5 Christian Books that Changed Me

5 favorite books

These 5 books about the Christian life changed my life, broke down barriers, helped me love God more, and helped me love people more. I keep all of them close, where I can refer back to them whenever the whim strikes. The authors of these books, though I have never met most of them, are my spiritual guides. They are not listed in any particular order. There could be many more. In fact, I plan to post more book lists soon, because my other books are jealous.

The Bible, it should go without saying, (but I’m going to say it anyway) is much more than just a book. It wouldn’t be right on this list because it is the indispensable letter from the Lover of my soul.

Celtic Daily Prayer – from the Northumbria Community

Christian book that changed my life

I did not grow up in a liturgical tradition so for me, this collection of beautiful prayers that can be prayed repeatedly and devotional thoughts from ancient saints introduced me to new and rich ways to pray and spiritual truths that are still fresh after hundreds or thousands of years.

“Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Chris beside me on my left and my right.” From Morning Prayer p. 18 (drawn from St. Patrick)

Click here for more about the Northumbria Community .

More about the book.

Prayer Finding the Heart’s True Home – Richard Foster

A Christian book that changed me

This book moves from simple prayer to prayers that require much depth and spiritual maturity. Foster has also been tutored in prayer by ancient saints and passes their wisdom on in this book. I return to Foster’s practical insightful instruction over and over, each time finding something new because I am a different, deeper person than I was the last time I opened it.

“In the beginning we are indeed the subject and the center of our prayers, but in God’s time and in God’s way a Copernican revolution takes place in our heart. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, there is a shift in our center of gravity. We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life.” From chapter Simple Prayer, p. 15

Click here for more about Richard Foster’s ministry or the book.

The Pressure’s Off – Larry Crabb

Crabb Pressure's Off

Larry Crabb has impacted my relationship with God perhaps more than any other modern Christian writer. The truth he teaches comes straight from the Bible, yet somehow I had never understood it clearly until I started reading his books.

“People who live the Old Way believe in the law of Linearity, a law that states that there is an A that leads to the B you want. Figure out what A is, do it, and you’ll have the life you most desire. The Pressure’s on.

People who live the New Way believe the Law of Liberty. They come as they are. They do not bathe before they approach God. They come to God for the bath.” From the introduction, p. 12

Click here for more about Larry Crabb’s ministry or the book.

Shattered Dreams – Larry Crabb

Shattered Dreams

When my life shattered I practically wore out the pages of this book. It uses the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi to shed light on God’s work in the midst of pain and disappointment.

“Shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece of a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story.” From the back cover

“God is not waiting to bless us after our troubles end. He is blessing us right now, in and through those troubles. At this exact moment, He is giving us what He thinks is good. There, of course is the rub. He gives us what He thinks is good, what He knows is good. We don’t always agree.” From the introduction, p. 2

Click here for more about Larry Crabb’s ministry or the book.

Revolution Within – Dwight Edwards

A Christian book that changed me

Each person when he or she is redeemed is given new purity, a new disposition, a new identity, and a new power. I discovered this book only a couple of years ago. Even though I had been a Christian most of my life, and I am not young, it helped me grasp the riches of God’s gift to me, and learn how to live in light of the newness of my soul. A gift indeed!

“Like eagles, we were created and redeemed to mount up on God-given wings. Our privileged calling is to breathe deeply the crisp and rarified air of knowing our God more and more intimately…to know the keen thrill of unrestrained, exuberant worship…and to abandon ourselves to the high adventure of warring on behalf of God’s kingdom in this dark world.” From the introduction, p.2

Click here for more about Dwight Edward’s ministry or the book.

I plan to share more short book lists over the coming weeks.

What book have I missed? What book has impacted you the most?

Share This:

, , ,

2 Responses to 5 Christian Books that Changed Me

  1. Katie Sturm November 8, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Thanks Beth! I needed a new book to read. I’ll choose one I haven’t read from your list.:)
    I loved your writings on “breath prayers.” I find myself using them in the classroom, on the playground…
    Miss you my friend!

    • Beth Ratzlaff November 8, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      I’m so glad you have been able to work breath prayers into your day. I miss you too!

Leave a Reply