Book review by Carolina Shindy and Nelli Plokhov
Review by Carolina Shindy:
Albert Mohler expands on the individual aspects of the Lord’s Prayer which we all memorized as children in Sunday School. Before I read the book, I was not expecting much from it, I thought “what more could be taken away from a power prayer that Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray by, it is pretty simple.” Boy was I wrong! There were concepts that I already knew, but after finishing the book I was able to look at the prayer from a different perspective.
There were many parts of the book that I liked, the first thought that struck me was that prayer sometimes become mundane, we say it without thinking, or we have the wrong intentions with prayer. I’ve sometimes felt this way, but I was never able to comprehend why this happens, Mohler was able to unpack this thought further. He explains by saying that prayer can become mindless sentences we put together to sounds good before the congregation or bible study group. Words are being spoken, but not comprehended with our mind and heart.
After teaching the disciples to not pray like the hypocrites and Gentiles, He tells them the prayer that they should learn, which will help guide them into a powerful prayer life, a backbone if you say. The sentence that starts the prayer off is one I never gave a second thought, but after Mohler unpacks these words, it gives such depth and meaning to the rest of the prayer.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
The prayer starts off with an important concept that we must understand. We do not hear the word hallow used very often anymore, but when we are asking God to be hallowed we are asking to see him in full glory that day. To “hallow” means to show himself be holy. The second half of the phrase ends with “your name”, this is important because a name holds all of our dignity, honor, and who we are as people, a title that people call us. The same goes for God, if we say his name, and want to see him be holy in all that we call him, he will show himself in all his holiness, greatness, mercy, love and everything else that he embodies. We are proclaiming all that God is when we say the first sentence of the prayer.
Mohler uses easy words and biblical concepts to explain why prayer is important, how it can become mundane and why it is taught to the disciples by Jesus himself. The book gives in depth explanation and comparison in seven quick chapters. After reading this book you will understand the depth of prayer, and learn how to deepen this crucial component of walking with the Lord.
Review by Nelli Plokhov
The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down by R. Albert Mohler Jr. is a short but powerful book that unpacks the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) in a way that will resonate in your mind.
Growing up in a Christian family, I can recite ‘the Lord’s Prayer’ by heart. If someone were to ask me to explain this prayer to them before I read this book, I do not believe that I would do it justice. This book helped me understand the meaning and power of this prayer a bit more.
Mohler begins deciphering the passage by focusing on verses six through nine, where Jesus teaches his disciples how not to pray. Prayer can unintentionally become routine or common for some Christians. Jesus tells His disciples that when they pray, they should not be like the hypocrites or not to heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do. Whenever His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, Jesus said “pray then like this:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
(Matthew 6:9-13 NASB)
Throughout the book, the author unpacks this prayer in detail to help us, the readers, fully understand what it means in our daily lives. Did you know that when praying “give us this day our daily bread” it shows that our appetites are to be brought before the throne of grace? That is just one of many points I took for myself when reading this book.
Toward the end of the book, Mohler writes “if you have ever been tempted to think that the gospel is nowhere present in the Lord’s prayer, think again!” (Mohler, 90). After reading this book I can confidently say that statement is nothing but the truth. It has helped me, as a believer, see the gospel in this well-known prayer and to understand how revolutionary this prayer is in my life.
If you would like to understand this prayer, our Father and His Son Jesus Christ, then I highly recommend this book to you. It will strengthen your faith in the Lord and help you to comprehend what you are saying when you pray this prayer. It also provides many practical examples to help Christians to not only understand this prayer but to practice it in their daily walk with the Lord.
R. Albert, Mohler. Jr. (2018). The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution. Fidelitas Corporation.