How to Pray, a “simple guide to prayer”, is rich, inspiring, accessible and unintimidating. Centred around The Lord’s Prayer and the acronym P.R.A.Y., the book invites us to “go on a wild and wonderful journey of discovery” about prayer.
And it does exactly what it says on the tin: The vast subject of prayer is broken down into manageable chunks, making it easy to digest, while at the same time tackling the immensity of such a vast subject with the attention and detail it deserves.
In the light of such a task, it would be easy to just skirt over the basics, but Pete does not compromise on content. Drawing on centuries’ old traditions, personal stories, examples and quotes from a wide range of experts and practitioners of prayer, he gives a comprehensive foundation for anyone with the desire to develop a theologically-rooted, viable prayer life.
Pete manages to make the reader laugh and relate through his anecdotes and story-telling, while at the same time whispering to the reader’s deep desire for more of God: you’ll want to put the book down and pray!
The book never once overwhelms the reader with the depth and breadth of the subject. In fact, I devoured the book over a weekend and after each chapter, I felt compelled to explore prayer on a deeper level, and then to go back and digest it again with others.
Wholly practical and down-to-earth, he outlines a wide variety of approaches to prayer that would draw both the beginner and the seasoned prayer into a deeper, richer prayer life.
“Pete invites us to join in where we are… assuming the very natural human desire to learn and pray”
Despite being part of prayer movements and church for years, I still find myself stuck in the limited ways that I know how to pray. I have figured it out through trial and error, learning as I go, and have recently discovered many others feel the same way. We know the importance of prayer and the potential it has to transform us and our world, yet we find ourselves lacking.
In our age of distractions, individuality, and instant information, we find ourselves without discipline, unable to focus and lost as to how to use our prayer times effectively.
New Christians and old timers alike are asking the question, “How do I pray?”
By breaking prayer down into easy steps, like learning a dance, Pete invites us to join in where we are, not assuming that we know how, but assuming the very natural human desire to learn and to pray. At the same time, he makes it clear that with these basic ‘steps’ there are endless possibilities for creativity.
By telling stories of the prayerful saints, Pete inspires us to pray, no matter what the situation (or excuse). By highlighting some of the old traditions, Pete calls us into a deeper place of prayer; one that we may not have figured out by our means.
We would do well to walk on the old, well-trodden paths of the saints who have walked before us in prayer. If we are to put into practice the habits outlined in the book, if we are to take seriously the ideas and examples presented to us, the potential for personal transformation and the furthering of God’s kingdom on Earth would be life and world changing.
How to Pray really is a “simple guide for normal people”; and will inspire you to a deeper prayer life, no matter where you find yourself in life, or however you like to connect with God each day.
How to Pray is available across all good bookstores (we recommend getting it from Eden if you’re based in Europe.)