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Recommended Reading

Here are a few of the books I recommend, and a few outstanding video and audio resources, as well. They are here because their messages have been a part of my own spiritual formation. I’m intentional about choosing  books for their potential to lead me into more of the full life that Christ came to give.

Reading really is feeding. May your spirit, heart, mind, and soul be nourished as you read.

“There is so much power in words. I think John 1:14 gives insight into the reason for that.”

-AmyLu Riley

image of book


The Second Mrs. Wu by Agnes Sanford (Arthur James, 1966)

I could hardly put this book down; it is a riveting read for both its content and writing. I wrote this blog post about it.

Faith with Grit by AmyLu Riley (AmyLu Riley, 2019)

During some very tough years with my health, my faith caused me even more pain. Why didn’t the God who could heal me, heal me? The books I could find at the time were about what Francis MacNutt would call acceptance and resignation. But I didn’t want either. I wanted to be healed. I wanted to know what God was doing. So I went on a quest for answers, and in the process, my faith got grit in it. More Information


The Healing Breakthrough: Creating an Atmosphere of Faith for Healing by Randy Clark (Chosen Books, 2016)

This book is excellent for anyone seeking healing or anyone desiring to help others see healing. Part 1 focuses on clearing away 11 obstacles to healing (with Paul’s thorn topping the list), and Part 2 focuses on proven ways to create an atmosphere conducive to divine healing. I say more about the book in this blog post.

Healing by Francis MacNutt (Ave Maria Press, 1999)

This book was absolutely an answer to my prayers, especially the chapter “Eleven Reasons People Aren’t Healed,” which was the first part of this book I read. It blows my mind a little bit that God used a book that was written in 1974 to answer my prayers decades later. I highly recommend the book, which I talk more about it in this blog post, but don’t stop with this book. MacNutt’s other books recommended below rounded out my understanding of several issues in important ways.

The Power to Heal by Francis MacNutt (Ave Maria Press, 1992)

Informed by his decades of hands-on healing ministry, MacNutt’s insights are especially encouraging and practically helpful for approaching chronic illness from a biblical perspective and not giving up when praying for healing of chronic health issues. In this blog post, I share my experience with the book.

The Healing Reawakening by Francis MacNutt (Chosen Books, 2005)

This book was such a timely eye-opener. I saw how, through subtle, clever means, Satan has tried to rob the church of our healing ministry. Humanity, for thousands of years, has been like the proverbial frog in the pot of water that was gradually made hotter, until we were nearly cooked. In this blog post I talk more about the book and how it truly awakened me to Satan’s oppression of the sick. I highly recommend the book.

Anointed to Heal by Randy Clark and Bill Johnson (Chosen Books, 2017)

Faith-building and eye opening, as I listened to this book in audio format, I realized something new: I am hungry for miracles because there are miracles. Today. In the country in which I live. In this book, Randy Clark and Bill Johnson interview each other about how they began and in healing ministry, and then grew in it.

Power to Heal: Keys to Activating God’s Healing Power in Your Life by Randy Clark (Destiny Image Publishers, 2015)

Practical and down-to-earth, this is a book for every believer.

Why Does Some Healing Not Last?: Q&A with Bill Johnson

(Free Video Online)

This video shares some important principles for understanding what comes against a person after a healing, and for keeping a healing:

Sealed Orders by Agnes Sanford (Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2009)

What a book. Sealed Orders is the story of a writer, a woman, a pray-er, and best of all, someone who expected her Christian faith to grow and who constantly held spiritual ideas in tension and watched for God to guide her. Sanford truly lived by the Spirit. I wrote this blog entry about my experience with Sanford’s books. (I recommend reading this book before reading The Healing Light.)

The Healing Light by Agnes Sanford (Ballantine Books, 1983)

Seeing the gifts God gave this woman and how she stewarded them was both exceptionally instructive and highly encouraging to me. I wrote this blog entry about my experience with Sanford’s books. (I recommend reading this one after reading Sealed Orders.)

Discovering Healing Free Mini E-Course by Ken Fish (Free Video Online)

In this free mini e-course, Discovering Healing, Ken Fish of Orbis School of Ministry gives an excellent Biblical foundation for healing ministry. In 7 short video lessons, he addresses these topics: God’s Will for Healing; Theological Foundation; Analyzing 1 John 4:17; Mistaken Reason 1 – God Doesn’t Want to Heal; Mistaken Reason 2 – Persuading God to Heal; Defining Physical Healing; and Hezekiah Healed of Fatal Illness.

An Introduction to Christian Healing Ministry by Judith MacNutt (Free Video Online)

In this video, Trinity Welcomes Judith MacNutt, Judith MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries gives a concise introduction and overview of Christian healing ministry. She introduces four types of healing modeled in the New Testament: physical, spiritual, inner healing, and deliverance. She mentions connections that may exist between physical illness and other wounds and how more than one type of healing may be needed for a person to be healed. And she touches on some concepts from Francis MacNutt’s excellent book Healing.

