Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle

Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle

So many of us struggle with prayer. Many books have been written on the subject and there's a reason for that. Prayer comes hard to most of us, in most seasons. And when we do pray, we often don't know what to say. What is it that my Father loves to hear about? What are the best things I could pray for my family, my church, and myself? I want to pray bigger, and better. An...

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Title:Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle
Author:Alistair Begg
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Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle Reviews

  • Nicholas Lewis

    Alistair Begg's book provides fresh biblical insight into the topic of prayer by going through a faithful exegesis of Paul's prayer in Ephesians. Relevant, short, clear, and precise, this book does more in less than a hundred pages than many books on prayer can barely accomplish in 200 pages or more!

  • Stephanie

    I picked up this book this morning and just finished it. It's an easy read, but one that will be picked up again and again. When I first picked up this book I was hoping to be inspired to big faith and asking God for big things, instead Begg changed my definition of Big Things. Using Paul's prayers for the Ephesians, he lays out ways to pray for ourselves and others for the glory of God. I can see this book being one that I pick up again and again.

  • Aaron Smith

    Such a practical book on increasing your prayer life with God by Alistair Begg. It is written for both those starting off on their new journey of prayer and for those who are needing to re-establish praying like an apostle. Certainly a recommended read and basis for any Christian looking to reconnect thorough prayer.

  • Bill Pence

    The author, a respected pastor, writes that he wants to pray bigger, and better, and he wants his readers to enjoy praying like that too. To do that, we need to discover how to pray as Paul did, which means we need to learn to believe what Paul did. Paul was a man who knew to whom he was praying. The author focuses on Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus, which he recounts to them in Ephesians 1: 15-23 and 3: 14-21. Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians from prison. The truth

    The author, a respected pastor, writes that he wants to pray bigger, and better, and he wants his readers to enjoy praying like that too. To do that, we need to discover how to pray as Paul did, which means we need to learn to believe what Paul did. Paul was a man who knew to whom he was praying. The author focuses on Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus, which he recounts to them in Ephesians 1: 15-23 and 3: 14-21. Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians from prison. The truths that underpin and shape Paul’s prayers will motivate us to pray, and they will help us know what to say.

    To pray is an admission and an expression of dependence. Real prayer is from a dependent person to a divine Person. Our conversation with others declares what is on our minds, but our conversation with God in private reveals what is in our hearts. Prayer reminds us who we are, and who our Father is. We come to a loving Father, but we do not come as his equal. The author mentions a few times that all that matters may be brought before God, but what we bring before God is not always what matters most.

    The book is organized around five great qualities for which Paul prays for his Ephesian brothers and sisters. They are:

    • Pray for Focus

    • Pray for Hope

    • Pray for Riches

    • Pray for Power

    • Pray for Love

    The author asks how might our prayer life be transformed if we used the headings of this book to shape our prayers.

    The author tells us that we pray for:

    • Ourselves.

    • Others.

    • The glory of God.

    The author quotes hymns throughout the book and ends each chapter with one of his own prayers. He writes that the reader might find it helpful to read one chapter of the book a week, and spend the rest of the week putting Paul’s divinely inspired wisdom into practice in your own prayers. Or, the reader could read it at the same time as a friend, and both commit to praying for each other in the ways the apostle lays out.

    I highlighted a number of passages as I read through this short book. Here are 10 of my favorite quotes:

    1. When I read Paul’s prayers, I am always struck by the fact that many of the matters that are the focus of my prayers are absent in his. What is striking is the absence of material issues.

    2. When the eyes of our hearts are opened to our future, it changes our lives now—it reorders our priorities and our prayers. We pray less about the practical details of this life, and first and foremost about the spiritual realities of our eternal life.

    3. The most transformational thing you can do today is to look clearly at Christ with the eyes of your heart.

    4. The story of the Bible is the story of a God who seeks out people who are hiding from him.

    5. You are going to live forever. The only question is where.

    6. We know our best days are all ahead of us. We know that death isn’t the end of the best time of our life; it’s the start of it.

