Book Review – A Praying Church

The weekly prayer meeting is the gauge of the spiritual health of a church. – Dennis Gundersen

Available Online

The sovereign purposes of God can be difficult to understand. However, there are times when we are going through a difficult time and the right prompt or post brings a word of encouragement to the heart.

With all that has recently transpired in the world with Covid-19, I have done a great deal of reading. This has also been a time where the Lord has burdened my heart more than ever for the need of prayer in the local church.

Being an avid reader, I have read many books on the matter of prayer through the years. Dennis Gundersen though points out in the first chapter that books actually dealing with the prayer meeting itself are rare. Personally, I cannot ever remember seeing or reading a book about prayer meetings until I purchased this book.

Our family had the privilege of meeting Dennis Gundersen many years ago when he pastored a Bible church near Tulsa, Oklahoma. He owns Grace & Truth Books.

The book was brought to my attention by one of our contributors, Sony Elise, when she read a chapter of the book online. The first chapter alone is worth buying the book.

Sadly, many churches are doing good to have one service a week and rarely do churches include a time of corporate prayer. Our country is in a mess and we need to implement the recommendations of this timely book and get back to prayer — personal prayer as well as corporate prayer.

The book is only 170 pages and could easily be read in a couple of settings. It contains six chapters taking the reader through the first 70+ pages of the book. The remainder of the book is 30 short devotionals on prayer. These devotionals can be used by church leaders and teachers as an aid to helping restore corporate prayer in local assemblies.

The Chapters cover —

1. The Priority of Meetings for Corporate Prayer
2. Everyone Together: Pray for Me, and Me, and Me
3. How Should We Pray in Prayer Meetings
4. Proposals for Focusing a Prayer Meeting
5. A Biblical Case for Regular Prayer Meetings
6. Prayer Meetings and Those Who Lead Them

Personal Recommendation: Purchase this book. You will be glad you did. It will challenge you, but it will also encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

Pastors and church leaders, I will end with a recommendation from the back cover of this book written by Derek Melton, a pastor in Oklahoma.

“The prayer meeting is the most necessary but neglected facet of Divine worship. Dennis Gundersen has written a practical and biblical guide to assist pastors in implementing or improving their corporate prayer meetings. I highly recommend it.”

A Praying Church, subtitled “The Neglected Blessing of Corporate Prayer”, can be purchased at SONY ELISE CHRISTIAN BOOKS.

Quotes (544)

Puritan Devotions Take notice, that it stands as a blot in the reputation of the Corinthians, that they were altogether for a gospel that should cost them nothing. Corinth was the most convenient, and so the most frequented, port of trade in all Greece. The inhabitants are said to have been very wealthy, proud, and voluptuous. They had abundance to spend upon themselves, but could find nothing for Paul, while he resided among them, and preached the gospel to them. . . . It is a sad word, but too frequently experienced, that a faithful minister of Christ may labor, and yet live in want, in a wealthy city.

– George Hammond

Leading family worship and being the priest of your household. How?

I recently finished reading a fantastic book on family worship entitled The Family Worship Book by Terry L. Johnson. It was a great help in providing the reasons and resources to begin a daily family worship time (including creeds, catechisms, psalms, hymns, etc.). And although I highly recommend it, even after reading this book I still felt at a loss as to how to incorporate this into our home.

My family has recently begun practicing a family worship time but I still have a gnawing feeling that we’re just winging it. A typical evening devotion with the family goes like this:

Reading a few pages from a Bible-based childrens book like this childrens book on Noah’s Ark and this childrens book on Pilgrim’s progress.

Then singing a hymn.

Reading from Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs

Then reading a chapter of the Bible.

Then prayer.

I have recently discovered that I am not alone in this quizzical inability to properly facilitate a family devotion time. So it is my intention with this post to ask for suggestions, tips, and pointers from DefCon readers who do family devotions. I hope that the comments on this thread can benefit you and your family as well as me and my family.

Book review: “The Family Worship Book” by Terry L. Johnson

I recently completed The Family Worship Book by Terry L. Johnson. I found it to be a fantastic help in providing the reasons and resources to commit to a daily family devotion time (this, of course, is not at the exclusion of living every aspect of our lives as Believers not just during Sunday mornings and family devotion time).

This book (from a Reformed slant) has many resources contained within so these numerous reference sources are at your fingertips. Some of the things it contains are the Psalter, hymns, creeds, the children’s catechism, the shorter catechism, and a yearly Bible reading plan.

The chapters of this (almost 200 page) book include:

– Introduction to Family Worship

– Making the Commitment to Family Worship

– Outline for Family Worship

– Order for Family Worship

– A Sample of Family Worship

– Family Resources

– Historical Resources

– Family Psalter/Hymnal

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a wealth of solid resources for family worship time. I highly recommend it for those who are seeking to begin (or improve) their family devotion time.

You can purchase the book here.