10 quotes from “Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church” by John Onwuchekwa

I read through this book over the past week or so, and I really enjoyed it. It’s striking how relatably and accessibly it was written. John wrote it in a way that I feel I could hand this to anyone in my church, from the least to the most educated, and they would all walk away edified by it–in fact, that’s what I plan to do. And if we’re honest, that’s probably what writing with the Church in mind should always aim to do. Also, it seems most books on prayer want to teach us how to pray and show us what we should pray, but what makes this book different is that Pastor Onwuchekwa wants us to understand the importance of praying together.

As an obligatory and slight critique, the book gets occasionally redundant. However, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t mind it. Sometimes the messages we need to hear most need to be repeated to us so that they’re drilled past our brains and into our hearts. As far as I can see, there’s nothing that should keep you from reading this book. It will be worth your time.

If you’d like to read a review of the book by Warner Aldridge on The Front Porch you can check it out here, and if you would like to purchase the book you can do so here.

Here is a list of 10 of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!

1. Page 15

“…a fruitful prayer life is cultivated by constant practice, not the comprehension of propositions.”

2. Page 19

“Infrequent prayer teaches a church that God is needed only in special situations–under certain circumstances but not all. It teaches a church that God’s help is intermittently necessary, not consistently so. It leads a church to believe that there are plenty of things we can do without God’s help, and we need to bother him only when we run into especially difficult situations.”

3. Page 45

“God is not here to simply grant wishes. He’s not here to fund idolatry. God does serve us, but he exists for his glory. We exist for him, not the other way around. In prayer, we embrace the right posture of longing for his glory before provision.”

4. Page 48-49

“This prayer for God’s presence to be seen and enjoyed is quite startling, to a world that prefers for God to be an absentee Father that just sends a big child support check each month.”

5. Page 75

“Like a vegan sandwich, the disciples present great promise, but they deliver disappointment in the middle.”

6. Page 80

“In our prayers of praise, we want to remember what God is like, not just what he’s done for us. We’re praising him for his attributes and characteristics–his holiness, gentleness, goodness, even his wrath. The wonder of these prayers doesn’t come simply form listing off God’s attributes but from unpacking them.”

7. Page 91-92

“As it turns out, you can’t learn (or teach) dependence didactically. Dependence isn’t gained by learning but by leaning…you can’t teach a church to depend on God by propositions alone. Practice is necessary, and that practice is prayer. A church that practices prayer is more than a church that learns; its also a church that leans. Its more than a church that knows; its a also a church that feels. We learn dependence by leaning on God together.”

8. Page 102

“…a church prays for what it prioritizes.”

9. Page 115

“Through prayer, we find out that it’s impossible to pray for people and hold onto bitterness or indifference toward them. We’re connected to the heart of God as we pray for the salvation of souls.”

10. Page 123

“Just because prayer is necessary doesn’t mean it comes naturally to us.”

Bonus quote: Page 125

“If you have only one other person, it’s a prayer meeting.”