    7. We are richer than we realize. And one day in glory, we will be richer than we can even begin to imagine. We’ll be with God.

    8. When you come to the end of your power, that is where you find his.

    9. Christianity is about the work of the Spirit to call you, convert you, and change you.

    10. Small prayers betray a suspicion that we have a small God. We don’t. He is able to do immeasurably more than you can imagine.

  • Dave

    Alistair Begg knows that most Christians (myself included) struggle with prayer. His solution is not to guilt you to pray, or give you some secret formula for prayer but to look at the prayers of Paul. The emphasis is on what he asked the Lord for, and who he prayed to! Begg gives suggested categories for prayer based on Paul's prayers: Pray for focus, Pray for hope, Pray for riches, Pray for power, Pray for love (pg. 41). [Hopefully it goes without saying that he means spiritual riches-Eph. 1:1

    Alistair Begg knows that most Christians (myself included) struggle with prayer. His solution is not to guilt you to pray, or give you some secret formula for prayer but to look at the prayers of Paul. The emphasis is on what he asked the Lord for, and who he prayed to! Begg gives suggested categories for prayer based on Paul's prayers: Pray for focus, Pray for hope, Pray for riches, Pray for power, Pray for love (pg. 41). [Hopefully it goes without saying that he means spiritual riches-Eph. 1:18]. Overall, this is a very practical book, because it is a very theological book. Begg rightly shows us our dependence and God's sufficiency and generosity, and so this helps us want to pray and to have confidence in prayer! The book reminded me of a lesser-known hymn by John Newton, "Come, My Soul, Thy Suit Prepare", where the second verse says: 'Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring; for his grace and pow'r are such, none can ever ask too much, none can ever ask too much.' Begg does not quote this hymn, but he uses many others. Each chapter also ends with a short prayer focused on the content of that chapter. I highly recommend this short, easy to read, yet eminently helpful book, for anyone who wants to grow in their desire and ability to pray, and shouldn't that be all of us?

  • Nancy Bandusky

    This is a really good book on prayer, with the goal to pray bigger. While it is a short book, that helps in its goal - get praying and pray big.

    There are five things to pray for:

    1. Pray for focus - focus on God to know God

    2. Pray for hope - hope on Christ's resurrection

    3. Pray for riches - God is our inheritance

    4. Pray for power - trust in God's power

    5. Pray for love - to know God's love

  • Victoria

    Prayer is an incredibly popular topic, likely because so many people struggle with it. When we sit down to pray, we don’t always know what to say or how to approach it at all. As a result, we have many works written to aid us in this area. Alistair Begg adds his voice to the long list in “Pray Big.”

    “This book is not about a doctrine of prayer. It is not a whole theology of prayer… We are going to focus in on Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus,” Begg states in his introductio

    Prayer is an incredibly popular topic, likely because so many people struggle with it. When we sit down to pray, we don’t always know what to say or how to approach it at all. As a result, we have many works written to aid us in this area. Alistair Begg adds his voice to the long list in “Pray Big.”

    “This book is not about a doctrine of prayer. It is not a whole theology of prayer… We are going to focus in on Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus,” Begg states in his introduction. The book focuses on these passages while drawing from multiple other places in scripture.

    Begg speaks on what to pray, a little bit of what to say, and specifically to whom and for whom we pray. 8 chapters, an introduction and an epilogue make up the pages of this book. At the end of each chapter you can find a short, meaningful prayer pertaining to the topic. The chapters cover the dependent and spiritual nature of prayer, praying for focus, hope, riches, power, and love.

    Some may see the title of chapter 5 “Pray for Riches” and express concern, but those who read it will find one of the richest chapters of the book, in my opinion. Begg writes on our great inheritance, and how the greatest gift of God is God.

    The book is full of things one could add to their prayer life, to enhance or enrich it, but there are also things one might wish to rethink after reading, such as the use of the phrase “Be with so and so.” Begg explains it is unimaginative, limited, lacking in spiritual ambition.

