Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Couples Who Pray

Couples who pray
By Squire Rushnell and Louis Duart

My Review:
Finding a quality book dealing with prayer can be a difficult thing. It seems as if everyone has seen an over-crowded market and said ‘me too’. That being said, prayer is one of those areas that seem to be a perennial difficulty in the lives of Christians. We all know that prayer is important, but actually having a prayer life that is real and growing, and finding ways to share that with your spouse...well that doesn’t always happen. As a matter of fact, it seems to happen to a statistically small portion of people.
My husband and I were looking for a devotional to go through together, and from the brief write-up, we thought this would be perfect. A time to spend some quality time in prayer together, being directed to pray for things or in ways that we might not naturally think of.
Unfortunately, this was not what this book was about. This book has much more to do with couples who have decided to pray together and their stories than it does about any sort of guidance in going through prayer for 40 days. Luckily, after getting over our initial disappointment at the misunderstanding, I did find the book contain some good parts. Even just getting this kind of a challenge out can be important, because many couples have kept their own devotional and prayer lives separate, continuing habits developed while single, and the move to shared times of prayer can be a huge way to purposefully be open with each other and each person’s desire for God.
That being said, I found the sheer amount of stories and name dropping to be fairly overdone, and I think, a bit of a cover for the lack of depth to the book itself. The authors do not even get to the actual details of taking the 40 day prayer challenge until Chapter 3 (out of 10), and when they do, they go through it so quick you wonder if you missed something
After quickly sketching out taking the challenge, they give 10 tips in helping, some being a little odd (at least in my opinion)
1. More prayer, more power. Simply talk to God. The more you pray, the more it will come to you.
OK, not to quibble, but shouldn’t it be ‘the more prayer, the more God’. This is not a magical formula to get power from a genie, this is talking to God, and the foremost benefit would be that relationship growing.
2. Make time to pray.
3. Have an attitude of gratitude and vulnerability.
4. Confess and request forgiveness.
5. Pray out loud with your spouse.
6. Keep it short. The author’s point here is to not feel that you have to go on forever, but that could have been done in a way that did not suggest the best way is to keep it short enough to be a twitter...
7. Use everyday language.
8. Pray for your marriage.
9. Pray for others and for self.
10. Expect God to answer your prayers. OK, this is one of those ones that really needs to be unpacked if you are going to say it. Because it can easily be implied that you have to force a belief in place for God to do something through your prayer, this can be a slippery argument that can tend to hurt people easily...unfortunately, they don’t take much time to make it clear

After this,the book deals with some general ideas about issues faced in marriage and how prayer together can help them, which could be very helpful for people who are in the trenches in one of these issues and could give them that added push to start praying together.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. 
I am not required to give a positive opinion but I am required to give my honest opinion.


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