My 5 favorite books on prayer

As big a part as prayer has played in my life, I have only recently started reading books on it and I’m learning so much!! And I’ll make sure I throw this out there first, the Bible is our ultimate authority on prayer. A lot of my research in the Bible on prayer is in the Fresh Start journal. But I have found some very helpful advice on prayer in books. On the surface, I feel like prayer is a simple topic and then as you start digging, it can get complex and we can have a lot of questions. So today I am sharing my 5 favorite books on prayer (and a few bonuses!) that I would recommend if you want to learn more. 

My five favorite books on prayer | Val Marie Paper1. Too Busy Not to Pray – Bill Hybels

This book was one of the easiest reads and covered so many different aspects of prayer. If you are looking for one book, I’d highly recommend this one as a great broad overview. 

2. Fervent – Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla fires me up for prayer! She focuses on prayer as a weapon. She is bold and passionate about prayer and gave me a revived passion. 

3. A Praying Life – Paul E. Walker

This was similar to Hybel’s book as far as covering many topics on prayer. I thought Hybel’s book was a little easier to read so that’s why I have it first on the list! This was the first book I had read solely on prayer and really enjoyed it and feeling like it answered a lot of my questions.

4. Power of a Praying Wife – Stormie Omartian

My instinct is to talk. I forget the power of praying for my marriage. I read this book years ago and prayed daily for my husband for a while. She offers 31 topics to pray for your spouse so you can pray something different for each day. A few months ago I started back up again using her daily prayers and I’m seeing the Lord answer prayers in my husband’s life that weren’t being changed by nagging. (Go figure! 😉 ) 

5. Prayer – A.W. Tozer

This is actually a compilation of his teachings on prayer. The editor of the book has his thoughts and even questions after each excerpt that is equally challenging. I am not even finished this book but know it will be a favorite. (If my recommendation changes, I’ll be sure to post on Insty and Good Reads!) Lately I have been getting into less contemporary authors and it’s crazy how these writers from so long ago are refreshing my faith. I think we can get used to the same tone and topics that are addressed today and Tozer’s writings are different than anything I’ve read on prayer!

Bonuses:

6. Prayer – Tim Keller

If you are looking for a deep read, Tim is your man. I have to read this book in small chunks and honestly haven’t finished it yet, but I do love the level he talks on.

7. Anything – Jennie Allen

In Anything, Jennie talks about her and her husband making a really bold prayer offering God anything and trusting His plan. Her story and insight gave me such peace to be OK with anything God had for me. I had never experience such a peace with whatever God’s plan was. I reference the highlights often and would definitely put this on your must read list in general!

8. Ordering Your Private World – Gordon MacDonald

This book had a chapter or two on silence and meditation and prayer. The whole book is not on prayer but what he says about it is good stuff.

9. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Peter Scazzero

Same for Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. This book is not on prayer persay but does address it and was really helpful!

The book I couldn’t finish

Please don’t hate me! I tried to read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and didn’t finish it. I was surprised by this because I enjoyed In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. It was actually “inspirational” but at the time, I was looking for more concrete Biblical teaching on prayer. It’s more anecdotal and I kept wishing he had more verses to back up his thoughts because I felt uneasy thinking “I don’t know if this is what the Bible really says.” It could be confusing for new believers and even for not so new believers like me. : /

There you have it!! I hope this helps friends!! If you are looking to dip your toe into teaching on prayer I do reference some of my favorite parts of several of these books in the Fresh Start so that may be a good place to start (pun intended). BUT if you are ready to dive into some books, definitely check these out!! 

And leave a comment if you have any other recommendations! I’m excited to keep learning more on prayer and sharing more of my findings on the blog with y’all!! 

Leave a Comment!!

  • LOL! The whole time I was reading your list, I was wondering if “Circle Maker” would make the cut. Then, there it was on the bottom of the list as one you wouldn’t recommend! I laughed out loud a little, because I have this book, but have only read the first couple of chapters (I’m notorious for starting books and not finishing them) LOL! However, I loved the beginning especially the testimony of the parents who prayed for their children and the woman who committed to praying for her husband and his ministry at 9am everyday!

    On the other hand I haven’t finished the book and totally understand where you’re coming from and appreciate your honest feedback! Seriously, I think sometimes we only share the positives and that isn’t super helpful. I am not interested in finishing the book so that I can see what I think about it as a whole.

    I LOVE Tozer and plan to check out some of your recommended read from my school’s library! Thanks Val for sharing your gift #youdabestgirl

    • Yes! That is awesome! I feel like we definitely have to dig for ourselves so we can make the call. I remember someone telling me a pastor I had been listening to wasn’t good and I prayed about it so I could discover for myself and God gave me a clear answer! Hope God speaks to you in whatever way is best!

  • Thank you for sharing this Val! I often have a hard time digging into prayer because I can’t ‘see’ it being done as I can with reading or journaling, but learning more about it helps to make it more tangible. 🙂

    • Yes!! I was writing out some thoughts to share on insty along those same lines. Everything else is so measurable but prayer isn’t so it’s hard to see the value over things we can check off our list all the time!!

  • I’m reading Fervent now and loving it. I also recommend Marilynn Chadwick’s Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars. Very practical!