Praying Backwards

Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name

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In Jesus' Name, Amen." 

Like the closing credits of a movie, these familiar words provide a signal that a prayer has come to an end. But what does it mean to offer our prayers in Jesus' name? Though we say the words, do we really mean them? And how would the content and character of our prayers change if we did?

Praying Backwards introduces believers to the transforming process of beginning our prayers in Jesus' name--not by moving a simple phrase, but by understanding and embracing the meaning behind the phrase. To truly pray in Jesus' name is to reorder our priorities in prayer--and in life--away from ourselves and toward Jesus and his kingdom. It is to pray, "Not my will, but your will be done." It is to pray boldly, expectantly, and persistently. If you want to revolutionize your prayer life, begin by Praying Backwards.


"Across the years I have learned so much from Bryan Chapell, that I thought the laws of mathematics would keep me from learning much more. But it happened again! I never close a prayer without saying in Jesus name, but suddenly I came to see that merely to stack my own agenda for God on top of the word "Jesus" doesn't quite trim the egotism from my conversations with God. Now it is clear, the first word of my prayer should be Jesus. This will keep my selfish needs to influence the Almighty in perspective."--Calvin Miller, author; professor, Beeson Divinity School

"This is the book I have been waiting for! Finally a book on prayer which puts the person of our Lord before the petitions on our lists. What a novel idea . . . prayer as a means of becoming more preoccupied with the beauty of Jesus' name than paralyzed by the burden of our needs! Bryan has given us an incredibly timely and practical study on prayer. He shows us how the gospel moves us from using prayer as a formula for manipulating God, to enjoying prayer as a forum for fellowshipping with our heavenly Father who delights to care for us and bring great glory to his Son, Jesus. If you buy only one book on prayer, I'd recommend this one."--Scotty Smith, senior pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee

"Christians are often perplexed and discouraged by the seemingly few answers to prayer they receive. With his usual careful exposition of Scripture and his helpful applications to daily life, Bryan Chapell tackles this issue head on with a book that should encourage all of us to 'pray and not lose heart' (Luke 18:1)."--Jerry Bridges, author/speaker, Navigators representative

"This book answers questions about prayer that I have pondered for many years. In view of God's sovereignty, I have wondered how some specific verses should be understood and applied. Bryan Chapell has given me the key."--Nancy Prentis, teaching leader, Bible Study Fellowship

"That we all need help in our praying is a Christian truism. In this intriguingly titled book the wisdom of a wise, experienced, and theologically alert pastor-teacher offers help, much help, and nothing but help. Every reader will be grateful for what President Chapell has written."--J. I. Packer, author; professor of theology, Regent College

The Author

  1. Bryan Chapell

    Bryan Chapell

    Bryan Chapell (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is Stated Clerk Pro Tempore at the Presbyterian Church in America. He previously served as senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, and as president of Covenant Theological Seminary. He...

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"A very helpful book. In addition to developing his idea of beginning prayer 'in Jesus' name,' Chapell provides practical encouragement in his chapters on praying boldy, praying expectantly, and praying persistently. It may provide much spiritual stimulus for Christians who yearn for a more Christlike prayer life."--New Horizons