by Philip Yancey
Philip Yancey is my favorite Christian author. His writing is understandable and easily read. His way of thinking seems similar to mine. He often presents the same questions or doubts about a subject that I have. I imagine many of us feel that way which is why his books are so popular.
He does not fail to live up to this in his latest book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Yancey examines the many aspects of prayer through God’s word; well-known people, such as C. S. Lewis; individuals from all walks of life; and his own experiences.
Yancey states, “Everywhere, I encountered the gap between prayer in theory and prayer in practice. In theory prayer is the essential human act, a priceless point of contact with the God of the universe. In practice prayer is often confusing and fraught with frustration. My publisher conducted a website poll, and of the 678 respondents only 23 felt satisfied with the time they were spending in prayer. That very discrepancy made me want to write this book.”
His examples range from the frustrated person, who although continuous in prayer, the prayers go unanswered to a prostitute who cried out to God for the first time and got an immediate answer with a vision of the words, “Look for Rahab Foundation,” which led her to people who could help her.
The book examines many aspects of prayer such as, “Why Pray,” “Unanswered prayer: whose fault?” or worries about “Am I doing it right?” While the book may not answer every question you have about prayer, it may lead you to a better understanding of it. If you feel, as I have at times, frustrated with feelings of inadequacy in my prayer life, the book will probably make you realize that you are not alone.
Book Review By Nancy Vandemark
Note: This is repeat of the book review originally posted in Volume 6 Issue 01.
Title: Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?
Author: Philip Yancey
Publisher: Zondervan Corp. / 2006 / Hardcover