This will be a relatively brief book review, as this is a relatively short book! I’ve been watching The Good Book Company publish a series of these slim ‘5 things to pray for…’ books for a little while, and wondered if, from a publishing perspective, they are on to a winner. I finally picked up one of them – 5 Things to Pray for your City – for free at my new job this week, and flicked through it on the way home.
For those familiar with the ‘5 things’ format, I’d imagine this is a good example of that, with a helpful set of direction and inspiration to pray for the good of the places we live.
For those (including me, dear reader!) who are not, I should probably unpack that. Pete Nicholls and Helen Thorne have put together a really helpful, usable, pocket-sized prayer guide. As Tim Keller notes at the opening of his introduction/foreword, “The Jewish exiles in Babylon were told to pray for their city (Jeremiah 29:7) although and because it was a very pagan place… It is reasonable to conclude that God wants Christians everywhere to pray for their cities“. This book will help us to do just that.
Using bible verses and a clear structure, 5 Things to Pray for your City considers four key areas of city life to pray for. Life, Justice, Church and Witness are the foci, with some sensible and biblical particular prayer points. For example, I was glad to see both the marginalised and older people being named – with brief reflection on the why and how of God’s love for them.
This is not a book to ‘read’ – it is instead a tool to aid in your prayer life, specifically in prayer for the place you live. It could work as an aid to quiet times, or as a foundation for a specific prayer group (either in your local church, or with a gathering of Christians from a spread of local churches). Having delved into it, I’m now more likely to seek out some of the other ‘5 Things’ titles.