Wasted Prayer, Know When God Wants You to Stop Praying and Start Doing. This book was written by the Director of College Mobilization for International Justice Mission (an incredible organization!), and it was incredibly thought-provoking. The basic premise is that “sometimes, when you think you’re praying, you’re really just procrastinating” and that we really need to consider the thought that maybe we shouldn’t keep praying about things when they’re things we could just be doing instead. I have to be honest and say that when I first read the description of the book, I really thought it was a great idea – although presented in a way that was clearly going to offend people – and I wanted to see how the book could “defend” the idea that any prayer could really be wasted. I don’t agree that prayers can ever be a true “waste”, but I DO agree that many Christians use “I’ll have to pray about that” as a way to avoid making decisions. Prayer is an important part of what we need to be doing, but it’s not the only thing we should do.
The book included many (many!) examples from Scripture, stories that many of us know well. The point the author kept making was that in each of those situations, people acted – without stopping to pray. And in the one Biblical account where someone prayed first, it wasn’t to decide what to do, it was prayer over what was going to be happening. A decision had already been made before the prayers got started. The author’s stories about his own life, and lives of people he knew or studied, all showed the importance of looking at prayer as a way to talk with the Lord about what happening and get His input – but in order to act on it, not to sit and use it as the excuse for not acting.
Overall, it was a great book, and one that definitely made me think. There are a lot of books out there on prayer, ways to pray, how to pray, types of prayer, etc., but this is the first book I’ve ever read that pushes you to think about more than prayer. It pushes you think about what you’re praying for, and to just go do. Very good message!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review. I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.