The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down by Albert Mohler: a Book Review
I always feel like I could learn more about prayer. While it is one of the simplest things to do, it can also feel like one of the most difficult. Every now and then—when I am feeling especially lousy in my own prayer life—I will pick up a book about prayer and read it hoping for rejuvenation. Typically, books on prayer are either very motivating or they fall very flat. I am happy to say The Prayer that Turned the World Upside Down by Albert Mohler is the former.
I had to memorize the Lord’s Prayer as a soccer player. We would recite it before every game. I found out my wife also did this ritual on her soccer team. Most of us are probably pretty familiar with the prayer, but the beauty of Mohler’s work is that he helps us see the prayer with fresh eyes.
In The Prayer that Turned the World Upside Down, Albert Mohler takes the reader through the Lord’s Prayer and shows how it is both powerful and revolutionary. A few months ago I reviewed When We Say Father by Adrian and Steve Rogers, which also dealt with the Lord’s Prayer. Mohler provides the more rich and compelling treatment of the subject and I would highly recommend reading him first.
Mohler says we can learn a lot about someone’s theology just by how they pray (10-11). The Lord’s Prayer is Jesus teaching us theology. He’s teaching us how to pray. If Jesus is giving a model prayer and He’s the Son of God, shouldn’t we study it? Shouldn’t we seek to emulate and understand the prayer our Savior gave to us as the model prayer? Mohler says, “It [the Lord’s Prayer] stands at the very center of the Sermon on the Mount and so should stand at the very center of our lives as Christ’s followers. For this and many other reasons, Christians need to regularly revisit the rich theology of the Lord’s Prayer” (18-19).
Before he begins, he lays out the purpose of prayer. “We pray to seek communion with God… God is the reward He gives to His people” (31). Line by line Mohler masterfully takes the reader through the Lord’s prayer showing the prayer’s power and revolutionary significance.
In the end, he helpfully reminds us that the church is corporate and we don’t pray this prayer in a vacuum. “We never pray this prayer alone, but with all Christendom, and we never have to wonder if this prayer is pleasing to God. Christ gave it to us! And yes, we know that God has heard our prayer when we pray like this” (172).
Whether you’ve been a Christian for a long time or you new to Christianity, Mohler’s explanation of this prayer will undoubtedly teach you something. This is the book on the Lord’s Prayer that you’ve been looking for. In it you will find challenge, encouragement, and comfort. You’ll realize that when Jesus taught his disciples (and us) to pray, He wasn’t playing it safe.