by Kenneth Boa
Many Christians, even those of us who regard ourselves as spiritually mature, pray for less than five minutes a day. Yet, spiritual growth is impossible apart from the practice of prayer. In this book, Dr Kenneth Boa recognises the difficulties many of us face in prayer,
The problem with prayer is heightened by the fact that people often succumb either to the extreme of all form and no freedom, or the opposite extreme of all freedom and no form. The first extreme leads to a rote or impersonal approach to prayer, while the second produces an unbalanced and undisciplined prayer life that can degenerate into a litany of one “gimme” after another.
This book was therefore designed by the author “to make prayer a more enriching and satisfying experience by providing both form and freedom in the practice of prayer.”
The heart of the book comprises three months of daily devotionals. Each daily devotional comprises eight sections: Adoration (praise to God for who He is), Confession, Renewal (as we face world, flesh and the devil), Petition (requests for ourselves), Intercession (requests for others), Affirmation (agreeing with God’s will and submitting to it), Thanksgiving (praise to God for what He has done) and Closing Prayer (honouring God and completing our thoughts). This order is based loosely on the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6.9-13). The author adds scripture into each section, adapting the passages into a personalized format so that they can be used for individual and group prayer.
The book should be used by reading and meditating on the sections, and in the process including one’s own personal reflections after each section in prayer. There are useful prayer prompts at the end of every section to encourage the reader, and directions on topics for prayer at the end of each section; designed so that the reader will not just read the section but personalize them by incorporating them into the readers’ own thoughts and experience.
This is not just a book on the ‘theory’ of prayer: it provides an excellent way of engaging with God in prayer. The discipline of coming to God in prayer that the book instills, is on its own already something that should encourage us to read it. The focus and structure of each devotion allows for a comprehensive and complete prayer and self-reflection time.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it as a devotional!
Liu Hern Kuan
Treasure Trove Team