When Mark Dever says something is one of his “favorite books” about a particular topic, my interest is piqued immediately. That’s exactly what Dever says about a new book by Paul Tautges called Pray About Everything: Cultivating God-Dependcy,“ saying that it is “one of his favorite books on prayer.” That is high praise indeed. But does it stand up to such high praise? I believe it does.
Why Another Book on Prayer?
Many excellent books have been written on the subject of prayer. So why another? Jerry Bridges, in the book’s forward, gives a 3 reasons that this book is important and needed …
- We need to be continually reminded of the basic truths of Scripture
- Prayer is hard work
- This book is directed primarily toward congregational prayer in the context of the local church.
It is this third reason that Bridges gives that I think highlights why this new book by Tautges is so important and needed for believers today. Not only is individual, private prayer essential for the believer, but so is the corporate, gathered prayer of God’s people seeking God together.
The book is split into two parts. In the first part, Tautges shows that prayer is an expression of God-dependency. In these chapters he shows that prayer was “the very lifeblood of the New Testament church” (15). Looking first at the example of the Jerusalem prayer meeting in Acts 1, and then at the string of commands in 1 Thessalonians 5 concerning rejoicing and prayer, Tautges helps the reader in this first section better understand the role and function of prayer in the believer’s life as a primary means of communicating dependency on God.
The second part comprises the bulk of the book, made up of 7 chapters that were originally brief meditations by the author in the context of his church’s corporate prayer meeting. Through these chapters, Tautges helps the reader gain a better biblical and theological understanding of prayer and some of the finer facets of prayer. The seven chapters deal with the following subjects:
- Praying in Jesus’ Name
- Praying for Unbelievers
- Praying for Government Leaders
- Praying with a Forgiving Heart
- Calling for Your Elders
- How Husbands Get Their Prayers Answered
- When the Holy Spirit Prays
Finally, there are 7 appendices following the final chapter that include various practical helps for cultivating this God-dependency in prayer not only in your own personal life but also in that of your church body.
A Few Quotes
Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book …
On prayer as God-dependency:
“One of the pleasures of God is to take ordinary, common sinners, redeem them, and then empower them with the Spirit to walk in God-dependency. And the clearest mark of their humble, God-dependent spirit is their dedication to prayer” (21).
On prayerlessness as sin:
“Prayerlessness is sin, as is the self-sufficient heart attitude of independence that feeds it … Prayerlessness is the most subtle discloser of our independence from God and is our depraved heart’s own declaration of sovereignty” (30-31).
On the need for gathered prayer in churches:
“I am convinced our churches will not experience the fullness of the Spirit’s power until we return to the priority of prayer, not only as individual believers who pray in private, but also as churches filled with people who cry out to God together. Alex Montoya agrees: ‘The wonder of today’s church is that so much goes on with so little praying. The answer to many churches’ problems is not more seminars, programs, and promotional gimmicks, but more intercession on the part of God’s people, both as a group and in the closet'” (58).
This book is far from a full-orbed treatment on prayer. But it is not intended to be so. Rather, the author intended to help the reader understand his/her dependency upon God and how that is manifested in prayer, not only in the individual’s life but also in the life of the larger church body. The book certainly accomplishes that task and is a wonderful resource for any believer to work through. In right around 100 pages, you will find this to be a book that is easy to finish, but certainly not easy to master. As you work through the truths of this book, you will find yourself learning how to implement its principles into your prayer life for years to come.
In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Shepherds Press and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.