Every Thursday, I post a short book recommendation related to our study on prayer. Some of these are my favorites… others, not so much. But they’ve all made me think. I have copies of the books I post about, so let me know if you’d like to borrow one before buying.
Today’s read is The Possibility of Prayer: Finding Stillness with God in a Restless World by John Starke (Lead Pastor at Apostles Church Uptown, New York City)
From Amazon: The world clamors for efficiency and productivity. But the life of prayer is neither efficient nor productive. Instead, as we learn in the psalms, prayer calls us to wait, to watch, to listen, to taste, and to see. These things are not productive by any modern measure―but they are transformative. As a pastor in Manhattan, John Starke knows the bustle and busyness of our society. But he also knows that prayer is not just for spiritual giants. Prayer, he writes, is for each of us―not because we are full of spiritual wisdom and maturity, but because we are empty. Here is an invitation to discover, via the church’s ancient rhythms and with Starke’s clear, practical guidance, the possibility of prayer. Here is a book about prayer that is really a book about the whole Christian life.
From the book…
Seeking the Lord is not just asking something of God. In Hebrew, “seeking” is a relationally heavy word. It has elements of waiting, listening, and speaking. It suggests face-to-face conversation. Do we think of prayer like that? As seeking out a face-to-face exchange? “I sought the Lord,” David says, “and he answered me.” [Psalm 34] Back and forth — prayer is dialogue. That means we will need time to listen. How often do we listen in prayer? Would you characterize any part of your spiritual life as “listening?”