Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Too Busy Not To Pray

by Bill Hybles

This was a very good book and I'm extremely glad Jon suggested I read it. I've struggled with prayer, um, my whole life. Sometimes I'm "good" at it. Sometimes I'm "bad" at it. But what does it mean to be "good" at prayer anyways? Does it mean we should get on a schedule? Same time same place every day? Does it mean we should have a step by step itinerary? Does it mean we should be praying "all the time" because life is so busy we don't have the luxury of being able to sit down for 10 or 15 minutes? This book goes into all these little details and more. But in pieces. Chapters. Bite size pieces.

My goal was to read one chapter a day which meant it should have taken me 15 days to read this. But of course, some days I missed my quiet time and then a few weeks went by when I had just a few chapters left to finish the book. Normally, I would have felt guilty for putting my quiet times on the back burner which then would have caused me to stay even farther away from my quiet times so I wouldn't disappoint myself anymore. Instead, this time I made the decision to sit down and write a prayer. It felt different writing it rather than thinking it, whispering it or saying it out loud. It was short and I felt guilty because I didn't know what to say. I wasn't feeling emotional or extremely passionate about talking to God or writing in general. So I kept it simple and blunt, confessing that I had been a bad friend. I asked for forgiveness not out of guilt but because the only way my heart could begin to open back up was to confess the most obvious wall standing between me and God.

I have learned so much these past few months about the "wrong" and "right" ways to do prayer. I learned there is a right way. And there is a wrong way. If you are struggling in any way with prayer, if you can relate to anything I have just said or you simply have questions in regards to prayer, I highly recommend this book. There are also study questions after each chapter to help you meditate on what you read or to be used in a small group. I hope you get as much out of this book as I did, if not more.

Too Busy Not to Pray is sprinkled heavily with Bible verses that are easily related to the situations presented in the text. Bill Hybels is currently the founder and senior past of Willow Creek Church in South Beach, Illinois. This church has an average attendance of over 17,000 people every week. Their mission statement has much to do with the phrase, "people matter to God." Their mission statement says,

"Willow is committed to carrying on Christ’s mission by reaching out to those who are far from God, coaching those who follow Christ by equipping them for their spiritual journey, and unleashing unprecedented levels of compassion and justice into our broken world."

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