BY JED COPPENGER
Charles Spurgeon was one of the greatest preachers in the history of Christianity. He was known as the “Prince of Preachers.” If you’ve ever read one of his many available sermons from the 1800s, then you can understand why so many are still impressed with his preaching ministry.
But it was prayer that Spurgeon believed gave his gospel-centered ministry such power. That’s why he said, “I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” Spurgeon knew how God loved to work through prayer to show his power and presence. Spurgeon also knew of the tendencies of Christians, even pastors and leaders, to overlook it. Christians prize eloquence, insight, and activity.
It took many years and challenging seasons for me to finally share Spurgeon’s love for prayer. Since that difficult time, few things have brought me greater joy than praying and helping others learn to pray. These joys led, eventually, to the writing of 21 Days to Childlike Prayer. While I love and am thankful for other great books on prayer, I wrote my book for the following four reasons.
To provide a book on prayer that’s accessible even for new Christians – One of my favorite parts of being a pastor is helping people who have never prayed, learn to pray. Accessibility marked Jesus’ ministry, the Apostles’, Spurgeon’s, and, hopefully, this book. When Jesus taught his disciples about prayer, he pointed them to the relationship between a Father and a child. He didn’t say that they needed to become more spiritually sophisticated to have the prayer life he wanted them to have. They just needed to become more childlike. That’s what this book is all about. And that’s why the chapters are short and written in an accessible manner. I am passionate about helping as many people as possible learn how prayer helps them experience the power and presence of God in their problems and plans.
To provide a book on prayer that challenges seasoned pastors and ministry leaders – As a ministry leader and pastor, I didn’t have much of a prayer life. Many pastors and leaders I’ve known have struggled in similar ways. It’s easy to move through years of ministry without prioritizing prayer. Through a difficult season, I found the prayer life I’d looked for my whole life. I want to help leaders learn the things I learned without going through what I went through. Jesus doesn’t want his church being led by prayerless men and women. While I wrote the book in an accessible way, I believe it is substantive enough to challenge any pastor and ministry leader. I get so excited thinking about more and more pastors and leaders praying their problems and plans with specificity and childlike trust.
To provide a book on prayer that groups of people can read together – Jesus designed prayer to take place personally and in groups. We know that because he starts his teaching on prayer with the plural, “Our” Father. 21 Days to Childlike Prayer includes reflection questions and exercises at the end of each chapter that would serve a group discussion. Some books on prayer call for churches, families, and other groups to pray together. This book is designed to help make those biblical calls a reality. I’m thankful that Harvest House, the publisher of the book, shares this desire. They are offering bulk pricing to help foster group praying (50% off and free shipping for purchases of 15 or more books – email Kathy.Zemper@harvesthousepublishers.com). I hope this book can help unite groups of people’s hearts with God and each other, providing a unique, shared experience that they can walk through together.
To provide a book on prayer that will help Christians bring more glory to God – When people believe in a God capable enough, loving enough, and wise enough, that they push pause on their lives to simply pray, God is glorified. Our prayerful actions communicate that we believe in a powerful, awesome God. When we don’t pray, we communicate the opposite. We communicate that God is irrelevant since he is unable to help us with our problems and plans. When we bring specific requests to God, he is glorified as a God who can really make a difference, in specific ways. When we walk away from our prayer times with him without the burdens we brought into it, God is glorified as a God who really can be trusted. I want God to get the glory that he deserves and uniquely gets from childlike prayer. I’m praying this book increases the glory that God uniquely gets from a praying people.
Today, on the launch of 21 Days to Childlike Prayer, I’m praying that that God would use this book to help his children make prayer a daily, life-giving, burden-relieving, joy-producing reality. I’d love for you to buy a copy. And I’d greatly appreciate it if you would pray at least one prayer on behalf of the book. Ask God to answer at least one specific prayer of each person who reads 21 Days to Childlike Prayer, during their 21 day journey. The book is 21 Days to Childlike Prayer: Changing Your World One Specific Prayer at a Time. Grab a copy here today.