Prayer: When Answers Aren’t Enough

Praying for God’s sake, not your own

Prayer: When Answers Aren’t Enough
Helen Grace Lescheid

If you’re looking for a nice, tidy story, this book is not for you. The power of Prayer: When Answers Aren’t Enough comes from the fact that the author’s story does not have a typical happy ending. Lescheid walks the reader through her own experience and takes notes from other individuals’ struggles. The book asks, What are you expecting from God when you pray? Lescheid goes further into the prayer rabbit hole by questioning the “how” and “why” of our prayers.

Prayer is split into two sections. The first half discusses why we pray. Lescheid’s presupposition is that prayer is the foundation of our relationship with God.

Lescheid suggests the majority of people approach their prayer life as a means to an end – their own end – approaching God for what he will give us rather than who he is. She calls the reader to re-think this practice and consider who it is we are speaking with when we pray. Her experience of using the “right” formulas and not getting the right answers led her to evaluate why she prayed the way she had. Her conclusion: the result is not hers to determine; she must simply keep praying.

The second section is practical teaching dealing with the mechanics of prayer. While most of the information isn’t new, Lecheid’s personal testimony gives validity to her point. Her family still fell apart, even though she did everything she thought she was supposed to do. In the end, she had to decide if God was still good, even though the blessing didn’t come in the anticipated package.

The author lends specific information about praying with those who are discouraged, but avoids the formulas and pat answers we are often wont to give.

If you’re walking through a dark valley, Lescheid’s book will encourage and inspire you to examine your prayer life and carry on. The book reads quickly and is peppered with “grace notes”; song lyrics, Scripture, and quotations that encourage the soul. These pauses in the text allow the teaching to sink in. Chapters are short and self-contained, which makes it simple to come back to a point or thought that bears further reflection.

Lescheid relies heavily on Scripture, other theologians, and her own background to provide the teaching. The only thought that seemed out of keeping with the rest of the book was that Lescheid implied Job twice lost his marriage in the midst of his struggles. This is unfounded in Scripture and was the only point where this reviewer felt at odds with the book.

Prayer: When Answers Aren’t Enough proved to be a worthwhile read.

—Lani Wiens is wife of one, mother of many, and a member of Hillside Christian Fellowship Church, Beechy, Sask.

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