(This was originally posted on April 22, 2020)
Prayer by John Onwuchekwa is a helpful book that I encourage you to read soon. Both leaders and non-leaders in the local church will benefit from this book. It’s short (less than 150 pages), easy to read, and has just enough humor to keep you engaged. However, none of those positive features overshadows the content of the book.
Onwuchekwa says that the goal of his book is “learning how to pray better and more as churches.” (pg. 15). He goes on to say, “My hope is that this book will be a guide and a springboard that helps you enjoy the amazing gift of prayer we have as a church (emphasis his).”
To encourage better prayer in our churches (and as individuals), Onwuchekwa looks at two prayers in the Bible, The Lord’s Prayer and Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here are some quotes that I found helpful:
“Jesus graciously reminds us that God sees us – not in the way a camera sees someone committing a crime, but in the way an undercover boss rewards an employee who is doing something right.” – pg. 37
“When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, he wanted them to remember the needs of others, not just their own needs. So he continues to use plural pronouns: ‘ Give us… forgive us…lead us…’ Certainly this applies to praying in public spaces. When praying in a group, involve others by praying with words like ‘we’ and ‘us’.” - pg. 59
“Prayerlessness is a blindfold that makes us unaware of the dangers around us.” – pg. 74
“When we hear members of our church family confess their sin, we should think to ourselves, ‘Me too.’ We often minimize sin in our lives, while maximizing it in the lives of others. But as we hear others confess their sin, we begin to see how the things we overlooked this past week were really worse than we thought.” – pg. 82
“A church prays for what it prioritizes.” – pg. 102
“Prayer is the link in the chain that connects God’s sovereignty to our responsibility.” – pg. 111