17/06/2015

Don't just stand there, pray something! (by Ronald Dunn)

Ronald Dunn was apparently a powerful teacher as well as a writer, although I would probably not have heard of him but for this book. I spotted it on our shelves, liked the title, and thought I hadn’t read it in a long time, if at all.

So I was surprised to discover that I had, in fact, read ‘Don’t just stand there, pray something!’ as recently as 2012, almost exactly three years ago. I didn’t think it anything special at the time, so I wasn’t expecting much of it when I started reading about ten days ago.

However, I found it a refreshing and helpful book this time around. The author writes with a clear but friendly style, sharing some of his own foibles in an honest way, and answering - or at least addressing - some of the difficult questions about prayer. He concludes that while God does not need us to pray, he nonetheless uses prayer in a way that we may never understand.

The book gives Scriptural examples as well as some from the author’s own life. He encourages every believer to spend more time with God, and to see prayer as much bigger and more important than it’s often seen. I don’t think there was anything that struck me as new, but it was inspiring and motivating. Evidently it was something I needed to read.

The end of the book gives a couple of appendices which detail how the author’s church set up a full-time prayer ministry with a dedicated prayer room and a secretary, and organiser, and a complex system of filing and structure that left me somewhat bewildered; I skimmed the end as I felt swamped in fine detail, and lost as to how it could work. In today’s technological society, phones and tablets would be more useful, in any case, and I doubt if many people would want quite such rigid rules and requirements.

However, other than this daunting section at the end, I thought it a good book and would recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about prayer. It's a testament to the popularity of this book that, despite being over twenty years old, it's still in print on both sides of the Atlantic.

Review by copyright 2015 Sue's Book Reviews

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