Torrey’s book is a helpful and challenging book for those struggling in their prayer life. It is written with warmth, clear structure and helpful application. However, I would warn Torrey can use texts out of contexts. Nevertheless, with discernment, this book is a real challenge from a man clearly dependent on prayer. The audio book by Hovel Audio is excellently produced.
The Argument of the Book
Torrey seeks to show why prayer is important and to give some guidance for how to pray effectively. He also gives a reasonable amount of space to the role of prayer in revival.
Primary Audience & Purpose
This book was written in the 19th Century. It is a practical guide for lay Christians aiming to teach them how to pray according to the will of God.
Literary Features of the Book
Torrey structures his book in a very helpful way, with his chapters all covering one theme and with each them broken down into successive parts. He illustrates his book with examples from the Bible and from real life. His writing is warm and quite easy to read.
I listened to Hovel audio’s production of this book. It is read expressively and clearly and last just under two and a half hours.
Is it Biblical?
Torrey’s expositions are a mixed bag. There are some real gems in this book, well worth reading to find. However, there are some occasions when I noticed verses taken completely out of context. Moreover, I am unsure whether Torrey’s views on revival and the filling with the Spirit are true. I am not saying he is wrong, I am just saying I do not know whether scripture asserts the same view (that is that persons can be filled with the Spirit post-conversion in a way beyond the indwelling at conversion).
Does it Apply Truth?
Torrey’s book is deeply practical. He applies scriptures wonderfully and challenges prayer lives. He also illustrates from real events to demonstrate the effects of prayer in this manner.
Is it Christ centred?
Yes, to an extent. Torrey does rely on the gospel. Although he doesn’t state it explicitly, he discusses how the work of Jesus impacts on prayer. He also uses the Lord’s prayer life as the greatest example for ours. (Read it for free, Buy the production)