A Really Good Book on Prayer

I’ve been reading a really good book lately. It’s called Why Don’t I Get What I Prayed For?, by John W. Cowart. I think you should read it too.

We’ve all dealt with unanswered prayer. From the “testing God” demands of our Christian babyhood (God, give me a parking spot right now!) to earnest, faith-filled supplication for the healing of someone we love, we don’t get everything we ask for—at least not in the form we expect. Is God not there? Is He not listening? Maybe He doesn’t love us—or maybe we’re just not good enough. Even though we know better, thoughts like these tend to run through our heads when we’re frustrated, overwhelmed, or angry at God.

I’ve read a lot of books on prayer. Most of them are “how to pray” manuals, with more or less in the way of examples, exhortations, and exegesis. Those book were helpful, and I’m glad I read them.

This book is different. With delightful wit and deep insight, Cowart takes us through each possible cause for unanswered prayer, applying relevant Bible verses and relating real-life experiences (some of which are hilarious) from his own life. He covers topics I’ve never seen dealt with, either in all those books I’ve read or in all the sermons I’ve heard over the years. While I wanted to gulp this book in one sitting, I found it better to sip it chapter by chapter, giving myself time to think and pray about what I was reading.

This isn’t a new book. It’s been around since 1993, when it was published by Intervarsity Press. It’s out of print, but still available direct from the author (look for the same book under its new title, I’m Confused About Prayer).

While you’re at his website, check out the other books Cowart has written. I bet at least one is just what you’re looking for, either to read yourself or to give as a Christmas present. Even better, Lulu Press is offering free ground shipping through December 6.

I’d also like to highlight John’s thought-provoking (and quite entertaining) blog, “Rabid Fun,” subtitled “John Cowart’s Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.” (You’ll notice the link in my Blog Roll at left.) I read every post, and he’s kind enough to frequently leave comments here at Compost.

And no, he didn’t ask me to say any of these nice things.

2 thoughts on “A Really Good Book on Prayer

  1. Hi Leslie,

    Thanks very much for your kind words.

    No, I did not ask for you to plug my books, but I’m sure glad you did!

    This morning’s news says that out there in Colorado you have 120 mile per hour winds today. I hope you and yours are safe and do not blow away.

    • We do get strong winds here–we’re used to it. But the current wind speed is 17. Last night’s snow is sparkling in the sunshine, it’s 34 degrees, and all in all this is yet another totally gorgeous day. But don’t tell everyone. They’ll all want to move here!

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