This book is like a cosy wee chat with the best kind of friend; the one who will support and encourage you, but also insistently challenge you to be a better person. Or in this case, a better pray-er. It is undemanding, yet skewering. It is kind, yet persistent. It is very well-written, and constantly leads the reader back to a conversation with God.

Through 14 chapters, Hardyman deals with most of our excuses for why we don’t pray as well or as often as we should. It is a book ideally suited for reading with a friend, or with someone who is exploring faith in Jesus for the first time. However, I challenge even the most mature Christian not to see echoes of themselves in some of the examples. Indeed, one of the most attractive characteristics of the book is the author’s willingness to share his own fears and failings, from sermon preparation to marital harmony. It makes his message even more approachable, but he never sinks into self-pity or false humility.

Of all the things to enjoy about this book, I particularly appreciated the sections which describe a conversation between a Christian who is struggling, and a more mature Christian friend. They offer a great example for anyone in pastoral work to use when discipling people who struggle to pray, and they are equally helpful if you are reading the book as that person who doesn’t find it easy to talk to God.

There are a multitude of books on prayer available, and many are excellent. Where this one excels, however, is in its approachability. If you give this book away to someone, you can be sure they will be in safe hands.

Miriam Montgomery, Free Church Books