Practical Prayerby Jack Kovnas, WestBow Press (www.westbowpress.com), 2011,
226 pages, $17.95 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-1-4497-2383-5
There are many approaches to knowing that God exists, that he is the God of the Bible, and that he is accessible to modern man. Jack Kovnas has approached these questions from the standpoint of prayer and has built a ministry around that approach. This book is a product of his ministry. The book is subtitled “Finding God’s Direction” and deals in a hands-on way with the subject of prayer and how prayer is answered in the lives of Christians. In his promo for the book the author writes “Inside this book you will find a declaration by somebody who learned the value of praying and trusting God — who willingly gave up house and possessions, and then watched in amazement as they returned.”
Atheists frequently claim that prayer is an exercise in futility, and that the fact that prayers are usually not answered in a positive way is a reason to believe there is no God who answers prayers. Many of us as Christians have had to struggle with this issue when we pray for something fervently and with the right motives but do not see what we are praying for happen. What Mr. Kovnas does in this book is to take the reader through a long series of situations where prayers were answered in incredible ways, but not always with ease.
The author quotes and demonstrates a number of biblical statements about prayer. In one section (chapter 9) he engages in a speculative look at how the description of Genesis 1 and the Flood match with scientific information and calls it an epiphany in which God answered his prayer for understanding. He goes from this to the statement, “I learned from practice when and how to pray, not only for help, but also how to test and find God’s will and direction in various matters” (page 62). The book then gives his personal history and shows how that happened and worked out for him.
Atheists will write this discussion off as coincidence, but it would seem to this reader that there are too many situations that came out in remarkable ways for coincidence to be a good explanation. I have had similar experiences in my own life, and we have written about that in this journal in the past. Those who have an interest in prayer need to read this book. Whether your interest is negative or positive you will find it interesting.