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A review on Pete Greig's book 'How to Hear God'

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A review on Pete Greig's book  'How to Hear God'

 

As we begin to make sense of the new post-pandemic world, we long for God’s voice to guide us onward. Pete Greig may just have the answer, says Hodder Faith’s Emily Short.

It was widely reported that in the first few months of the pandemic Google searches around prayer increased significantly as people sought to find meaning and hope in a very unsettling time. Prayer is probably one of the most popular areas of discussion in Christian literature, and its secular cousin, mindfulness, is saturating the self-help market. It’s clear that many people feel adrift when it comes to connecting with what is unseen. I wonder, which book would come to mind first if a customer came into your shop looking for guidance on how to commune with God? Would you have ‘just the book’ to recommend?

On the topic of prayer, there are few writers to rival Pete Greig. Widely known as being one of the Christian world’s most visionary communicators, and having led a non-stop prayer movement for over twenty years, his books on prayer have sold in the tens of thousands. Since it first published in 2019, How to Pray has been one of Hodder’s fastest-selling books and shows no signs of slowing down while The Prayer Course has been used by millions of people around the world to enrich their relationship with God. How to Pray also featured in 2021 as a lead title for The Big Church Read, which introduced the book to hundreds more people across the country, who have since recommended the book to their friends and family in turn. So a huge number of people are waiting for the follow-up to How to Pray

… And here it is! After Pete’s fantastic introduction to some of the core aspects of his teaching on prayer, this new book explores the flip-side of how to pray: How to Hear God. It’s a pressing and perplexing question. When life falls apart and we need God’s comfort; in moments of cultural turmoil when we need God’s clarity; facing formidable decisions when we need God’s guidance – nothing could possibly matter more than learning to discern God’s authentic voice. What’s more, nothing could be more susceptible to delusion, deception and downright abuse, so finding someone who can point us in the right direction with wisdom, honesty and compassion, is crucial.

In his signature refreshing style, Pete offers just these things to anyone seeking to turn what can sometimes feel like a monologue into a genuine conversation with God. He explores the story of Christ’s playful, poignant conversation with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and, as ever, draws deeply from the insights of a wide range of Christian traditions. So it’s a book with a broad audience – he unites the evangelical emphasis on hearing God in the Bible, the charismatic commitment to hearing God in the prophetic, and the ancient art of lectio divina (among other practices and traditions). There’s something about Pete’s thorough grasp of the life of the Church down through history and across the globe that allows this book to transcend what we might deem to be the Christian tribalism of our day.

It’s also Pete’s pastoral experience that makes his writing particularly accessible and down-to-earth. The subtitle for both How to Pray and How to Hear God is the same: A Simple Guide for Normal People. This is, of course, intentional. Throughout his ministry, Pete has walked alongside countless ‘ordinary’ people – that is, people just like you and me – at various stages of their faith journey, sharing their burdens and their joys and offering wisdom and prayer along the way. In How to Hear God as in How to Pray, he weaves together his teaching and guidance with stories from the lives of those he’s met and from his own experiences, which helps readers not only understand his message but also relate to it personally. It’s a real storytelling skill that few possess.

So, when it comes to the kind of customer to whom you could recommend How to Hear God, Jonathan and Melissa Helser’s endorsement says it all: ‘You could give this book to a brand-new believer and they would be immediately empowered to hear God’s voice. Or you could give it to a believer who has walked with God for many years, and they would be inspired and challenged to hear Him in an even deeper way. The body of Christ has needed this book for very long time.’

Together Magazine

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How to Hear God (Paperback)
Pete Greig
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