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ISBN/ASIN : 0310333113
Manufacturer : Zondervan|
Release data : 12 March, 1987
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Unabridged Edition Recommended
I'd like to suggest to other potential buyers to check the ISBN number first before purchasing this book since there is more than one edition for this title. The particular edition published by Zondervan (ISBN # 0310333113) is abridged and has been edited into modernized writing. Thus, I'd like to recommend the unabridged version [[ASIN:1417916311 The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power]] printed by Kessinger Publishing (ISBN # 1417916311) for those who prefer to read the complete version of this excellent book on true Biblical prayer.
Believing prayer that will not take no for an answer
While many people are writing books on prayer and revival, R.A. Torrey's (1856-1928) book written in 1924 is still the classic handbook on prayer that gets answers. At two points, Torrey "harps on" about personal morality. This put me off at first. But I came to see that the strength of his argument is entirely drawn from Scripture. Not that playing cards or ballroom dancing necessarily ruins our prayer life. But lack of personal holiness does. And this was the main point I think I took from The Power of Prayer. If we would pray and expect "to receive the very thing we ask from God," we must please God with a holy, uncompromised lifestyle. God's promise to do "whatever we ask" is not unconditionally and not for just anyone! Jesus says, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish..." [Jn 15:7]
The finest chapters were Chapters 9 "Hindrances to Prayer" and 10 "Prevailing Prayer and Real Revival." In "Hindrances to Prayer" he lists 6 categories: I. Wrong motives in prayer (usually to glorify ourselves), II. Sins in the heart or life (which we deal with by "judging" them), III. Idols in the heart (e.g. our wives or careers), IV. An unforgiving spirit, V. Stinginess in giving (which received the longest treatment), and VII. Mistreating ones spouse. This last is based on 1 Peter 3:7, which says, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." He applies it to men who abuse and harangue their wives as well as women who nag their husbands or even let themselves become frumpy.
The last chapter was the most satisfying, partly because I was having trouble finishing the book (it was a painful rebuke), and also because he had hinted all through the earlier chapters of the importance of prayer to the coming of true revival. He first exposes false revivals, stepping on toes, then sends out the call for "Believing prayer that will not take no for an answer."
I happened to finish the book on a flight to Chicago where, to my great pleasure, I was to hear a message delivered by Dr. John Armstrong on Ephesians 6:18,19: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel." We earnestly need that "divine utterance" to preach the Word and in witnessing. Yet it comes only from the Holy Spirit by prayer. This Torrey also emphasized--that preachers cannot hope to be successful without a congregation committed to praying for them.
So I highly recommend The Power of Prayer to any Christian who is not satisfied with himself or his church or the worldly state of his country. We shall have revival, not because of politics or improvements in microphones or trendy music or any human invention, but entirely because God is moving His people to a deeper prayer life, and we will not give up.
Classic Devotinal Work on Prayer
Like most books I have read on prayer, none can truly teach you to pray. Prayer is not a learned technique that we copy from others but it is something the Spirit of God must do in our hearts and lives (Luke 11:1-13; Romans 8:26-27; Eph. 6:18). Many have tried to read this classic work on prayer and have felt that Torrey doesn't teach us to pray. It simply is not written for that purpose.
This book is not so much an exegesis on passages of Scripture on prayer but is Torrey's insights and personal illustrations of answers to prayer, hinderances to prayer, and the power of prayer. Torrey, like other classic writers on prayer, assumes that Christians pray (1 Samuel 12:23). Therefore he doesn't spend much time trying to coerce the reader to pray but fills the reader with faith-filled stories of pray-ers. He wants us to see that prayer is powerful because of who God is (Hebrews 11:6; James 5:16-17).
Read this book but more than that: pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).