In the Name of Jesus: Power to Pray for People and Places, Ron E. M. Clouzet, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2020, 204 pages, softcover, US$18.99. Reviewed by Stephen Chavez, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Ron Clouzet is passionate about evangelism, and he’s passionate about prayer. Those two passions intersect in his latest book, In the Name of Jesus. Those who share a passion about evangelism and prayer will find in this book lots to inform and inspire.
In two sections, “Power Untapped” and “Power at Work,” the author rehearses familiar themes about prayer: how we don’t pray as much as we should, and how prayer has the potential to change lives. He writes well and convincingly about prayer’s role in our own spiritual growth and in our outreach efforts for others.
The author has assembled an impressive array of stories from the Bible and from real life that illustrate the principles of praying according to God’s will and the results that can be expected. Stories about well-known pray-ers such as E. M. Bounds, George Mueller, Charles Finney, Dwight Moody, John Hyde, and Roger Morneau are told, as well as the author’s own testimonies about the efficacy of prayer.
The last half of the book pivots from prayer as a vehicle for personal Christian growth to the mechanism by which Christians can reach the world with the gospel. In this section the author highlights the seemingly insurmountable challenge of taking the gospel to “every nation, tribe, language and people” (Rev. 14:6).
It is also in this section that the author’s experience as a university professor and church administrator is demonstrated. In the section about prayer intercessors, for example, he offers these practical steps: “get organized,” “secure materials,” “design a plan,” “focus your prayer time,” “set times and places to pray together.” Other practical suggestions are outlined in the sections about fasting and “prayer walking.”
In the last chapter, “A House of Prayer,” the author predicts: “The Adventist Church of the future will, in fact, resemble the church as it was in the first century of the Christian era,” suggesting that churches and institutions of all sizes will touch their communities with the gospel as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
If there’s a weakness in this book, it would be the implication that God waits on us to learn how to pray so that we can accomplish His will. He certainly waits and longs for us to awaken to the possibilities before us. But it’s no one-way street, for He also works in us to desire and do His good pleasure.