Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
RAR 1:3 (Summer 1992) p. 121
Reaching God’s Ear. C. Samuel Storms, Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, IL (1988), 282 pages, paperback, $8.95
Through the years, many books have been written about prayer. Almost all tend to be devotional in nature, and most focus on only one aspect of prayer. Seldom do we find a book on prayer that is theological in nature.
Samuel Storms’s Reaching God’s Ear breaks this barrier. He bases his book on the premise that every problem we face in prayer is “traceable to a misconception about God.” According to Storms, one must have a proper view of God to understand prayer and to pray effectively. Such an approach separates this book from other contemporary books on prayer.
Our modern approach to prayer is to let our experience control our theology. By beginning with the nature and character of God, Storms has moved our understanding of prayer away from the focus on experience and put the focus where it belongs—back on theology.
Though theologically focused, Storms frequently uses personal experiences and contemporary stories to illustrate each theological truth. Additionally, much of Storms’s support material draws heavily on the writings and experiences of the Reformers and Puritans, including Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Warfield, A. A. Hodge and John Owen. The combination of these authors with Storms’s contemporary illustrations makes Reaching God’s Ear a book with appeal to ministers and laypeople alike.
Reaching God’s Ear contains 16 addresses on prayer that Storms has divided into six basic sections. His first section, “Some Whys and Whats about Prayer,” attempts to answer three preliminary questions. In “Why Is Prayer So Difficult?”
RAR 1:3 (Summer 1992) p. 122
Storms indicates that our primary difficulty in prayer arises from inadequate knowledge of God as He is revealed in the Scriptures. Thus, the beginning point in prayer is really God’s revelation of who He is. Such an idea is found in the lives of many of history’s great prayer warriors. George Mueller, for one, noted that the secret of his prayer life was to saturate himself first in God’s Word.
In his chapters “What Does Prayer Mean?” and “What Else Does Prayer Mean?”, Storms attempts a definition of prayer by examining several elements of prayer. Here he views prayer as the language of worship, dependence, conviction, love, and contemplation. He also confronts such popular teachings as the “demanding from God” and “name it and claim it” approaches. Especially helpful is his reminder that intercessory prayer is “not first in my placing my burdens on God’s heart, but ‘God putting His burd...
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