Every once in a while I like to ask people to talk about the books that have changed their lives. It's a good conversation starter--try it sometime! Since it's the gift-giving season and many of you are thinking about what to give others, or perhaps others are asking for suggestion on what to give you, I thought I'd share with you some of the prayer books that have had the biggest impact on me. Here they are, with my comments, in no particular order:
Can You Hear Me? Tuning In to the God Who Speaks by Brad
Jersak. A great book for people who want to hear from God and not just talk at Him.
Children Can You Hear Me: How to Hear and See God, also by Brad
Jersak. This is the best children's book on prayer I know of. It's the kids' version of Can You Hear Me--but some adults I know say they like the children's book even more than the adult one.
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard Foster. Acquaints readers to the breadth and depth of prayer, offering approaches that go after the heart. Celebrates both the diversity and tradition of various streams of Christendom and their contributions to the contemplative life of prayer.
The Prayer-Saturated Church with CD: A Comprehensive Handbook for Prayer Leaders by Cheryl Sacks. Great for your prayer leader or prayer team. Hundreds of churches have used this invaluable resource to start, refresh, grow, and maintain their church prayer ministries.
Prayer-Saturated Kids: Equipping and Empowering Children in Prayer by Cheryl Sacks and Arlyn Lawrence. Wonderful for parents, Sunday school teachers, and children's leaders who want to get children started on the right foot in prayer.
Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth
by Dutch Sheets. Stretches and challenges your faith, with strong biblical support. Great for the prayer team members.
Fresh Encounters: Experiencing Transformation Through United Worship-Based Prayer by Daniel Henderson. This is the book for anyone who leads corporate prayer times. If you follow the suggestions in this book, you won't have people bored and falling asleep in prayer meeting--instead, they'll be encountering the Living God.
God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer by Pete Greig. Sometimes it's hard to see and feel God when He seems not to be answering your prayers. A hopeful, compassionate book for people struggling to find God in the midst of suffering and tragedy
Sacred Listening: Discovering the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola by James L. Wakefield. Introduces the reader to lectio divina, a centuries-old, tried-and-true method of praying Scripture. Through daily prayer-meditations on the life of Jesus and principles of discernment, readers are challenged to become transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Best if used in a partnership with another person.
Blessing or Curse: Freedom from Pressures You Thought You Had to Live With
by Derek Prince. Discusses the power of words, and how, through prayer, to renounce curses that may have been spoken over you or your loved one and pray blessings instead.
Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry by Dan R. Crawford. Great for pastors, Bible college and seminary students, missionaries, and others who are called to lead in prayer. Written by 80 prayer leaders (including yours truly) with the aim of providing a broad and comprehensive overview of what it means to pray and lead others in prayer.
So, there you have my list. But what about you? What books have changed your prayer life? Let us hear from you!