The MP Bookshelf

A conversation with Timothy Jones, author of The Art of Prayer

What causes more guilt than joy for many Christians? If you ask Timothy Jones, his quick reply is "prayer." Blend his awareness of this struggle with his passion for the topic and you've got a candid guide to prayer that is both freeing and refreshing. According to Jones, God knows us personally, so it follows that how he communicates with each of us, and vice-versa, will be somewhat unique. So say "goodbye" to formulas and preconceived notions and start saying "hello" to God.

We often hear that praying together is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. But a surprising number of Christians are hesitant to pray, either together or alone. Why?

Several things hold us back. First, we fear that we won't measure up; that prayer is complicated and something only certain people do right. In reality, it's the simplest language in the world. God hears our humblest words. Prayer is more a matter of the heart than an eloquent vocabulary, whether you're praying by yourself or with your spouse.

Also, we're just plain busy. The thought of adding prayer to our already over-filled lives seems daunting. When we think like that, we forget that prayer is a wonderful resource. We so much see the duty of prayer that we forget the delight of it.

Maybe that's why couples argue over money rather than pray about it.

Someone once said, "We live lives of little things," and that phrase stuck with me. When it comes to prayer we can be confident that if God cares about us, he cares about all aspects of our lives. If something is important enough to worry about, it's important enough to pray about. Instead of worrying or arguing over the mortgage payment or a host of other issues, talk to God about them.

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Marriage; Prayer; Praying
Today's Christian Woman, Fall, 1997
Posted September 12, 2008

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