Mike Cope, one of the many fine preachers I’ve heard in my life, agreed to write a post about Lynn Anderson’s new, excellent book on prayer and the Psalms: Talking Back to God: Speaking Your Heart to God Through the Psalms
. This book on the Psalms is a beautiful examination of an honest heart probing into the heart of God through prayer.
What have the Psalms taught you about prayer?
Here is Mike Cope’s brief review:
I once attended a dinner honoring Lynn Anderson, a beloved minister in Churches of Christ who preached at the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene for nearly two decades. One of his sons gave this tribute: “A large part of my dad’s brain is complete mush. But there’s about 20% that is as brilliant as anyone you’ll ever meet.”
Well said! Lynn is renowned for being unable to locate his notes . . . or his keys . . . or his notes about where his keys are. But he knows the good news and has lived it out as a blessing to others.
I was blessed to follow Lynn at Highland. During my nearly two decades of preaching there I saw up close the powerful impact of the message and life of this Canadian-turned-Texan. Since then, he’s continued speaking, writing and leading Hope Network Ministries — devoted to mentoring and equipping church leaders.
Lynn’s newest book is Talking Back to God: Speaking Through Your Heart to God Through Psalms. He writes during a time when he’s battling lung cancer; but this material isn’t just about that struggle. Rather, it flows from a life in the Psalms — memorizing them, praying them, and holding onto them during times of doubt.
Too many Christians want to perform what Eugene Peterson called a Psalmectomy. They want to edit out rough psalms, and reduce the remaining ones to feel-good devotionals.
In this powerful book, Lynn refuses to do that. He — like the psalmists — refuses to cave in to the clamoring for quick solutions and high-voltage experiences and focuses instead on a rugged, determined, faith-formed pilgrimage toward God.
Three blurbs on this book:
For over three decades, Lynn Anderson has nourished my soul and directed my path. When he speaks, I listen. When God speaks, Lynn listens. In this book, he teaches us to do the same, taking us to the wellspring of worship: the Psalms. –Max Lucado, bestselling author
The book in your hand will tell you something you like and something you don’t like. It will tell you that there are no short cuts and five-minute magical routines that will automatically usher you into spiritual formation land. But it will also tell you this: there is only one way to grow in our relationship with God and that is to pray, and the one sure method of learning to pray is to pray with the Psalms. In the middle of your Bible is a collection of prayers; God gave them to you to learn how to pray. –Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
Talking Back to God is at once an eloquent defense of the Psalms, an inspirational narrative of a great man of God, a practical guide to personal prayer, and a soaring celebration of God’s faithfulness in times of crisis and trial. –Darryl Tippens, author of Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life