Book Review: The Prayer of the Lord

The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul

This is a Reformation Trust review. They send you a PDF file of the book, you review it on your blog and they then send you the book.

I use The Lord’s Prayer every Friday as a template for my praying. So I wanted to take the opportunity to review a book on it.

Like The Truth of the Cross, this is a relatively short book on a subject that has a wide interest. The reading level of this book would be ‘popular’ or a little deeper than introductory. At 130 pages it’s not imposing at all. Whenever there is a term that might need explaining, he does so concisely and in a well understood manner. As long as the read is familiar with the Bible and has read the Lord’s prayer, this book will be very accessible.

Sproul uses anecdotes sparingly but wisely, always dealing directly with what he’s teaching as opposed to trying to entertain or tell funny stories to try to keep the reader’s interest.

The first chapter is How Not To Pray. Of course in learning how not to pray one also learns in very general terms how to pray. This is a helpful first chapter that introduces the account of the disciples asking Jesus how to pray.

The main body of the book of course deals with each section of the prayer. These are expository (explaining what it means) as opposed to looking at it from the audience’s culture, point of view, politics, Jesus’ Jewishness etc. That would be for another book.

In the chapter on Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, he writes of providence and provision as if they are synonymous. This was rather confusing to me because I thought that providence is God ordering of things and provision is God providing for us. I realize there is some overlap and in God’s providence he provides for us but more of a distinction may have been helpful so that readers wouldn’t confuse the terms.

Unlike many other writings and sermons on this prayer, Sproul spends a whole chapter on Yours Is the Kingdom which is the last part of the prayer that some Greek manuscripts include and some don’t.

Chapter 10 is Questions and Answers which deals “other issues surrounding the practice of prayer and the Lord’s Prayer specifically.” This chapter is a helpful bonus.

And yet another bonus is If God Is Sovereign, Why Pray? Anyone who wrestles with this idea will be enlightened and encouraged by reading it.

I felt this endorsement was the closest to how I feel abut the book:

I love listening to R. C. Sproul teach, and this book sounds just
like him—penetrating truths strikingly illustrated. His good
quotations and pastoral wisdom make him as easy to read as he
is delightful to listen to (and the short chapters help!). Sproul
clearly explains the Scriptures with sentences that are simple and
accurate. He knows enough to say important things concisely
and clearly—truths about the kingdom, the fatherhood of God,
history, and, of course, prayer. There’s even a helpful question-and-answer section at the end. This little book now takes its
place with the classics on prayer.

–Dr. Mark Dever
Senior pastor
Capitol Hill Baptist Church

For those who have read books on prayer that cover the Lord’s prayer well, books on the Sermon on the Mount or commentaries on Matthew, this book may be somewhat of a review as far as the chapters that deal directly with the prayer. If you recited this during church but never deeply pondered what it really means or are unfamiliar with this portion of Scripture, this is an excellent book for you.

See excerpts on Facebook.

Hardcover: 130 pages
Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (May 31, 2009)

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1 Response to “Book Review: The Prayer of the Lord”

  1. 1 Stan McCullars

    Sproul uses anecdotes sparingly but wisely, always dealing directly with what he’s teaching as opposed to trying to entertain or tell funny stories.

    That would be true of his preaching as well.

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