My latest review, The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles written by Mark S. Mizra and published by CTM Publishing Atlanta, is the first book a brand new Christian historical fiction series.
The author of the book, Mark S Mizra is the founder of Common Thread Ministries which focuses on helping people, churches, and ministries develop their prayer lives. He teaches that the Word of God should be our focus on why we pray what we pray.
The Pray-ers Book 1 Troubles, is a 372 page paperback book. It is also available as an ebook. The story focuses on the lives of three main prayer heroes in three different periods of time in history. In the first century we have Thales who is the nephew of Epraphus. In the 19th Century we meet Alexander Rich, an itinerant preacher and friend of D.L. Moody, and in the present time we have Dr. Dale Riley, a track coach and men's prayer ministry leader. The story shows different struggles in each of the three heroes lives and the loves of some surrounding characters. The story models how each of the heroes pray and how those prayers affect their lives and the lives of those around them.
In addition to these characters, there are also several characters from the spiritual world. Hael is a guardian angel who has been assigned to Dr. Dale and instructed to make contact with him. He also guarded Alexander Rich and Thales. Tephillah is another guardian angel in the story. There are also demons in the story named djaod, haodtie, joln, and katepa. Throughout the book you read about the demons attempts to deceive or cast doubts in the lives of the heroes and how they use people around them to cause troubles. We also see how the prayers of the heroes affect both the demons and the angels.
I have been reviewing this book myself. I thought that it may be of interest to my older boys, but after reading it decided this book is really for adults, and maybe older teens (think college aged) as it deals with mature issues (abortion, and an alleged rape) and does not have much subject matter that younger teens would be able to relate to. I thought the book started out pretty slow and it took me awhile to get into it. I think that part of that was the transition through the different time periods. Just when I felt like it was getting interesting for one of the heroes, it would switch time periods and move on to someone else's story. Also, within each time period the story often switches from the main characters to the characters from the spiritual world and back again, and that is rather hard to follow unless you are reading very carefully. The author chose not to captitalize the names of the demons in the story. He talks about why he did this in the preface but it is hard to get used to reading it that way. About half way through the book it really started getting interesting and I couldn't wait to see how it would end. But, nothing was resolved in this book, you have to wait for Book 2 to find out what happens next.
The Pray-ers does have a lot to say about prayer and teaching how we should pray. Several times during the course of my reading the book, I had to stop and think about my life and how to improve my own prayer life. Scripture references are included throughout the book so you are able to look up the referenced verses as you are reading and read for yourself what the Bible has to say. I am very interested in reading the next book to see how everything ends up!
To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!