In a culture that spends most of its time working with 250 characters and the limited ability to concentrate beyond that, reading is vital for believers. This is not to say there is no place for social media. But social media is not and should not be the only diet of reading we do. Books challenge us, and we find ideas, thoughts, hope, adventure, excitement, comfort, peace, and growth. Reading truly opens the world and the imagination.
Sadly, there are many times in which reading takes a back seat as other things crowd out that time. While some of these things are important, we should set aside time to read.
Of course the number one book we should read is the Bible. That is the foundation upon which we guage all of our other readings. We should not just take a book and accept what we read with an open mind. We may fill our mind with unbiblical teaching. We should endeavor to balance what we read with the foundation of Scripture. Then, whatever we read will rise or fall based on the truth of Scripture, not the other way around. Therefore, our Bibles should be the first and foremost "Book" we read.
Beyond the Bible, books are important. Paul wanted his books, or what was their equivalent of books. He says so, specifically in 2 Timothy 4:13. We should desire to read, and read more often than not. We should also desire books which help us to grow mentally, emotionally, Spiritually. I wish to just recommend one book at this time. More will come in the future.
I wish to recommend E. M. Bounds' The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer. This book is a collection of eight books, each one brings powerful truths about a powerful and effective prayer life. The point being, we all, no matter how long we have been a Christian, can always have a better prayer life.
The things I love most about this book:
1. Unlike most modern writers which I have read, there is a deeper Theological underpinnings that are found in his writings. It isn't simply emotional.
2. There is a high reverence for prayer. It isn't simply to get something from God. Many lessons on prayer today is based on how we can get something from God. This book is about how we can actually pray to God.
3. There is a challenge. E.M. Bounds uses his gift of writing and depth of thought to bring not only the Scriptures but also examples of those who are known to have had a strong prayer life in order to challeng us in our own prayer life and to cause us to do a "check up" of our own praying.
4. It moves the mind and the heart. It can cause us to look at our own prayer life and evaluate it based on what is proposed in this work.
I am sure there are more reasons, but these four are enough to get started with. It is not the smallest of books, but the challenge to grow spiritually in our prayer, and to develop our prayer is not isolated to just a few writers. It is found throughout the Scriptures that we are encouraged to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6).
May God use the gift of this writer to open our minds and hearts to pray, and not simply to pray, but to truly pray effectively.