Too Busy Not to Pray
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|Genre(s)||Religion, Christian Life, Prayer|
|Media Type||Print (Hardcover), abridged audiobook CD, paperback|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-830-83474-5 (hardcover edition)|
This 20th anniversary edition of Too Busy Not to Pray is revised throughout with a new introduction and new chapter on praying for the needs of the world. The book calls young and old to make prayer a priority and broadens the vision for what God does when his people slow down to pray.
The author, Bill Hybels, is founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburbs, where over 15,000 attend each weekend. He has written a number of books, including Honest to God, Becoming a Contagious Christian, Making Life Work, Just Walk Across the Room, Holy Discontent, Courageous Leadership, and Who You Are When No One's Looking.
Too Busy Not to Pray Chapter Summaries
Introduction to the 20th Anniversary Edition
What would transpire if every Christ-follower got serious about installing solid prayer practices into their lives? What kind of kindgom gains would be made if each made pressing into God through prayer a nonnegotiable part of their everyday experience? Hearts would soften. Habits would shift. Faith would expand. Love for the poor would increase. Positive, purposeful legacies would be built. It all starts with learning, and loving, to pray.
Chapter 1: God of Peace, God of Power
Prayer is an unnatural activity; alien to our proud human nature. Yet, when we slow down to pray, we become astonished by God's approachability, endeared by his care, stilled by his presence, encouraged by his affirmation, and challenged by his insatiable desire to make the truth known. Perfect peace comes only through relating with the Peacemaker himself.
Chapter 2: God Is Willing
The idea that God doesn't care about his children is rooted in a lie. God is anything but reluctant to hear from his children. God is interested in your prayers because he is interested in you.
Chapter 3: God Is Able
God is capable of handling any problem we could possibly bring to him. God has the power to do anything, to change anyone, and to intervene in any circumstance.
Chapter 4: Heart-Building Habits
When we make a habit of prayer, we stay constantly tuned to God's presence and open to receive his blessings. You will not develop a rich, rewarding prayer life if you try to do it on the fly.
Chapter 5: Praying Like Jesus
People who are serious about something always make room for it in their schedules. When you establish a time and a place for prayer, it becomes integrated into the rhythm of your life. Jesus said to pray regularly, privately, sincerely, and specifically.
Chapter 6: A Pattern for Prayer
Spiritual training, like physical training, requires balance and routine. A prayer routine to follow is the acrostic ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
Chapter 7: Mountain-Moving Prayer
Faith comes by looking at God, not at the mountain. And God gives us faith as we walk by his side. Shift your focus from the size of your mountain to the sufficiency of the Mountain Mover and then step forward in obedience.
Chapter 8: The Hurt of Unanswered Prayer
If a prayer request is wrong, God says, "No." If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow." If you are wrong, God says, "Grow." But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says, "Go." God's delays are not necessarily denials.
Chapter 9: Prayer Busters
Prayerlessness, unconfessed sin, unresolved relational conflict, selfishness, uncaring attitudes, and inadequate faith are factors that interrupt effective communication with God.
Chapter 10: Cooling Off on Prayer
One reason we stop praying is that we're too comfortable. We forget God in the good times. Other reasons include guilt, shame, busyness, greed; in short, old-fashioned sin.
Chapter 11: Slowing Down to Pray
Authentic Christianity is a supernatural walk with a living, dynamic, communicating God. The heart and soul of the Christian life is learning to hear God's voice and then developing the courage to do what he asks us to do. Few Christians ever reach this level of authenticity because most Christians allow busyness to rule the day. Busyness is akin to worldliness -- getting caught up with society's agenda, objectives, and activities to the neglect of walking with God. To achieve RPM-reduction, commit to daily journaling, writing out your prayers, and intentionally listening to God.
Chapter 12: The Importance of Listening
Prayer is more than merely speaking to God. God speaks to us through his Word, through other people, and through direct promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Chapter 13: How to Hear God's Promptings
People who truly are interested in hearing from God understand that there is a price to be paid, which usually comes in the form of disciplined stillness. God is attempting to communicate with you more often than you know.
Chapter 14: What to Do with Promptings
God's promptings are intensely private phenomena. Care must be taken to discern between God's promptings and Satan's. All promptings that come from God are consistent with his Word, the Bible; are usually consistent with the person he made you to be; and usually involve servanthood.
Chapter 15: Living in God's Presence
Prayer is a way to maintain constant communion with God the Father and God the Son through God the Holy Spirit. Awareness of God's presence comes as the result of taking time to speak and listen to him through prayer; conversely, the power of prayer is unleashed in the lives of those who spend time in God's presence.
Chapter 16: The Needs Around Us
Prayer should open our eyes to see from God's perspective the presence of unthinkable societal ills and disease, corporate corruption and greed, and family structures torn apart. Ask God to usher you into your God-designed era for helping to fix all that's wrong in this very wrong world.