Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Couples Who Pray

Couples Who Pray is written by husband and wife Squire Rusnell and Louise DuArt.  The book's tagline is "The most intimate act between a man and a woman", and includes a 40-day prayer challenge.

If the word "intimate" didn't grab your attention, then perhaps names such as Denzel Washington, Kathie Lee Gifford, or Rick Warren will.  These are famous people who were interviewed about their prayer lives for the book.  In each of their marriages, daily prayer is essential and they testify that it holds them together.

I struggled with this book right from the beginning.  I felt that the authors use prayer as a means to an end rather than the end that it is--communion with God.  Their emphasis on how prayer will transform your marriage seems to say that "Prayer is all about me and a way to get what I want."  In this respect, it feels like a self-help, "feel-good" book or like the "prosperity gospel". 

Don't get me wrong, prayer is ESSENTIAL to daily living.  It is essential to everything I do--my marriage included.  But the way prayer is presented here feels a little like it is inside out.  Going about it the wrong way.  Including famous people in the writing of the book is sort of like a cheap selling tactic--it caters to Americans' insatiable appetite for details of the intimate lives of celebrities.  Yes, it's incredibly interesting and inspiring to know that Denzel & Pauletta Washington pray together.  But.

This is a book that Mitch actually picked up and read while I wasn't looking.  I asked him for his thoughts and opinion.  He also says that prayer is a good idea.  Especially for couples.  :)  On a more serious note, he says that it is dangerous anytime we are using prayer to get an outcome other than prayer itself.  If we pray for healing and do not receive it, then what?  A Christian engaged in genuine communion with God, while praying for good things, will also accept the peace that comes even when a positive answer does not.

I am only beginning my journey to understand prayer more deeply.  I want to be a better pray-er.  I want to have a healthy attitude towards prayer and I want my motivations for praying to be simply communion with God.  This book didn't help me at all, other than to identify what prayer is not.  I'll keep looking.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment