Learning how to prevail with God through prayer has become the focus of my life. I have drawn strength and courage to persist from reading the books listed here.
Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb
This book has to top any list I would make on books that influenced my understanding of prayer. I cannot even think of this book without experiencing the urge to pray! Many other prayer warriors undoubtably experienced the deep dealings of God in the same way as Rees Howells, but this book puts them on display in a way that makes all who read it thirsty for the same source of life that Rees experienced. Norman Grubb is a great man of God in his own right, serving as a missionary in Africa and a leader of of an effective missionary organization in England. He writes a lovingly description of Rees’s life with a God-focused intensity on the principles that can lead us in the same direction of powerful prayer. Amazon
George Muller of Bristol: His Life of Prayer and Faith by A. T. Pierson
This biography of Muller was written shortly after his death by a man who knew and loved him and was a well known writer and preacher. While it is a bit quaint in style, the content and spiritual discernment demonstrated by the author result in a powerful and vivid impression of Muller’s character. Who would have known (unless they were intimately acquainted with Muller’s journals) that reading a biography was a key influence in his ministry to orphans. A biography that testifies to the power of biographies! Amazon, John Piper’s Sermon
With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
There is no better place to begin exploring the topic of prayer than with this great Christian classic by Andrew Murray. Murray was a missionary, pastor, and lover of God who had a single-minded pursuit of intimacy with God as the focus of his life. Here is one of my favorite quotes from this book: “Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray. To know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man.”
You may find, as I have, one problem with reading Andrew Murray: it can take a long time to finish one of his books. Every sentence is packed with truth and demands to be believed and acted on, not just read. Amazon, Free from Christian Classics
Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson
D.A Carson is a wonderful teacher with many scholarly works that can be challenging to follow. In this book, he applies his keen analysis in a simple straightforward examination of the way Paul prayed in the New Testament. He draws out many powerful lessons from Paul as a model of prayer that are both practical and encouraging. Amazon. A helpful study guide is also available.
Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts by Elmer Towns
I found this book to be a very helpful introduction to fasting, looking at different spiritual focuses and reasons for fasting. Based on the passage on fasting in Isaiah 58, Dr. Towns illustrates each type of fasting both from scripture and from his own life, covering a wide range of life issues. Amazon.
A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer by John Piper
Piper presents the case for Biblical fasting with balance and Biblical authority. I appreciate the pastoral care with which this book encourages us to pursue God. Amazon
Praying Backward: Transform your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus Name by Bryan Chapell
I found the premise of this book to be enormously helpful: “By saying ‘in Jesus’ name’ first, we more readily discern when our prayers go astray from his purposes, hijacked by our self-interest.” Chapell goes on to show how making God’s purposes a priority affect every aspect of prayer. Amazon
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller
This is an easy to read and encouraging book with many practical helps drawn out of Miller’s personal walk through persisting and seeking God’s face. It has 669 five star reviews on Amazon