My favorite book is this one, NT Wright is always good, and this one is probably the most helpful and accessible. This was my least favorite, but it is good. There are some premise disagreements I have, but they are low level. I got excited when I read it because all of the other ones are so good I was overwhelmed. This one was easy to pick and enjoy pieces from while having most of my structure intact for the sermon series.
I like to listen to other folks too. Keller has a 6 part series I listened to. It was good, but I am not Tim Keller so it was mainly a blessing to me and I haven’t taken a lot from it directly. Andy Stanley has a 3 part series on is (Permission to Speak Freely). I’m not Andy Stanley either, but his series is amazing. I listened to each one 3 times. He nails what it is about people that distracts and keeps us from hearing and doing Jesus’ simple teaching. Probably 15% of my thinking about this series comes from his series. Which is a lot when you think about the other books, the other series, Seminary, and the fact that at 19 Brennan Manning told me to pray the Lord’s Prayer 3 Times/Day and I have been doing that (more or less) ever since.
I also listened to Driscoll’s series. He recommended Ryken. That was helpful. 🙂
I read Teresa of Avila’s “the Way of Perfection” (re-read actually); it was wonderful but I didn’t like it from a teaching standpoint (Maybe because the purpose of her book is to teach nuns, and to my knowledge there are no nuns at Riverside). Her “Interior Castle” book would be awesome. Although if I dipped into the mystics stuff on the Lord’s Prayer I might drown.
At 35 years old that is how I prepare for a series.
Its only my second one (not counting conferences).
Want to read one and talk about it?
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that John Eldredge has also helped me look directly at Jesus and the ways he prayed. The prayers he has on his website are very helpful. I have used them directly, and in the car. Which is slightly ironic. 🙂