I’m a bit of a fan of Mike Reeves, and I’ve also been pretty interested in prayer over the past two years. So when I heard that Mike was writing a little book on prayer, in a similar vein to his approach to the Doctrine of the Trinity (That of enjoying God rather than being confused by him), I was pleased. Then, a week or so ago, a little package thunked down on my doormat, and I was the proud possessor of the most yellow book I have read in a while. I devoured Mike’s new, and excellent, ‘Enjoying your prayer life’, on a flight to Norway recently.
At the outset of this review, it is worth noting that this is a very short book. Unusually, perhaps, for a theologian of Mike’s stature, this is a book that is deep and not intimidating, profound but not perplexing. Drawing on his previous work on the kind of God we worship (called ‘The Good God’ in the UK, but titled ‘Enjoying Trinity’ in the USA), Mike explores the vital yet often understated/rated spiritual gangplank of prayer.
This book – coming in at under 50 pages – is published (and best acqquired from!) the good folks at 10ofthose.com – 10Publishing. The book focuses on, and expounds and explains, the Calvinian theme that ‘prayer is the chief exercise of faith‘, through 14 very short chapters. Mike is not setting out to re-invent the wheel here, but rather to draw readers (who should, or desire to be, pray-ers) into a deeper and more enjoyable prayer life.
Mike sets good foundations. His starting place is to look at the problem we have with prayer, the essence of what prayer, and the fact that we are all sinners. It is this last which is incredibly important, and is the point from which we begin to journey towards and into God. Yet even this grim truth, this sobering concept of sin, is part of the portrait that Reeves paints of prayer as enjoying God in the miracle and gift of communication.
The rest of the book flows in a trintarian form. We start with Scripture, and look at Jesus as a model pray-er. As part of prayer being communication with and living with the Trinity, Mike offers helpful reflection on ‘Praying at all times’ and ‘Depending on God’. I was pleasantly surprised that, out of 14 chapters, Mike spends 3 of them (pages 35 through 43) looking at the role of the Holy Spirit. This is a vital part of understanding prayer – to consider how the Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, works in and through us.
Overall, then, this is an excellent little book. As an introduction to prayer, it is very helpful, and I can see myself recommending it to new Christians, and to those who struggle with praying/prayer. As someone who has been following Jesus and praying for a while, it was a refreshing book, short enough to speak sharply, and deep enough to aid in replenishment. I hope Mike writes a longer book on this topic soon!