Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 05/09/2013 by Lance Quinn.
Recommended. Wayne Mack has written a marvelously helpful and instructive book on prayer.
Charles Spurgeon's famous statement that a Christian’s life of prayer is like the slender nerve which moves the hand of omnipotence should signal the huge level of importance God places upon our prayers. Could anything be more important and exciting to the Christian than seeing Almighty God being moved to answer your own specific prayers? Wayne Mack emphatically doesn’t think so, and that is why he has written a marvelously helpful and instructive book on prayer which you now hold in your hand.
“Wait a minute” you say! “You’re trying to sell me on the idea of buying another book on prayer?” “No thanks.” “I’ve read my fair share of Christian books on prayer and I certainly don’t need another one.” I admit when this book first came across my desk, I might have been tempted to agree. I too have already read many Christian books on the subject of prayer (who hasn’t?), and I too have seen Christian bookstore shelves lined with that many more books on prayer (again, who hasn’t?!), so why yet another treatise on prayer? I suggest two main reasons which should motivate you to secure and distribute copies of this one.
First, let me tell you a little about the author himself and why he is qualified to write on this vital topic. I have known Dr. Mack for many years now, and what has always stood out to me is his own faithfulness and diligence in prayer. He is no armchair theologian or writer when it comes to his own devotion to prayer. He genuinely enjoys communing with his heavenly Father! I have seen this side of him, as some might say, in an “up close and personal” way. Indeed, I myself have been the beneficiary of his intense prayers for me. When I have had to make major ministry decisions, Wayne Mack was one of the first men I called to seek advice and counsel. He carefully interceded for me, asking God to give me guidance and direction. Those experiences are etched in my mind as I read his book on prayer, seeing in a unique way, both how his prayer life and teaching now intersect.
I often find that Christians frequently look “at” books, but never really read the book itself. They can sometimes be found “looking over” the covers or dust jackets (including being impressed by the endorsers of a book itself), or possibly even thumbing through certain chapters here and there, or even picking out sentences or paragraphs, but never really reading and interacting with the substance of the book’s main thesis. Granted, this cursory acquaintance with a book may be all the time a person can devote when inside a bookstore, or when one is generally referencing several possible books for some future study. But when it comes to sitting down and reading a substantive book on a biblical topic as vital as prayer, you will want to devour Reaching the Ear of God: Praying More…and more like Jesus. As the subtitle suggests, it is this feature of the book that most stands out. As Dr. Mack shows us—on page after page—Jesus reveals His intimate relationship with God the Father, and how that kind of intimacy is also available to all true believers through prayer. He also shows us that it is only available through an intimacy with God’s precepts and Person, and only when done in the precise ways and means Jesus Himself prescribes. In an age when so much is done in a self-styled fashion, learning to pray in a Jesus-styled way is crucial. So, while you may have seen many books on prayer before, I think this might well be the book on prayer in which you should focus your attention.
Finally, as you study this resource on prayer, you’ll notice some other considerable contributions. From the searching application questions in each section (which shows the author’s dynamic counseling skills forged over 40 years in ministry), to the extensive familiarity with the whole of Scripture (which shows the author’s ministerial training, experience, and knowledge), to the interweaving of both the theological and practical elements of the Christian life (which shows the author’s own rich reading of solid Christian literature), this book stands out above others on the subject. Wayne Mack is a reliable guide to a better prayer life, which is itself a way to greater intimacy with God. Who wouldn’t want to have the kind of prayer life which can pave the way to greater intimacy with our Lord? That is why Wayne Mack labored to write this book and I for one thank God that he did. After you are finished reading it, I pray you will thank both of them.