• How to Pray

  • A Simple Guide for Normal People
  • By: Pete Greig
  • Narrated by: Pete Greig
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pete Greig is a worldwide authority and the face of a generation when it comes to prayer. One of the founders of the 24-7 Prayer movement, he has seen, experienced, and chronicled amazing works of God in the world. While you might imagine him to be puffed up, Pete Greig is entirely the opposite. He is enchanting, down-to-earth, friendly, and most of all, very normal - and yet he tells preposterous tales about prayer (and they're true). He is basically a regular dude who loves to talk with God.  

How to Pray is written to evoke a passion for prayer in everyone - the committed follower of Jesus as well as the skeptic and the scared. The enormous blessing of How to Pray is that it is accessible, full of surprising stories of answered prayer, and tremendously engaging. The basic idea is that prayer is a conversation between you and God. Pete Greig demystifies and reenchants prayer, helping you to find prayer achievable and enjoyable, and ultimately life-giving and life-changing.  

How to Pray is designed to be used together with The Prayer Course (a free video curriculum associated with the Alpha course), making it useful for personal and group or church-wide use.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Pete Greig (P)2019 eChristian

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Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield.

Pete Greig is the founder of the 24/7 prayer movement. As a movement that has been around for over 20 years and replicated all around the world. In an interview with the Renovaré Book Club, Greig said that he finally feels capable of writing this type of book after writing several previous books on disappointment with God, unanswered prayer, and facing his wife’s cancer.

I have had both positive and negative interactions with forms of the 24/7 prayer movement. Aspects take God’s power seriously, and devotion and parts seem to focus on thinking about prayer in ways that seem more akin to magic. There also elements of the 24/17 movement that dabble in Dominanist theology and are more like Christian Nationalists than I am comfortable with.

That being said, I did not see the negative aspects of 24/7 prayer in this book, although I would not have phrased some parts of prayer as he did. I am a real believer in the importance and power of prayer, even if I am reluctant around many abuses of prayer. The point of prayer for me is a relationship with God. To focus on power of prayer places the result of a relationship before the relationship. It is not the same, but it feels related to sex outside of marriage. Sex is designed for marriage as a bonding agent and procreation. But sex outside of marriage changes the purpose and instrumentalizes sex to distort the relationship over the long term.

In a not dissimilar way, focus on prayer and the use of prayer outside of the relationship with God orients prayer toward what we can get from God. Many talk about the lack of miracles as primarily about a lack of faith or a result of secularism and disbelief of the possibility of miracles. While I don’t want to dismiss that concern, I think the more significant problem may be a culture of viewing relationships more through the lens of utility and instrumentality than through the idea of the good of the relationship in and of itself.

All of that to say, the primary purpose presented here is prayer as relationship building. The rest of prayer is an outgrowth of that. Pete Greig tells good stories and creates a sense of possibility with prayer. And for me, the biggest test of the quality of a book about prayer is whether it encourages me actually to pray. This book did.

As part of prayer exploration, he covers nine types of prayer: Centering, Adoration, Petition, Intercession, Listening, Confession, and Spiritual Warfare. I am for exploring prayer and thinking about it well, but prayer will always be more about learning by doing more than learning through theory and academics. How to Pray is practically focused and helpful in ways that I think that prayer books should be. It is easy to read about prayer and not pray. Still, there are many useful suggestions here and many online tools referenced if you want to go into more depth on particular interest topics.

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A stunningly powerful work

I came to this book seeking a more complete theology of prayer. Though it did not fill in all my gaps in that respect, it offered something I needed perhaps more: a realization of the power and centrality of prayer as practiced and taught by Jesus and his followers throughout history. This take on prayer is grounded in realism, comprehensive, celebratory, faith-filled, practical, packed with true stories, and utterly unpretentious. Half a dozen times it brought me to tears.

Another reviewer mentions that the book references speaking in tongues. This was mentioned twice by my count, in passing, and not in a pushy way—just as an aspect of the author’s own practice. The author also speaks of Kansas City Christians praying through playing Jazz and of an indigenous North American pastor who prays in Christ to God with dance, visions, drums, and the burning of herbs. Speaking personally, I have no experience with speaking in tongues and always believed that to refer to the foreign languages given to the early church in furtherance of the commission. Regardless, it seems important to acknowledge the preciousness of any means by which God unbinds a person from the stranglehold of their own self-consciousness so as to speak to and through them.

Thanks to the author’s extraordinary narration, the audio version of this book is substantially more powerful than the print version. I almost exclusively favor audiobooks and also enjoy documentaries, and among hundreds of titles I have never heard a more skillful spoken performance. The writing too is special: vivid, conversational, relatable, and poetic.

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Just the book I was looking for

Very informative. Pete has a soothing voice and a good sense of humor. I just bought two of his other books

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So real

This spoke to my heart in spiritual truths.
I loved listening to the reader.

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Simple Prayer?

Almost as good as Dirty Glory but despite its title, I don't see it as an entry level book on prayer., at least not for people I've met.

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just the perfect approach

could not put it down, completely changed my prayer life in a way that will develop a deeper relationship with God.

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so helpful

there is so much information in this book that I will be listening to it again and perhaps again after that. you will find your own favorite chapters in this book. mine were chapters 7 and 12.

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Concerned

I found the book to be inspiring, but was unsettled by his references to speaking in tongues. I won't go into all the "whys" but simply mention it.

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P.R.A.Y.

The narration certainly lent to the enjoyment and understanding of this inspired piece of work!

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Awesome Knowledge of Prayer

Learned a lot. Will pass it on to others. Will keep hearing it over to learn and pick up more knowledge.