How to Pray

A simple guide for normal people by Pete Greig

I suppose now that you are going to agree with my husband and say that normal people do not read in the half hour they have when they are waiting for their self-tan to dry. Really? Your loss.

Pete Grieg is probably best known for the 24-7 Prayer Movement. This was a sort of non-stop prayer vigil that was meant to stop in the end but actually never did. There are now people praying all over the world at all times because of this movement. If you ever want to look at prayer in a sort of “I wonder if God can answer prayer now?” kind of way then some of the stories in the 24-7 books will blow your socks off. (Or encourage you in your faith as you, quite properly, may prefer to say)

This is a bit different in that it is a kind of manual – about how to pray. Sorry if you had already worked that out at the back there. It’s based around the Lord’s Prayer (as is almost compulsory in prayer manuals) and is written for human beings with jobs and families and lives rather than hermits with loin cloths living on top of a thirty-foot pointy stick.

He starts by making sure we are all aware of our position before God when we pray, which made me cry. It’s about the difference between God being our friend and us being God’s friend and that both are, in fact, true but different. Ha! (Think about it). Then he breaks down prayer into chapters such as adoration, intercession, petition and covering the thorny issue of unanswered prayer as well as Spiritual Warfare (that bit’s not at all woo-woo either). There are bits to follow up online and ideas about running prayer groups. Also, more encouraging stories on answers as well. However, I like that he is open about the fact that his wife’s continuing health issues are a challenge to his faith and I also appreciate that he covers meditation positively rather than the stuff I grew up with which involved demons coming in and sweeping your brain empty with a Eubank or something.

I’m not sure there is anything massively new here but I’m not sure there needs to be, does there? In the end, I think it comes down to the same things it has always come down to. As he says “Keep it real, keep it simple, keep it up” Prayer for normals and helpful for those who would like to re-focus.

Hope everyone had a good week. I have just had a birthday weekend which was a sort of staid bacchanalian feast so it was one you could invite your Nana to, with many, many meals out, visits to the cinema, outstaying my welcome in other people’s residences and generally behaving like someone who should know better. I am now officially pooped but have to scoot off to London in the morning for a quite important conference on Tuesday. I intend to get to the hotel as quickly as possible and lie down almost immediately for approximately fourteen hours and hope that this has a restorative effect. Failing that I will have to try painting eyeballs on my eyelids like in Indiana Jones.

Have a good week



  1. June 10, 2019 / 8:07 am

    My home group leader got this book after hearing PG at Spring Harvest. I’m on the list to borrow it!

  2. June 10, 2019 / 8:09 am

    PS – I read in the half hour waiting for my hair dye to develop. But carefully, so I do not stain the book.

    • lesleyps91
      June 10, 2019 / 8:49 am

      I would have to set an alarm – I get a bit absorbed.

  3. June 10, 2019 / 8:28 am

    Some of the people at our chapel were really inspired and helped by Pete Greig’s ministry when they went to Spring Harvest, and have come home with this book.

    • lesleyps91
      June 10, 2019 / 8:50 am

      I really liked it. Full of reality but also challenged me on not losing sight of what God can do

  4. June 10, 2019 / 8:32 am

    When we were reading Psalms (only the last 50) for the church Bible book club, I kept a copy in the smallest room in the house (and I don’t mean the broom cupboard). A previous vicar told is that was the place where he read the Bible in peace and quiet. Although they had 2 loos.
    This sounds like a good choice for the next ‘quiet room’ book.
    I’m already most of the way through ‘steal like an artist’ on your recommendation; trying to read it slowly rather than swallowing it whole. (my husband complains that I eat too fast and don’t chew my food properly so the metaphor is rather apt in my case)

    • lesleyps91
      June 10, 2019 / 8:55 am

      I am still using Steal Like An Artist. I think there is so much in it – especially as it is basically a picture book. We always have books in the loo. I can’t say we have Bibles in there though – I think because of my slightly weird upbringing which sometimes made full on Calvinism seem bright and breezy. Can’t think of anything wrong with it tho. Whats a Bible book club? That sounds interesting.

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