How to Pray


The world-renowned classic has already shown millions that God’s answers come to those who know how to ask. Believing that many prayers are not answered because they are not intelligently offered, Dr. Torrey examines the MOODS, the METHODS, and the MEANINGS of prayer. He considers all the problems and questioning of the sincere seeker, and in answer to them offers an outline for effective praying that is as positive as it is beautiful and inspirational. As Torrey offers, “Prayer, in every care and anxiety and need of life, with thanksgiving, is the means God has appointed for out obtaining freedom from all anxiety and the peace of God which passeth all understanding.”

Key Topics or Truths


This Book is Good For...

This book is great for anyone who has never explored God’s thoughts on prayer in the scriptures. It is a good exploration of prayer throughout the Bible and most often results in a more intelligent approach to talking with God and applying his promises.

How I Use this Book to make disciples

I simply have the disciple read the book asking them to highlight really cool things and things that “don’t feel right.” Torrey’s structured approach, even when right on point, can be challenging to most believers who have been trained to “just talk to God.” There is no doubt that just talking to God is exactly what prayer is — a conversation between us and God. However, disciples often ask God for things he cannot provide. For example, praying, “God, save my brother” is not a prayer that God can answer because God will not take away your brother’s free will. However, disciples can pray that God will soften their brother’s heart, speak to him, or put him in a situation where he is aware of God.

There is no doubt that every disciple can use the scripture and truths that Torrey presents. But, I also use this book to cause critical thinking when it comes to some of Torrey’s methods. I listen to the challenges and questions and most often reply, “Can the truth be applied? Or, is it Torrey’s perspective on the truth? Is there value and verses that back up Torrey’s instruction?”

If your group has difficulty reading, I would read and review the book in sections. However, the book is short enough for disciples to read it and then review the entire text at the end.

This book is a classic. It has a deep history across many generations of believers. I love it because it pushes a very “old-school” version of prayer that stresses structure and discipline in prayer. I don’t love the legalistic flairs of Torrey’s method but I love the conceptual insights that cause me to think, really, think about prayer.

Real Life Story

I was personally impacted by many of the thoughts and concepts as a young believer. Quotes like, “Prayer is God’s appointed way for obtaining things, and the great secret of all lack in our experience, in our life and in our work is neglect of prayer,” and, “All the mighty men of God outside the Bible have been men of prayer. They have differed from one another in many things, but in this they have been alike” changed my perspective on the importance of prayer to learn, hear ahead of time, and to move the Spirit of God to action on behalf of God’s goals.

Know Issues or Controversies

Torrey, who is long gone to the Lord, writes in an old-school way. His approach feels a bit legalistic at times and without caution, disciples could end up with a performance-based prayer method.


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Reuben A. Torrey
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One Week
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How to Make Disciples

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