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 Paper

1. 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. 

2. A Praying Life – Paul E. Miller

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.

3. 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! 😉 ) 

4. 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!

5. 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.


6. 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!

7. 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.

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!

  • I just found your blog and am so happy I did! You mentioned E. M. Bounds. I am reading his book (E. M. Bounds on Prayer) and it has been very profound and helpful in many ways. It’s close to 600 pages and I’ve only read a little over 200. Some chapters are so good, I want to highlight most words. Have you read this one or a different one of his? I agree that we are in an age of prayerlessness. That’s another important thing to add to our prayer list! I can’t wait to shop for your journals!

  • I just found you today, so I don’t know anything about you. I’m a 77 year old lover of Jesus and His people; always looking for ways to grow. Trying to figure out how to have a practical intercessory prayer notebook – not a prayer journal (I always keep one going). Thought I might find some tips here. I’ve read most of the books you chose as your favorites. I have many, many more (am doing Priscilla Shirer’s FERVENT right now, incidentally). Looking forward to your upcoming book. I felt the same stuff about Circle Maker, although I did read it all twice, trying to figure out how to make it mine. I find that often God teaches someone about a specific way to minister or interact with Him or whatever and the outcome is a book – sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn’t! Anyway, I think you are probably delightful, and I delight in knowing the younger generation is about Father’s business and helping others to do the same. Blessings!

    • Aww you are too sweet! So glad you are here!! 🙂 I have been so encouraged by prayer warriors from previous generations, like Evelyn Christenson, Dick Eastman and more, that I feel so spurred on to encourage my generation in similar, though maybe not in such big ways!

  • Have you read Dangerous Prayers by Craig Groeschel? I loved it so much! I got it in one of the faithboxes. I have found so much in the books I’ve gotten and read.

    • I have it but haven’t read yet! Glad to hear you liked it though! That always helps me pick up a book! 😉