Hill’s focus isn’t on separating ourselves into a special room with sticky notes of prayer requests on the walls, but on a sustainable prayer life together with God’s people. She has a wonderful chapter on the importance of corporate, elder-led prayer, including practical tips on how to pray when someone else leads. She then moves on to public prayer meetings in church life, teaching how to lead while others pray. The book ends with both rich and practical help on praying with others in our communities, and especially in our homes.
Remember The War Room? In my own circles, I heard from more than a handful of people who walked away from that movie saying they were inspired to pray more. One of my concerns was with what kind of theology on prayer and the God whom they were praying they also walked away with. I was especially concerned about that after reading and reviewing the lead actress’s bestselling book based on the movie. Priscilla Shirer’s Fervent was more about women’s struggles and Satan’s strategies than it was about God and prayer. I concluded my review pointing out that Shirer opens the book saying that praying with precision is key, and I wished that there was more precision in her teaching on prayer itself, her biblical exposition, and her theology on sin, God’s revelation, and spiritual warfare.
So I wonder, how has the prayer life of those who watched The War Room or read Shirer’s Fervent changed a week, or a month, after being inspired? Has their prayer life improved in a sustainable way?
I’m going to put my neck out there and guess, no, no it hasn’t. But whenever someone recommends a book that has disturbing theology in it, I like to be able to reply with a recommendation of my own. So I am happy to offer Megan Hill’s new book, Praying Together to anyone who was intrigued by The War Room or Fervent. In fact, it’s a great little book that stays true to its subtitle: The Priority of Prayer in our Homes, Communities, and Churches.
Hill’s book does something Shirer’s does not—it focuses on the God we are praying to and a correct theology on prayer. I also love that she explains what is happening when we pray. While Shirer focuses on Satan’s strategies, Hill teaches us that since we are relating to a Trinitarian God, “in prayer we approach a loving, listening Father, and we are helped by the intercession of the Son and the groaning of the Spirit.” She quotes her own father as explaining, “’When we pray, God talks to God.”(23). You see, Hill teaches us that God’s being, attributes, and work on our behalf has everything to do with our prayer life. And then she goes to God’s Word to teach us about the act of prayer and the fruits of praying together.