Sounds a little strange I know, but I think it is possible to have been a Christian for many years and not have a personal prayer life. If you weren’t raised in a home where prayer was modeled as your connection and lifeline to God, you may feel confused about prayer. Perhaps you even believe the corporate prayers at church cover everything you need.
The new movie War Room (which I still haven’t seen, but friends are saying they loved it) has produced several new books on prayer. The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick was written for people who are somewhat new to the idea of the power of prayer. The book breaks down the various aspects of what one should pray and the basics of how to pray.
Each chapter begins with a verse of scripture. The authors explore the topic in relatively brief chapters. The basics are covered with lots of scripture references to back up their points. I wish they had taken the time and space to write out more of the scriptures though, as I still doubt many people take the time to look up scripture references cited in a book like this.
The book itself covers the very basics. It does its job well. If you are a more mature Christian with an active prayer life though, I think you will find the book a little too basic. The one exception is an appendix in the back of the book. It covers verses for you to pray for a variety of topics like your spouse, children, church, government, etc. I wish they had spent more time on this section and pulled it into the actual book, as I know readers often skip the appendix section. The authors may want to consider writing another book on prayer for men addressing the information in this appendix. Phyllis Shirer does a great job of that in her book on prayer for women that is connected to this movie.
I have one tiny beef with the book, the authors actually correct in detail in a later chapter. I would prefer it if Christians stopped implying answered prayers are only “yes” answers. They do a great job later of explaining the “no” answer to prayers, I just wish in this earlier spot they had found another way of saying “when you don’t get what you want immediately” than “unanswered prayers”.
My major complaint is implied in one chapter of the book, but then very obvious in the appendix. They lead readers to think baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. Scripture makes it clear baptism is essential – not as a “work”, but as an act of obedience. Numerous scriptures throughout the New Testament make it clear baptism is essential, and I hate thinking there are people who believe a simple prayer has made them a Christian when God requires something more. (See our free baptism study for details.)
Assuming you are a Christian and just want a basic primer on prayer, this book is a great one to help you fill in some blanks. I think it will give you the direction you want. Make sure though and check out the scriptures to pray over specific topics in the appendix – it will give you some great prayers to pray.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for our convenience.