As I was writing my most recent book, When God is Silent, I had to ask myself a question. Do we really need another book on prayer? C. S. Lewis once observed that he had never come across a book on prayer that was of any use to him. He said that he had seen many books of prayers, but when it came to books about prayer, the writers usually made the wrong assumptions about the reader.
I have often felt something similar. Books about prayer don’t seem to fit my situation. They either assume that I don’t want to pray or that I don’t know how. Neither is really the case. My problem lies elsewhere. I don’t like the way God treats me when I pray. Our conversations seem awkward. Over time I’ve discovered that most people are like me. We pray, sometimes frequently, but there is something about the experience that leaves us feeling uncomfortable. We aren’t sure why.
After giving this question thought over many years, it seems to me that many of the problems we have with prayer have nothing to do with motivation or method. They are the sort of problems that we might describe as relational. How do you carry on a conversation with someone who never seems to talk back to you? Why do we feel like God is sometimes unresponsive to our wishes? In my latest book, entitled “When God is Silent,” I address questions like these and many more.
In the end, the secret to prayer is not a matter of method or even motive. The key to prayer is God Himself. I have written this book to do more than answer questions like these. It is my hope. Indeed, it is my prayer that as you read, you will also gain a sense of God, of His goodness, and the rich welcome that is waiting for you every time you approach Him in the name of Jesus Christ.