I'll say up front that I rate this one 4 out of 5.
Ken Wilson's new work, Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer is one of those works that is needed most by the people who feel they need it least. Growing up in a mainstream conservative evangelical SBC situation, I was taught, at least by example, that usually prayer should start with "Dear Heavenly Father" and end with "In Jesus name, Amen." That was the long and short of it. Occasionally I would hear someone talking about listening more than speaking when you pray, but I still got the feeling it needed to be in between that specific prelude and postlude set.
There is a place for doggedly persistent verbal prayer, I'm sure. But it's more than that. The title will put off many by its use of the word "mystically," but if that bothers you, cover it up with some tape or something. You need this book.
I remember well the lowest point of my life. I had been doing all the things I thought were right. I was doing the quiet time thing for five to seven minutes and I found myself praying a lot. But I still fell into a deep depression and, though it wasn't a direct result of the prayer I was doing, I began to feel a miring sense of frustration with prayer. The cliche that my prayers were "bouncing off the ceiling" became all too real.
I needed what Wilson talks about. Prayer is an instinct, not a chore.
His most helpful point was possibly the most basic. He says that "learning to sit quietly alone in a room makes a big difference in your praying."
What an important statement. I am convinced that most of us go through life without ever really finding ourselves in the moment. We're not really there. We're driving to work, we're running errands before our feet ever hit the ground in the morning. To experience real, powerful prayer, we need to be in the present moment where we can genuinely meet God.
I don't wish to defend Wilson at every point, but there is much valuable guidance one can take from this book. I highly recommend it.