Book Review: “The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down”

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This is probably the most readable and compelling book Dr. Mohler has written.  It’s been a while since I’ve given a book review.  This is partly because I haven’t been reading as much as I wish, but also I don’t like to give book reviews on books I don’t like, unless they are heretical, then I will.  This book, however, I love!  Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution, published by Nelson Books this year (2018).  It is 117 pages of pure gold.  I read the special Together for the Gospel edition, which looks like it has the original cover as the original edition, so I’m not sure if they are any different in content.

 

 

Al Mohler is no stranger to writing.  He has written some worthy reads in the past.  The Conviction to LeadHe is Not SilentWe Cannot be Silent are all good reads, but sometimes I felt bogged down by them.  They were informative and useful, but not as compelling.  The Prayer, however is all of the above.  He goes through each line of the Lord’s prayer and expounds upon it in a way that is practical for the reader.  About the very first word of the prayer, he wrote,

One of our greatest problems and deficiencies in prayer is that we begin with our own concerns and our own petitions without regard for our brothers and sisters.  Many of us falter in prayer because we begin with the wrong word: I instead of our.  Jesus reminds us that we are part of a family, even when we pray.  Thus the first word of Jesus’ model prayer is the word our.  We are in this together, (p. 31).

Often the Lord’s prayer is recited over and over again, in church, in social settings like before games (at least when I was a kid), and other places.  It becomes routine, but Mohler points out that “The Lord’s Prayer is anything but tame,” (p. 50) and “the Lord’s Prayer is not a casual prayer for the generically religious.  This prayer is a gospel prayer.  We can only say these words and ask these things of God when we stand on the finished, atoning work of Jesus Christ,” (p. 84).

I particularly appreciate his exposition on the “give us this day our daily bread” and the “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” portions of the Lord’s Prayer.  “We can often confuse God’s tests with temptations because our hearts often use difficult circumstances as an excuse for sinful behavior,” (p. 103) and how true that is!

If you are a person who wants a more robust prayer-life, I would certainly recommend this book.  It is such an easy read, but filled with practical wisdom and actions that you can take immediately as you pray.  I’m sure you’ll be glad you read it.  I give the last word to Dr. Mohler:  “We never pray this prayer alone, but with all Christendom, and we never have to wonder if this prayer is pleasing to God.  Christ gave it to us! And yes, we know that God has heard our prayer when we pray like this,” (p. 117.)

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