17 March 2014

Book Review: The PAPA Prayer

The PAPA Prayer (2006) by Larry Crabb provides a description of a method of relational prayer.  Crabb, who admits early in the book, that he has written little about prayer in the past, indicated that for many Christians, prayer is often difficult. Much of our prayer is focused on ourselves or asking for requests to be filled. Crabb encourages the reader to back up and focus more upon the relationship with God.  The letters in PAPA are an acronym for:

Present yourself to God without pretense.
Attend to how you are thinking about God.
Purge yourself of anything blocking your relationship with God.
Approach God as the "first thing" in your life.

Crabb takes the reader through a reasonably detailed description of what he means by each of these things and how it looks in action.

On the positive side, Crabb is right that prayer is difficult for many Christians. Furthermore, I think he is correct that too often we downplay the importance of relationship in our prayers. Our "first thing" is relationship with God.  All other things may be added, but our relationship with our Papa is primary.

My fear is that, like other books on prayer, this may not have the intended effect. On the one hand, Crabb tries to clarify that this is not a model or magical roadmap to vibrant prayer, but as he writes about it, it is hard not to get that feel.

If you want to learn more about relational prayer, this is probably a really good place to start and I believe all of us can grow in learning more about how we relate to God. 

No comments: