When the opportunity to review The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles written by Mark S. Mirza and published by CTM Publishing Atlanta arose, I was quick to jump right on it. I mean, I like to read and I like prayer, so I thought it would be a perfectly simple task to get through the pages of the book. And then the book arrived. Beginning with the opening pages that describe what the book is -- and what it isn't -- and continuing throughout the chapters, I have been challenged. That simple task? Not so simple. Because, if anything, reading a book about people who pray -- people who TRULY devote their lives to prayer and not just the hit-and-miss prayers at supper and in times of distress -- will make you take stock of your prayer life in a completely new way. And you may not like what you see.
For review purposes, I received the physical paperback book (you KNOW I love the feel of paper in my hands) and there is an ePub available for download if reading digitally is your cup of tea. Either way, I want to recommend that you get a copy and begin reading as soon as possible. Just know it will challenge what you know about yourself -- and how you feel about the time spent on your knees or in your closet before the FATHER. The Pray-ers is a novel, but it is so much more than that. It's Christian fiction packed with Christian truth. It's also a guide to prayer and an encouragement tool for people who want to do more than say a short prayer as they rush out the door or head off to bed. This book aims to teach what prayer is. It will encourage you to become a PRAY-er: one who PRAYS Heaven down. And shouldn't we all? Not only is The Pray-ers all of those things, but it is a reference manual for Scripture that points you directly to GOD's Word on every page.
Unlike the way I read most novels, I read The Pray-ers with pen in hand. I did that so that I could underline passages that spoke directly to my heart because I knew that I needed to remember. I also read it with my Bible close at hand so that I could look up and mark the Scriptures referenced as I read. (See what I mean? Prayer and Bible study all written right into the pages together. Talk about good for the soul.)