I just finished reading Philip Yancey’s new book: Prayer, Does It Make Any Difference?

I rate it three out of four stars. Like many of Yancey’s books, it’s not an easy read. You have to mine for the gold. And gold can be found! Two chapters located in his section on “Prayer Dilemmas” are worth the price of the book: Chapter 16 Unanswered Prayer: Whose Fault? and chapter 17, Unanswered Prayer: Living With The Mystery.

Here are a few gems . . .

“If I had to answer the question ‘Why pray?’ in one sentence, it would be, ‘Because Jesus did.’ He bridged the chasm between God and human beings. While on earth he became vulnerable, as we are vulnerable; rejected, as we are rejected; and tested, as we are tested. In every case his response was prayer.”

“I remembered reading the account of a spiritual seeker who interrupted a busy life to spend a few days in a monastery. ‘I hope your stay is a good one,’ said the monk who showed the visitor to his cell. ‘If you need anything, let us know and we’ll teach you how to live without it.'”

“When I am tempted to complain about God’s lack of presence, I remind myself that God has much more reason to complain about my lack of presence. I reserve a few minutes a day for God, but how many times do I drown out or ignore the quiet voice that speaks to my conscience and my life?”

One more:

“Peter Marshall, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate, once remarked that God has equipped us to go deep-sea diving and instead we wade in bathtubs. What makes the difference, I firmly believe, is how seriously we take prayer.”

Okay, I need to go pray now . . .