This is a great book. The basic premise is that we can and should spend more time with God – specifically in long wandering prayers. This is not to replace devotions – indeed, Hansen makes the point that his devotions and daily prayers are a necessary habit, whilst his wandering prayers are a matter of appetite. There is much to learn from this approach! We need to pray longer prayers. To search for the heart of God. The subtitle of the book, a theme that plagues our minds, is pure heart-felt genius – ‘how can something I’m so bad at be God’s will for my life?‘
The problem with this book is that it is too good to easily review! It is brilliant. Instead, apart from telling you to read it (not usually a dictatorial blog, but in this case I really think you should!), I will leave a few quotes from it below. Unless otherwise attributed, these are from the text of the book. Another thing that makes this book great is the exegesis – simple and heart-felt of some poignant prayer-based passage of God’s word. It’s great.
‘All Christians aspire to long prayer. Some feel it acutely, others barely at all. As sons and daughter of Adam and Eve there is latent in each of us the desire to walk with God in the cool of the evening. As children of Jacob we are required at critical points in our lives to wrestle all night with the angel of the Lord‘
‘Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension‘ – Jonathan Edwards
‘Prayer comes to us from a people who spent the first thousand years of their existence living in tents‘
‘What’s a Christian to do? Rail against the monolithic nature of the prevailing university worldview and be dismissed as a fighting fundamentalist? Resign ourselves that things will never change and retreat to the Christian holy huddle? Or give ourselves to long wandering prayer?‘
‘If a man can’t be thankful for what he’s got, he can’t handle any more‘
‘If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you‘
‘The presence of God is the best place to talk through anger‘
This is but a small sample of the goodness, truth and wisdom of this pastor’s book. I heartily recommend that you read it!