigan, USA, 2006
Hardback, 177pp

Written by: Aaron Lim | Salt Shakers Issue 1