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How to Pray

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  924 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Written a little over a century ago, How to Pray is a wonderful treatise on prayer. The author, Reuben Torrey, effortlessly guides even the most seasoned person of prayer into deeper, more significant prayer. Torrey explains what prayer is, what it can do, and when one should pray. He also describes the hindrances that keep believers from praying effectively, and how with ...more
Kindle Edition, 58 pages
Published (first published 1900)
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Chaplain Walle
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful teaching on how the believer must pray. R.A. Torrey uses a great book to explain how, that being The Holy Bible.
The most important concept is that we must pray constantly and with furver in order to get what we desire. God says "You don't ask so you don't recieve."
I recommend this book to all.
...more
Yibbie
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
Why don’t Christians pray more? Why don’t we see more results? Does it matter ‘how we pray’? Torrey searched the Scriptures and found the answers to those questions, and yes, it does matter ‘how we pray’.
He opens with one of the best-known commands to pray; “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18) As Torrey shows us, every phrase in that verse has a meaning and a purpose, and
...more
Erica
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5⭐ Great little book on the purpose, importance, and plan for powerful prayer! It definitely convicted me and made me think.
B.J. Richardson
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last year I read a couple different contemporary books on prayer and they honestly did not seem all that relevant. Intercessory Prayer was a reread and an excellent look at the theology of prayer and I would recommend it for that. But at no point in the book did I feel the need to put the book down and apply what I was learning. The others were just plain weird.

So in December, I pulled into my kindle a series of books on prayer that I wanted to tackle in January. These were all classical works
...more
Mark Young
I keep re-reading this book (that's not the cover, but I can't find the IVP publication listed) in the hope that it will help me improve my prayer life. It has not done so, as far as I can tell.

A significant part of the material is devoted to why we should pray, and I know all of this. There is also a fair amount about when we should pray, and that becomes problematic--because a couple of times the Bible that Jesus got up early to pray in the morning, the author concludes that everyone should al
...more
Joyce
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We were studying this book in Sunday School before the pandemic hit. I decided to finish it on my own. I may have read this before, not sure. Years ago I read some books on prayer. After a few I decided I should just get down on my knees and do it.

I do enjoy reading a classic which is so pertinent to our day. And getting a perspective on the theology of prayer is good. I can't say the book gave me a formula for getting myself firmly planted in the discipline of prayer, but I am praying a lot mor
...more
Dana Rongione
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Compelling and Convicting Read

When I told someone I was reading this book, their response was, “Well, it must be a short book. After all, to pray means you just start talking.” And that, my friends, is why so many Christians lack power in prayer. While I don’t believe prayer should be over-complicated, if it were really as simple as “just start talking,” why would the Bible have so much to say about it? Why would Jesus have discussed how, when, and for what to pray?

Fortunately, Torrey had a mo
...more
Nathan Albright
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2018
[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Aneko Press.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

I must admit that I was a bit puzzled by this book.  When I read a book on prayer (something that happens fairly often, actually [1]), I have certain expectations about what sort of material will be in it.  Some people focus on prayer as a means to power, others look at prayer in a biblical or historical context, or look at various disciplines related to prayer.  This book, though, looks at praye
...more
Dionne
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
An amazing gem on how to pray. I was able to glean many insights. While I don't think that Torrey or others from his time in history emphasize grace enough, I still got a lot out of it. ...more
Ruby Barrington
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An easy read that goes through all the aspects of prayer. A very useful book.
Perpetual Felicities
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prayer
This Little book on prayer was life changing. Torrey was succinct, inspiring, and unapologetic. There are no excuses for not living a prayer filled life. The whole book feels like an urgent plea for help. Torrey was asking his generation, no begging, them to fill their lives with prayer. Again and again he pointed out the importance of pairing prayer with reading the word of God. Even in sections such as having confidence in prayer and being able to ask God for requests, he always brought it bac ...more
Ryan Hawkins
A great book about prayer. He really inspires prayer, but I think E.M. Bounds is a tad more inspirational. Torrey's book is more about the subject of prayer, while Bounds just convicts and draws one to pray. Torrey does this too, but he is more organized and writing about the subject itself.

