I recently had the opportunity to read a book by Mark S. Mirza from CTM Publishing Atlanta call The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles. The Pray-ers is a unique book intended to teach the author about the power of intentional prayer.
I was drawn to the opportunity to read this book because, honestly, I feel I could use some help learning to more intentional about my prayer. In the Preface of The Pray-ers, the author says that the desired outcome of writing the book is that he wants the reader “to learn to pray.”
The book is fiction. It speaks of angels and demons and believable characters, some based on real historical figures. The author is clear in the preface that he does not want the readers focus on the demons but he feels that he is depicting what he believes to be real demons in our lives. And subsequently real angels. But the focus should be on praying and the habit of real prayer in our lives.
Throughout the book, scripture is noted in the footnotes. This allows the reader to see the Biblical reference to which the author states or infers and also allows the reader to dig deeper into the topic. What I thought was interesting is that, to keep focus off the demons the author speaks of and ensures they are not honored in any way, the author does not capitalize their names throughout the book. Quite honestly, I liked this approach but had to get used to it.
There were some editing errors throughout that were slightly distracting, but, overall, they were not serious.
Personally, I would not typically chose to read a book discussing demons and overlords, even if it is a fictional work. But I did like how the demon characters “hated prayer.” They converse about how they don’t like the well-known Biblical characters discussed like Epapthras, Thales, and even the Apostle Paul. The demons discuss the difficulty of their job when trying to bring those strong in their faith in the Lord to sin. They also talk about how easy their jobs are when one is not strong in their faith or weak in prayer.
I like the premise of the book – What might ones life look like when one is strong in prayer. What might actual prayer look like. The book is about 3 people strong in prayer who live in 3 very different time periods. Epaphras, a faithful Biblical minister, a Southern pastor in post-Civil war, and a coach in present time Georgia.
There are a lot of auxiliary characters which can be confusing to track but they are important to the story-line. Additionally, the beginning of the book was a little slow moving. But the last few chapters really got me hooked and, by the end of the book, I found I was eager to see where the next book takes me.
Overall, I liked the premise of The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles. It was very different than what I was expecting and was a most unique approach to Christian fiction.
Check out what the rest of the TOS Review Crew has to say about The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles and be sure to visit the author and the book on social media.
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