This was a book that I never wanted to read because the cover was so naff and I didn’t understand the title. I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by a cover, but we all do it. Particularly now when there are so many good covers out there for books. So there really is no excuse for bad covers. But once I looked into it and worked out what it was about I discovered that it was a book well worth reading.
First of all it is about prayer. Which was on the cover – I just didn’t look hard enough to see it when I glanced at it, so me missing out on this book for so long was my own fault. Carson goes through some of Paul’s prayers in his letters to see what how Paul prayed and the kind of things that he prayed for and about. Each chapter is about a different one of the prayers or a different aspect of them and how we can use them to shape our own prayer lives.
This quickly became one of the few books that I’ve underlined parts of. I have a strong aversion to writing in books so it’s rare that I do, but in this case I did because I want to revisit it in the future and build on what I’ve learnt this time around. I didn’t break the rule enough to write notes though – I’m not a big note taker.
I would recommend this book if prayer is something that you struggle with. It’s one of the things I hate the most and part of the reason for that is not knowing where to start. This book not only helps you find that start but it also helps you to build the framework for building a prayer life. Even if you do know what you’re doing when it comes to prayer I would still recommend it because there’s always something you can learn from Paul’s letters.
Having never read anything by Don Carson before I think I’ve found another writer that I like. He’s very readable and in no way do you end up feeling like he’s setting the bar too high when it comes to prayer.
So my advice is don’t be put off by the cover and give it a read. Take your time with it and get the most out of it. And if you don’t write in books either, be brave, take up a pen (or a pencil if the permanency of ink is too much for you) and underline something. Or just make notes in a notebook – that works too. Either make sure you read this. And if you find a version with a better cover let me know.