By Rosalind Rinker (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
“I have discovered,” says Rosalind Rinker, “that prayer’s real purpose is to put God at the center of our attention, and forget ourselves and the impression we are making on others.”
So begins the preface of Prayer: Conversing with God, aptly establishing the foundation for the rest of the book.
Rinker starts Prayer: Conversing with God by sharing her experiences at three prayer meetings—both the positive and the negative. The lesson that she learns is that prayer is simply talking to God.
It’s a dialogue, sans religious prayer-language, pretentious posturing, and Shakespearean low English (thou, thee, thy). As a result, her spiritual journey is forever; a new and fresh relationship with God emerges.
Interspersing personal experience with scriptural support, she moves from the basics – prayer is dialogue, a conversion, a relationship—to discussions about group prayer and private prayer.
In the chapter entitled, “To whom should we pray?” she addresses the Trinitarian nature of God in a helpful and practice manner.
Prayer: Conversing with God also includes the perplexing and the ponderous, addressing issues such as faith’s role in prayer, unanswered prayer, and making “faith-sized requests.” She notes that prayer can be delayed and even hindered, providing convicting teaching on the importance of forgiveness.
The concluding chapter presents practical steps for turning a prayer meeting into a vibrant conversation with God. As a bonus, there are four appendices with additional tools to aid readers in their own spiritual journey.
With numerous printings and nearly a million copies sold, Prayer: Conversing with God is a book that has proven itself to be a timeless classic. Written over 50 years ago, its truths are as valuable and useful today as they were a half a century ago.
[Prayer: Conversing with God, by Rosalind Rinker. Published by Zondervan Publishing House, 1959, 117 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.