on August 1, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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Prayer can be a struggle. Sometimes we don't think it will make a difference, or we rely on ourselves, or we're just too busy. And even if we do pray regularly, it can feel more like a duty than a delight.
J.D. Greear shows us how prayer was a non-negotiable daily staple in Jesus' life, more essential to him than eating or sleeping, and therefore why we need to pray as well. He shows us how we can enjoy the same source of power as our Lord and the early church when we learn to just ask and depend on our heavenly Father as they did.
Giving specific practical tips for getting on with prayer in everyday life, this book leaves readers wanting to pray, rather than just feeling that they ought to.
In his introduction, Pastor J.D. says, "Prayer is not a religious task to accomplish; it's an invitation to lay your burdens down at Jesus' feet, to share your heart with him, and to be with the one in whose presence is the fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16 v 11)."
This quick, easy-to-read book is full of biblical perspectives and practical encouragement for people who struggle with prayer. J.D. Greear writes from his perspective as a pastor, addressing common questions that people ask at both intellectual and emotional levels. During the first half of the book, he writes about the theological and personal blocks that people sometimes feel in their prayer lives, and in the second half of the book, he writes about how to pray. He starts with how not to pray, writing in simple and humorous terms about common pitfalls represented in the Bible and in the average evangelical church. Then, as he writes about the Lord’s Prayer as a model for praying, he breaks down the different elements of the prayer and the struggles that people commonly have with each one.
Just Ask: The Joy of Confident, Bold, Patient, Relentless, Shameless, Dependent, Grateful, Powerful, Expectant Prayer is full of encouragement and hope for people who feel guilty about their prayer lives or have given up because they don’t think it’s worthwhile. It will also encourage and help people who do pray on a regular, consistent basis, but are still working towards understanding and fully living out elements of the picture of prayer Jesus provides for us. Greear writes with compassion and understanding for people’s questions, disappointments, and uncertainties, and he addresses such a variety of different common problems that almost any reader will find something that addresses their needs. This book also includes lots of different practical ideas for prayer, without prescribing any specific approach that wouldn’t translate across cultures and lifestyles.
This is a wonderful book for independent reading or a discussion group. The book does not include a discussion guide, but it raises lots of interesting topics, questions, Scripture references, and examples that study groups could explore together, and this would also be appropriate for a youth group, not just for adults. The writing style is very direct and engaging, and none of the illustrations or examples involve mature content that would be inappropriate for teenagers. Just Ask is a great, accessible book that I would highly recommend to Christians across different backgrounds and life stages.