No Holds Barred
Wrestling with God in Prayer
By Mark D. Roberts
(WaterBrook Press, Paperback, 9781578567058, 208pp.)
Publication Date: March 15, 2005
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God wants your whole heart. So let him have it.
Does your relationship with God feel stale and predictable? Do you struggle to find the time and energy for prayer? Then perhaps you’re being too polite with God.
If your prayers lack passion and honesty, then God may be as bored as you are. Guarded and “religiously correct” prayers might sound nice, but to God they sound half-hearted. He wants you to pray with freedom, boldness, and raw honesty.
The prayers we find in the Psalms run the gamut from awed worship to stunned silence to doubt, desperation, and rage. David and others like him had no time for safe, sanitized prayers. They wrestled with God when they prayed–with no holds barred.
Starting today, you can enjoy an energizing intimacy with God. No Holds Barred will help you plunge deeper into different types of prayer–asking, thanking, praising, and confessing. It also will lead you into new forms of praying–prayers of desperation and doubt, prayers that question God’s apparent slowness, prayers that demand answers.
These are the prayers that hold your attention–and that capture God’s attention. Don’t wait any longer to begin a rich new conversation with God.
Mark D. Roberts is senior pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in Irvine, California, and an adjunct professor of New Testament at Fuller Seminary. He earned degrees in philosophy and religion at Harvard University, where he also received a Ph.D. in New Testament. He is the author of Dare to Be True and Jesus Revealed, as well as Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther in The Preacher’s Commentary Series. Mark and his wife, Linda, live in Southern California with their two children. Visit his website at www.markdroberts.com.
Praise for No Holds Barred
“This inspiring book is an invitation to bold, honest, and passionate communication with God. Mark Roberts points us to a biblical view of prayer, full of reality and reverence. Mark reminds us of the astounding freedom in prayer we find throughout the Psalms, and encourages us to take advantage of that freedom. Read this book and discover your ‘inner psalmist’!”
–Matt Redman, songwriter, worship leader, author of Facedown and The Unquenchable Worshipper
“No Holds Barred is fresh, practical, and profound–a rarity in contemporary books on prayer. Mark Roberts gently guides us into more sincere prayer, helping us overcome our inhibitions and press into the bold and often shocking prayers of the Psalms. This book will richly reward those who take its truth to heart and who apply the principles Mark Roberts so ably explores.”
–Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Pathways and Sacred Marriage
“If you’re tired of hiding from God, No Holds Barred could be your route to spiritual honesty. One chapter after another explores the well-traveled tributaries of the Psalms, ancient conduits for navigating the wonders, chaos, and tragedies of life.”
–Sally Morgenthaler, author of Worship Evangelism, founder of Sacramentis.com and Digital Glass Productions
“No Holds Barred personalizes the Psalms for me and gives me lots of tools to communicate with God. Mark Roberts shows us not just the actions and words of praying the Psalms, but also the right heart, attitude, and theology behind those actions and words. This book will help you pray through the tough situations of life, and show you how to be utterly honest with God–no matter how you feel.”
–Andy Park, worship leader, songwriter, author of To Know You More
“Mark Roberts gives us not only the permission but also the biblical mandate of wrestling with God in prayer. He writes with no holds barred as he invites us to discover profound theological truths and to participate in the book’s practical exercises. In doing so, he brings us boldly to God’s throne of grace with confidence.”
–Libby Vincent, Presbyterian pastor and adjunct professor, Fuller Theological Seminary
“In No Holds Barred, Mark Roberts brings the unique perspective of pastor and theologian to one of the most pressing concerns of the day: How shall we pray, and specifically, how do the Psalms tell us to pray? As with his previous books, Mark blends the easy accessibility of a sermon with the deep learning of a scholar-theologian to bring every reader closer to the heart of the Psalms and thus to the heart of God.”
–Hugh Hewitt, best-selling author, radio host of the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt Show