Note: before you read this book, you should visit Rachel’s site and read about her daughter’s struggle with MPS. The book is helpful on its own, but knowing some background information about the author adds so much more meaning to its message.
The Sensational Scent of Prayer shares the story of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, as told in 1 Samuel 1-2. In ten short chapters, the book travels through Hannah’s emotions and heart cries, from when she first begs God for a son to when she finally gives that son back to Him. The book is centered around her prayers in the temple, the place where sacrifices and the sweet scent of worship were offered to God.
Prayer is … the glue of communication that holds our personal relationship with God together.
Rachel really digs into the Biblical account, and you can tell she’s spent some quality time studying it out. She weaves together the cultural background of Hannah’s time with theological nuances that are relevant for us today. She mentions some of the original Hebrew words as she focuses on different aspects of Hannah’s prayers. She draws parallels between Hannah’s raw emotion — and similar emotions we might experience in our lives today (agony, bitterness, grief).
Prayer is … the sweet essence of His presence in our lives and it allows us to be made a memorial for His glory.
The Sensational Scent of Prayer is more devotional than Andrew Murray’s Lord, Teach Us to Pray, and a bit lighter reading than J. C. Ryle’s A Call to Prayer. But it is focused on Scriptural truth, and it stirs the heart to a deeper quality of communication with God. And it would be a worthwhile companion to any personal Bible study on prayer.
The book is a short one, and easy to read quickly — although you might benefit from taking it a chapter at a time, and really mulling over the truths shared in there, before moving ahead. I found myself highlighting a lot of points, and noting them down for future reference, and really benefited from reading it more slowly.
Prayer is … an opportunity to allow Him to control the opposition and give relief from the oppression.
I would recommend The Sensational Scent of Prayer if you want something to recharge your prayer time. I would recommend it if you’re desperate for peace in the midst of an emotionally trying situation. And I would recommend it as a continuation of your own Bible study about prayer.
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Or do you have another favorite book about prayer?
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