Review: A Call to Spiritual Reformation — 2 minutes ago
I don’t think I’ve devoured and enjoyed a book as much as this one since I read John Piper’s Desiring God. That’s saying a lot!
Part of it has to do with, I’m sure, my current personal longing for a more passionate and intimate prayer life. Carson’s material really hit me where I’m at right now.
On the other hand, Spiritual Reformation is simply a dynamic and compelling book. It will leave you pondering after every “put down.” (A put down is that moment when you finish your coffee, your current chapter and put the book down…)
I’ve posted several quotes from my reading on my Tumblog, and constantly found myself wishing that “so and so” were reading the book at the same time I was. I desperately wanted some interaction and conversation about the principles and reflections Carson shared.
One of the things that so deeply impressed me was that the author did not just share his thoughts, stories and insights about prayer. You may recall that I reviewed Yancey’s book, Prayer, a while back. That’s what he leaned toward. In reflection, there was a real paucity of biblical observation in Yancey’s book.
Carson’s book, on the other hand, takes a deep, expository survey of some of Paul’s prayers and is able to communicate through writing the plain implications and principles behind the scripture in an insightful way that always led me to personal application.
Consider this line of thought:
Many Christians learn to pray by listening to those around them. Nothing is intrinsically bad about this. If we lived in a time and place where Christians were characterized by knowledgeable, anointed praying, it would be a wonderful privilege to learn from them. Sadly, although there are a few signs of resurgence, prayer in the West has fallen on hard times, and there are few models to hold up to a new generation of believers.
Then how shall we reform our praying?
Surely the best answer is to turn again to the prayers of the Bible.
Carson proceeds to examine different Pauline prayers and pull from them the intent, the context, and the principles behind why and how Paul prayed as he did.
I can’t encourage you strongly enough to get you a copy of A Call to Spiritual Reformation, digest it slowly and even as you do so, to begin to passionately embrace a joyful and devoted life of prayer to the One who loves you.