For example, in the first chapter, "The Importance of Prayer", he lays out 10 great reasons why one should pray. I will list them because they were so helpful: 1) there is a devil; 2) it is God's appointed wa
...more
Murlee
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure where the author was going with this. I felt the author was a preachers who is very judgmental. The author felt the best thing to do is to pray 24/7. Some people have the gift for that, but majority of people do not. The author looked down on people who want to live their life, but still have an intimate relationship with GOD. I doubt GOD looks down upon me for going to the movies, for reading books that has nothing to do with religion, or for even making friends with people who do ...more
Kez
Mar 16, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While this book had some good principles to share on occasion, it perhaps should have been titled, "How to manipulate God to get stuff from him." There is no mention in this book of prayer or its purpose being anything other than to ask for things... most of them earthly. There is no mention of prayer with God being about relationship with God. No mention of prayer being a way to get God himself. No mention of prayer being a way to worship God and praise Him for who He is... for his glorious maj ...more
Mary Grace
Concise chapters and approachable language on prayer. Though Torrey writes over a century ago, his book is still very significant. How to Pray seems like a small book you can speed through, but I found it helpful to contemplate each chapter for a time before continuing.

noteworthy thoughts from Torrey:
-prayer brings power into our work
-go into the presence of God in prayer - silence, surrender, rest
-pray according to promises of the Word
-the Spirit leads us to pray "according to His will"
-pray w
...more
Lynnette
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prayer
This Little book on prayer was life changing. Torrey was succinct, inspiring, and unapologetic. There are no excuses for not living a prayer filled life. The whole book feels like an urgent plea for help. Torrey was asking his generation, no begging, them to fill their lives with prayer. Again and again he pointed out the importance of pairing prayer with reading the word of God. Even in sections such as having confidence in prayer and being able to ask God for requests, he always brought it bac ...more
Robin Necci
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book!

I found lots of things I will refer back to in this book because it is so thought-provoking with so many things to take into consideration as you pray. I found that we tend to pray selfishly for things we want or things for us...that is not the case at all! I am learning how to be more focused in my prayers that they might be what the Lord would find praise, honor, and glory from and not what I think is needed. I learned that when we don't have our prayers answered it is b
...more
Emma Read
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sound Christian Teaching

I really liked this book. It was a no-nonsense insight into the problems Christians face when they are struggling with their prayer life or feel that prayers remain unanswered. It explores how it is the person who is failing when things don't work out and not God, as the world would have us believe. It gives an insight into how a person has to have the right attitude and intention and explores what the barriers are to unanswered prayer in a matter-of-fact way without any
...more
Sabrina Sims Foster
Illuminating & Inspiring

I must admit, I saw myself amongst those whose prayer lives have been replaced by tv, anxiety, stress, computer... basically self-soothing. I'm inspired to pursue a life of prayer, fasting and studying the Word of God with discipline and passion. Reading this book illuminated the fact that the pilot light had blown out on pursuing my purpose in life, which is to win souls for the Kingdom by shining a light on the darkness that lures us away from receiving the Gift of SALV
...more
Will Bassett
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never read Torrey before this, but I’m thankful that I now have!
What an excellent book on prayer.

I have read a lot on this subject and this has now risen to my number one recommendation to give out to anyone who is wanting to learn and grow in prayer. (Also the RHP classic edition is only a £1, but many and hand them out!)

