Review of “5 Things to Pray for Your World”

Prayer can be difficult at the best of times.  But praying for the entire world can seem especially daunting.  This is the theme that Rachel Jones addresses in her latest book, “5 Things to Pray for Your World.”

Helpfully, we find that we don’t have to pray for the entire world all at once. Each section of the book is broken down into three parts: Your Community, Your Nation, and Your World.  Within each of these there are sub-sections which deal with more specific areas (prayer for local schools, politicians, missionaries, and so on).

The real strength of this book is the wide array of areas that it covers.  There are chapters on prayer for everything from natural disasters and terror attacks to human trafficking and emergency services.  The section about praying for a “Post-Christian country” is especially good, particularly the points about having doubt in human wisdom and humility before God.  However, as the focus is spread so wide, there isn’t a huge amount of depth within each of the various sections.  Much more could be said, for example, on how and why to pray for those who are poor and marginalised.  But then that’s not really the purpose of the book.  You won’t see an extensive or fully formed theology of prayer here.  But you will find a very useful and challenging guide which will encourage you to pray practically for the world around you.

It’s a valuable resource, especially in small group contexts.  And I really admired the attempt to keep Scripture at the forefront of prayer.   If you’re looking for an accessible, Bible-based, and deeply practical guide to praying for your world, look no further.

Michael Shaw is the Editor of Cornerstone Network.  He was formerly a Broadcast Journalist and Associate Producer at the BBC where he directed short films for ‘The One Show’ (BBC 1).  He is currently studying Theology at Oxford University.

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