Crossway Book Reviews

Book Review: Prayer by John Onwuchekwa

John Onwuchekwa has written a 100 page treatise that is equal parts practical strategy and passionate appeal for the church to be once more a house of prayer.

This thin tome is called, Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church. I was provided a digital copy of this publication by Crossway Books for the purpose of review.

Onwuchekwa writes in a casual style that is engaging, frank, and convincing. This book covers the who, what, where, when, and why of corporate prayer. It is filled with memorable witticisms, relatable analogies, and profound one-liners.

I have to say that I was caught off guard by the candid style of Onwuchekwa’s writing, but quickly found it warmed what can be a cold and pious topic— prayer.

And that is just the point of the book– to pump the life blood back into prayer, to take away visions of singular monks muttering in stone cellars, and to replace those images with a scene of holy siblings giving passionate, plainspoken talk to our Father within the rooms of the home church we love.

Onwuchekwa does not take prayer for granted. He recognizes that many people are intimidated by prayer. There are Christians who love God but prayer is a foreign language that they would never attempt to speak in public.

Luckily, prayer is supposed to be taught, and Jesus teaches it as the author takes care to address.

And Onwuchekwa teaches leaders how to orchestrate a culture of prayer in their church bodies.

I found myself more and more excited about prayer meetings as I read this book. The fever pitch of this was the last chapter, which is fully dedicated to the argument that corporate prayer is an act of evangelism.

Prayer comprehensively details the function of prayer in the mechanics of unity.

Beyond argument and to delivery, this book is highly understandable. Every description is deep. Onwuchekwa uses mnemonic devises and systematic descriptions to take the information he provides from instructional to actionable.

I found two features of Prayer especially helpful. One was a novel and inspiring explanation of the well known acronym ACTS, and the second was the conclusion that serves as an index of “prayer meeting pitfalls” and how to avoid them.

ACTS: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication is a common discipleship tool. Onwuchekwa manages to speak on each topic with an awe that freshens and inspires.

The conclusion is functionally a list of warnings and solutions to keep a burgeoning prayer culture on track. Onwuchekwa mentions in the introduction of the book that he was a consultant in the past, and this final passage utilizes his aptitude in coaching.

Take it to heart and put it to practice; Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church is an invaluable equipping resource for the church that desires to grow together and go together to reach the nations.