It’s a short book but it’s broad and deep, while being simple and practical.
Next to EM Bounds ‘Power through prayer’ I think it has become my joint first favourite volu
...more
Kathryn
This book is clearly dated, and Mr. Torrey can be a bit too formulaic with faith in my opinion. However, it is theologically sound, and despite the dated references to the "horrendous" sins of "going to dances" and "visiting the theater", it is still a good read. I has a lot of food for thought, and some very good points to bring to the table. You just have to wade through the old-fashioned wording to get there. ...more
Jennifer Drake Johnston
Blunt and Truthful

This is the first I have read the author. He communicates in a forthright way... not sugar-coating anything. He reminds me a bit of Tozer. Or maybe even Andrew Murray (whom I love reading,) but Torrey has a much more grumpy-old-man kind of way. This is worth a read for everyone - even if you don’t agree with all or like his style, there are truths in here about prayer which should resonate.
Grant Campbell
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God is the same yesterday, today, and in the future. It is a shame that most people today have no understanding of how to pray.

I sought the past to find out how to pray, and the libraries are filled with examples of how to get close to God that is not taught today. Get closer to God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), your spiritual walk will bear fruits the like of which only your imagination can concieve, but your God really does love you.
JennanneJ
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
A good book about prayer - still very applicable. The author only dated himself mostly when disparaging "the theater" (where I suppose now we would refer to Hollywood or media or something) and when he suddenly started going on and on about "revival" (not a concept we talk about much these days).

"Most of us know only little streams of mercy and grace, when we could know rivers of God’s mercy and grace overflowing their banks!"
...more
Maitland Gray
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prayer is something I know is important yet I often fail to do it. Sadly, I think that statement is true for most in our culture today. R.A. Torrey pleads the importance of prayer in our lives, and he shows just how attainable a life of prayer is. Bring yourself before God. Listen and be ready to respond as he leads. "The one who expects God to do as he asks Him must on his part do whatever God bids him." ...more
Rita Mustaine
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple, honest and Open

After many years as a students t whose teaching GS were based on theology, I thought I could never be touched by the beautiful simplicity of this book. I am at a major crossroad in !my life both major life changes and serious surgeries. Felt spirit guided to have ordered this book. Thank you
Laban Schmidt
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have an interest in prayer or really if you are a Christian, you need to read this book. R A Torrey talks about hindrances to prayer being answered, praying Scripture, and the effects of prayer. Definitely a must read!! But have a soft heart!!! He will step on your toes!!! He doesn’t shy away from throwing some punches, which is needed in today’s world.
Jehiel Ortiz
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a good book

This book is practical. Full of bible verses put it in to daily basis. Some chapters could be shorter, but the author explain the same idea two or three times. But in general is a good reading, it has some powerful insights about prayer that everybody should know.
Amber
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pray
Rich with Scripture and full of insights, How to Pray will help you to understand some of the ways that your prayers might get stuck. It's important to be aware of how we pray so that our prayers can grow us closer to God. RA Torrey wrote this book a long time ago, but everything in How To Pray is still relevant today. The book stays straight to the point. ...more
Marcia Bednar
I read this book for my book club. I found it to be very elementary and useful for those who are not used to praying. For seasoned prayers, it was a good reminder of the basics. Also I found the best chapter to be the first one of the two about revivals (the 2nd being more historical). I have read many more practical and more insightful books on prayer than this one. This one was written in 1900.
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Reuben Archer Torrey studied at Yale and in Germany before taking up a pastorate in the United States. As a gifted intellectual, administrator, and Bible teacher, he went on to pastor Moody Church in Chicago and became D.L. Moody's closest associate. In his later years, he traveled the world as an evangelist speaking to millions in Australia, New Zealand, India, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, ...more

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“The one who expects God to do as he asks Him must on his part do whatever God bids him.” 6 likes
“God is deeply grieved by the thanklessness and ingratitude of which so many of us are guilty. When Jesus healed the ten lepers and only one came back to give Him thanks, in wonderment and pain He exclaimed, "Were not the ten cleansed? but where are the nine?" (Luke 17:17, R.V.)
How often must He look down upon us in sadness at our forgetfulness of His repeated blessings, and His frequent answer to our prayers.”
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