As part of my “Favorite Books” series that’s been running, I’ve asked some other bloggers to share some of their favorite books. The first guest post is by Elizabeth of DogFur and Dandelions. I “met” Elizabeth this summer and enjoy her thoughtful posts that encourage Christ-centered living.
First, I want to thank Sheila for giving me this opportunity to share with you all. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her over the past few months, and love this new site of hers – in fact, I’ve already read several books recommended during her 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads series.
When she asked me to contribute to this series, I immediately knew which books I wanted to share with you. These are some of my favorites; they have each influenced my relationship with God in tremendous ways. Each of these book has helped me cultivate a greater intimacy with Him by encouraging a more consistent devotional life, instructing me towards better communication with God, and and exhorting me to remain faithful in those things despite the difficulties of life.
A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy with God Through a Daily Devotional Life by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
This has been by far one of the most influential books for guiding me to a deeper, more meaningful time with God. It helps build a foundation for “why” we need to cultivate intimacy with God. It offers instruction and exhortation through Scriptural examples and principles, patterns for establishing healthy devotional habits, and practical suggestions for overcoming hindrances (such as fatigue, dry spells, busyness). Especially helpful are the relevant application questions at the end of each chapter. I consider this a foundational book for learning how to increase the quality of your time with God.
Lord, Teach us to Pray by Andrew Murray
Prayer is a crucial part of cultivating intimacy: it is the core of our communication with God. But we don’t always know how to pray, do we? Andrew Murray’s classic work on prayer delves into the details of why and how we should pray. It considers two passages in particular – John 4:23-24, where Christ speaks of worshiping the Father in spirit and truth; and Matthew 6:6-13, when Christ teaches the disciples how to pray. This book offers excellent inspiration for a more intense and biblical prayer life.
The Sensational Scent of Prayer by Rachel Wojnarowski
When we face times of emotional turmoil, our prayer time often suffers and we lose some of that intimacy with God. Hannah’s prayers in 1 Samuel 1-2 – one begging God for a son, the other offering that son back to God – give us an example to follow during those difficult times. Despite the different cultural and historical aspects, Rachel’s book draws parallels from Hannah’s life to our lives today, and offers guidance for cultivating greater intimacy with God, not just despite but because of those trials.
Finally, after establishing healthy devotional patterns and striving for a higher quality of communication with God, how do you continue in that intimacy? Discouragement, anger, worry, fear, discontentment: these all frustrate our souls and introduce “noise” in our relationship with God. But this book reminds us that God is more than enough, and that believing in His sufficiency is the only way to quiet those “noise-makers” and enjoy continued intimacy with Him.
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