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John DeVries: Why Pray?

 

His proposed suggestions for prayer are realistic, and yet will stretch the reader, allowing them to gain a deeper relationship with Christ. Other topics DeVries touches on regarding prayer are its power and how it can bring families closer. He also reflects on what it means to be made in God’s image, and how prayer can help with depression. One of the weekly chapters spends all seven days on the Lord’s Prayer. His practical, yet simple insights to the Lord’s Prayer and how to implement that prayer in our everyday lives are refreshing.

On the whole, the book is to be recommended. However, a couple of things that would have improved it are suggested. In some of the chapters he references biblical texts, with the assumption that the reader has familiarity with the stories, and would therefore understand the applications to prayer that DeVries makes to that text. For example, how is Moses’ raised staff in Ex. 17:9 (83‒84) a symbol of prayer? One other criticism is that the indicated page number in the table of contents, in at least one instance, does not correlate with the page number in the book.

This book would benefit everyone who reads it, from the pastor to the new follower of Christ. It offers up timeless truths of prayer and how it changes others and us. DeVries maintains a balance between optimism and the reality of life as he reminds us to be positive and hopeful in the midst of struggles. Anyone who would like to grow in intimacy and communication with God would benefit from this devotional. While DeVries book is not long or particularly deep, it covers the most significant thoughts on prayer: how to pray, when to pray and why pray. Prayer is vital for our lives as Christians and DeVries reminds us to enjoy prayer, to increase time spent with God, and to pray.

Reviewed by David Seal’s Fall 2014 New Testament Survey Class:

Brandon Alberda, Hozana Arceri, Sierra Baker, Jenna Bouma, William Bowyer, Vanika Brandon, Megan Brown, Cathy Coryell, Madison Couch, Stephen Crompton, Molly Devine, Shalayna Diem, Luke Dreiling, Kaylee Gajowiak, Catherine Gilman, Brandon Gonzalez, Carter Hastings, Madison Kanis, Clarissa Kent, Whitney Krieger, Julie Kuzlik, Megan Lamb, Jae Rim Lee, Mattlyn Lopez, Kristie McNeil, Chelsea Meng, Reid Mitchell, Jessica Romeyn, Joseph Royer, Rachel Skinner, Anna Welling, Taylor Wilson, Nicole Wolcott, Anne Wright.

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Category: Fall 2014, Living the Faith

About the Author: David R. Seal, M.T.S. (Cornerstone University), Th.M. (Calvin Theological Seminary), is currently pursuing at Ph.D. at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA and is adjunct faculty at Cornerstone University. He is employed at South Church Lansing, Michigan.

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