In The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down, Albert Mohler helps Christians see how the Lord’s Prayer is revolutionary in all its aspects. This short book examines the prayer as recorded in Matthew 5 where the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. In Chapter 1, Mohler laments that prayer has been vastly neglected in modern Christianity and the Lord’s Prayer as the model prayer upheld throughout church history is relegated to careless recitation without careful consideration of its provocative claims. In the next chapter, the author draws attention to what Jesus says before introducing the prayer specifically concerning pride and arrogance in our prayer life. Jesus warns the disciples against using prayer as a tool to achieve our wants or a platform to broadcast our piety. Instead, prayer is a vital means by which the children of God can humbly approach their Father in praise and petition. The book then shifts to discuss the prayer itself with Chapter 3 focusing on how we are to hallow God’s name by making it holy through our praise to Him. Next, Chapter 4 discusses what makes up God’s kingdom and how we are to pray for the establishment of this kingdom against the kingdom of darkness in our present age. The prayer then moves on to address our physical needs and Chapter 5 fleshes out how our prayers for physical food and drink shows that we are embodied souls craving for both physical and spiritual nourishment. In Chapter 6, Mohler dissects how our petition for forgiveness for ourselves and others is an outflow of our understanding of the gospel as we have first received mercy and grace through Christ. Lastly, Chapter 7 highlights how prayer is an essential weapon in our fight against the temptations of Satan and our flesh. The author ends with an epilogue that examines the last part of the prayer which, though not being part of Scripture, reminds us that every prayer is doxological and God-centred bringing praise and glory to the one Triune God.
I would gladly recommend this book to all Christians as we are always students in the school of prayer. If we are careless in our prayer life, our prayers can easily turn into self-seeking instruments of our fleshly desires such as when we rant off a laundry list of personal wants to fulfill our selfish ambitions. To combat this, Mohler argues that the Lord’s Prayer is not simply a helpful template to follow methodically but the best example of what God requires of us as instructed through His Son. Prayer is focusing our minds and hearts on praising God for who He is and yearning for Him to fulfill all that He has promised in His Word concerning His will and kingdom. Moreover, prayer is not a private affair but a corporate one in which we come together with the people of God to call for His providing in our daily physical and spiritual sustenance. Furthermore, we need to ask God for forgiveness for the many ways we sin against Him and grace to forgive those who commit wrongs against us. Lastly, we should be earnestly asking God to display His honour, glory, and power in our lives and those around us. When we pray as Jesus prayed, we are taking part in a revolution to bring about the new heavens and new earth in which we can enjoy God forever in unceasing fellowship.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I was provided a review copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers.