This is the third book review that I have done from my list of 52 books, which you can find here: 2017 Reading List . Here are the other two reviews I’ve done so far: Book Review: The Doctrine of Repentance, Book Review: What is a Healthy Church Member?
Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, The Prayer Matrix, is only 86 pages, yet it packs a punch. I will be honest, though, this is my first time reading a David Jeremiah book. Overall, I wasn’t struck by anything new or extraordinary in this book. If anything I was struck by how simple it is. I read this book in one sitting, so that tells you the simplicity of the vocabulary.
The author takes Matthew 7:7-11 and breaks it down into three parts, which drives the thrust of this book.
Matthew 7:7–11 (ESV)
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Ask, Seek, and Knock. Jeremiah describes that prayer should be summed up with the acronym A.S.K. A: Ask. S: Seek. K: Knock. “We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all,” Oswald Chambers once wrote. Christ wants us to pray. Paul wrote constantly to churches telling them that he is always praying.
Prayer isn’t the last resort, it is the first.
The rest of the book shows how God gives abundant answers. He doesn’t always give us the answers we want and ask for, but he always answers according to his will. We should be thankful that he says no to us! Imagine a father giving his 2-year-old a gun because the child asked!
Prayer also teaches us and shows us that we depend on God. We cannot do life on our own. We can try to live a good life all we want, but without depending on God to lead us we can never please him. This is where prayer comes in. Ask God what you want. Seek God’s Word to see if what you ask is according to his will. Knock on the door and request that his will be done in your life.
What this book lacks in pages it makes up for in simple, direct words. If you have never read a book on prayer before I would recommend you read this book first. Later this year, I will have read Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life, for the second time and will review that book. Miller’s book, in my opinion, is a better tool for those who have read about prayer and struggle with it.
I will leave you with a verse from a book of the Bible that often gets skipped.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!