So here it is , it has been a long time coming… but precise I must, this wonderful book : “No Easy Road” by Dick Eastman.
Let me say at first that I found the book a slow burn, it was indeed not an easy road for me ….- not because it is not interesting but I couldn’t ‘eat it up’ like other books. It is very deep with a lot of subheadings and dense in places. Whilst , I came across some wonderful insights into the road of prayer, I think the book is heavy on referencing other great authors , and ministers , some in repetition – at least that’s what I thought . Either this is correct or I was tired when reading it. Despite that little niggle, I learned some new things about stalwart men of God eg Praying Hyde , Spurgeon and many of the others that I was already familiar with before. What it did for me was to help me review my own prayer life and the things which weary me and hinder me from success at times. I could see how the thief of time has robbed me over the years, in periods which are dryer than others. I was helped to see how I might refocus.
My book is now overwritten with pen and highlights and footnotes which shows how many of the new points, I grasped and got excited about , intent on necessary change in certain areas.
The book is essentially about prayer, the things that hinder us from taking that road and the things which might help drawing on the successes of other prayers. I don’t think it is a book for beginners in its style. It charts the successes of great prayer warriors that have gone on before and the reason behind their successes in the things they prayed for.
Quoting Charles Spurgeon, the author reminds us that ‘prayer is an art’ and can only be taught by the Holy Ghost. I have witnessed this in a close family member and it was so precious to see and hear. Spurgeon had urged that we must ‘pray for prayer -pray til you can pray’ . This goes with my own often used mantra : ‘pray as you can, not as you can’t ‘ you can only grow from there. Clearly if you don’t pray , you will never learn, nor grow in the gift – this is what the author reminds throughout the book.
Taking the reader through the stages , the peak, the plateau , hidden cove of holiness( I liked the mental picture of that) , the mountain of self will, the bridge of balance , burdens outlook and trials end , the author seeks (within many subsections ) to help us review our own ‘trip to Gethsemane’. He says prayer is a sovereign remedy and limitless, if we learn out to tap into the power and majesty of prayer. Those words resonated for me. If you ever listen to a great prayer, you can actually feel the majesty. No
In a world where all seek power and fame, the author says ‘real power can only be found in prayer and the prayers that we pray are eternal, they never die even after our own demise. He calls it ‘deathless prayer’ which I found an awkward title …. but what he means is that prayers live on beyond us. Quoting Charles Allen , the author reminds us that ‘the real tragedy of most people is that they want so little , they are satisfied with almost nothing’. May God help us to be more earnest in prayer.
The book is really very rich and as you can see, difficult to precise without falling into chopping out big chunks of quotes , so I will stop here . I would however highly recommend having this book in your hand , ready to read and to reference , not just stuck on your shelf or amongst your other piles of unread books… ie if you are serious about prayer and intercession if you are teaching others about prayer but i don’t think it is a book for new converts or people not used to reading books.
That said, (and as an avid reader and teacher) the book is very encouraging, highlighting the necessary fellowship with the holy spirt and ministry to (and with) the Lord Jesus Christ in our own ministry of prayer. The author ends in practical tips for improving in our prayer life , when , how often , where etc, which again I would highly recommend and for you to pass on to others.
I may return to do some tweaks on this precise and to perhaps do more justice to it, but these are my early thoughts for now.
God bless you in your many trysts.
Evangelist Linda J Clifford-Hayes