    “Pray Big” encourages us to pray for bigger, less material things. The author emphasizes that “All that matters may be brought before God, but we must always bring before God those things that matter most.”

    Overall I found this to be a very beautiful, theologically informed book on prayer. Alistair Begg guides you through praying for bigger things than health and wealth and happiness — to be “filled with his fullness, to be able to grasp the unknowable love of Christ, to live for the treasures of your future inheritance.”

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

  • James Swanson

    There have been many books through the years that have been written on the subject of prayer. There are some that have risen to the level of almost required reading:

    ;

    ; or

    to name a few.

    I think that this little book would fit well on any reader's shelf along with these. Each have their place and in particular Begg urges the Christian to not simply a

    There have been many books through the years that have been written on the subject of prayer. There are some that have risen to the level of almost required reading:

    ;

    ; or

    to name a few.

    I think that this little book would fit well on any reader's shelf along with these. Each have their place and in particular Begg urges the Christian to not simply approach God with our "shopping list" prayers but to use the example of Paul's prayer for the Ephesian church to guide us in our prayer life. They are:

    And

    He expands on these simple prayers of a spiritual father for his spiritual children while writing to them from prison. Begg expands on the themes of the prayers in the following chapters.

    Introduction: Who We Pray To

    1. Prayer is Dependent

    2. Prayer is Spiritual (But Not Impractical)

    3. Pray for Focus

    4. Pray for Hope

    5. Pray for Riches

    6. Pray for Power

    7. Pray for Love

    8. Can All This Really Happen?

    Epilogue: Who We Pray For

    I'll leave the reader to discover what Begg sees in these two prayers of Paul which he included in his letter to them. I'll give a hint with the following quote.

    This book is a fairly quick read if you simply focus on reading the material. However, this is also one of those books that will require a little "chewing on" to grasp the full measure of the topic. I'm sure that I will go back to it again in the future to both review the ideas and to be inspired again to deepen my prayer life with my Heavenly Father.

  • Thomas Creedy

    Regular or historic readers of this blog will know that I’m fascinated by prayer, and though my own prayer life often lags behind my intent, I am keen to develop it, and find books helpful for giving me a kickstart. Alistair Begg’s new little book on prayer, Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle, is the most recent one of these that I have found helpful. Published by the Good Book Company (who kindly gave me a review copy) this is a short book on prayer that takes lessons and reflections from

    Regular or historic readers of this blog will know that I’m fascinated by prayer, and though my own prayer life often lags behind my intent, I am keen to develop it, and find books helpful for giving me a kickstart. Alistair Begg’s new little book on prayer, Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle, is the most recent one of these that I have found helpful. Published by the Good Book Company (who kindly gave me a review copy) this is a short book on prayer that takes lessons and reflections from the prayers of Paul to the church in Ephesus.

    Finish reading my review at my blog:

  • Tina

    My first desire after reading this book was to read it again. Although it is brief it full of truths and scriptures on how to pray, who we are praying to (our heavenly father) and what for we should pray. Whereas we are to pray unceasingly in the Bible we see the prophets and apostles pray for spiritual things much more than practical. Prayer is not simply a laundry list of our needs we give to Jesus but a time we rejoice in all He has done for us and in Him. For example, we don't see Paul pray

    My first desire after reading this book was to read it again. Although it is brief it full of truths and scriptures on how to pray, who we are praying to (our heavenly father) and what for we should pray. Whereas we are to pray unceasingly in the Bible we see the prophets and apostles pray for spiritual things much more than practical. Prayer is not simply a laundry list of our needs we give to Jesus but a time we rejoice in all He has done for us and in Him. For example, we don't see Paul pray for health or new clothes, or even release as much as for peace and grace and that Christians will know the length and depth and width of Christ's love. The importance of the Holy Spirit to helps us pray, is emphasized, by: giving us the power to pray, opening our eyes with compassion to others for Jesus, and knowing what to pray.

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