Agnes Sanford’s Teachings on Inner Healing (Free Audio Online)

Several audio recordings of talks by Agnes Sanford, a pioneer in Christian inner healing in the last century, are made available free online by CFO, (one of the organizations that frequently hosted her talks). I so appreciate all of her teaching, including her clear and practical instruction about the prayer of faith (a vital topic which she also wrote about in the book Behold Your God).

small hand in large handMiracles

Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts by Craig S. Keener (Baker Academic, 2011)

Faith-building and hard to put down. Keener reports on miracles from all over the world, with careful notes about the perceived credibility of the eyewitnesses and availability of medical documentation. (He also includes some excellent scholarly chapters on the theology of miracles.) Get ready for something new.

Eyewitness to Miracles by Randy Clark (Thomas Nelson, 2018)

I appreciated the case this book makes for the scientific research and record-keeping of modern miracles that scholars have begun to undertake. The book also gives eyewitness accounts of many miracles, and makes practical suggestions for the reader.

The Power of Communion: Accessing Miracles Through the Body & Blood of Jesus by Beni Johnson with Bill Johnson (Destiny Image Publishers, 2019)

Amazing, and available to every believer: communion. I highly recommend this book. The testimonies in it alone are life-changing.


UpperDogs: Christians Have the Advantage. It’s Time to Take It. by Sarah Thiessen and Heather Hughes (WestBow Press, 2015)

I really benefited from this book’s sensible, intelligent discussion of the metaphysical impact of prayer. This knowledge encourages my persistence in prayer and motivates me to pray in and for situations I might have otherwise missed.

Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 2017)

I got so much out of this book, including having aha moment of synthesis about why Elijah’s prayers were so effective and how I can apply the same principle to my prayers. I wrote about it in this blog entry (which is mainly about Francis MacNutt’s book Healing), in the section called “How Knowing the Will of God Relates to My Healing.” Moving Mountains is a life-changer.

Behold Your God by Agnes Sanford (Macalester Park Publishing Company, 1958)

I think the dedication of this book best explains who will most benefit from it: “To those who have mastered the teachings of my other books, and who have longed to venture farther in an understanding of the spiritual kingdom, this book is dedicated.” This book is a storehouse of treasures for spiritual growth and formation; I wrote about it in this blog post.

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis (Mariner Books, 2002)

This creative book is a page-turner that further develops some of the concepts on prayer that Lewis discussed in Appendix B of his book Miracles. It’s accessible and memorable, and has given me more confidence to pray in certain types of situations that I would not have previously thought prayer could influence.

sandaled feet in waterLife with God

Dreaming with God by Bill Johnson

(Destiny Image, 2006)

Excellent. I’ll read this again.

There is More! by Randy Clark (Chosen Books, 2013)

I highly recommend this book for everyone. Also, if you’re someone for whom the Good News of Jesus feels like it’s a long way off—either in your past, or in your future—then this is definitely for you. Or if you’ve ever thought, There has to be more to the Christian life than this, then read this book.

When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles by Bill Johnson (Destiny Image, 2003)

As I read, I usually flag with a sticky note passages that seem especially relevant to me, so I can review them again after I’ve finished a book. This book was all so relevant, that I ran out of sticky notes and just stopped marking. I highly recommend it for everyone. This book would also be a great gift for adults of all ages.

The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind: Access to a Life of Miracles by Bill Johnson (Destiny Image, 2005; Expanded Edition, 2014)

I needed every word of this book for the life God has called me to live. I highly recommend it for everyone. As the author recommends, it’s probably a good idea (but not a requirement) to read When Heaven Invades Earth first, as the concepts really build. In any case, I would call this book not-to-be-missed. I read the 2005 version of the book, but an expanded edition was published in 2014, as was a corresponding study guide by the same name.

Baptized in the Spirit: God’s Presence Resting Upon You with Power by Randy Clark (Destiny Image, 2017)

I recommend this book highly. It helped me to see, through the Scriptures, the mission of Jesus as the one who would baptize in the Holy Spirit. I found this book very helpful in putting into context why various streams of the church (especially Evangelical and Pentecostal) approach this topic so differently, and how various historical and current approaches to this topic align with Scripture, or fall short of it. (This book includes prayers for activation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and for baptism of the Holy Spirit (pages 209-214).)

The Essential Guide to the Power of the Holy Spirit: God’s Miraculous Gifts at Work Today by Randy Clark (Destiny Image, 2015)

I highly recommend this book for every follower of Christ. Its four parts cover 1) reasons that there is division over the Holy Spirit, 2) unlocking the gifts of the Spirit, 3) distinguishing marks of a work of God’s Spirit, and 4) experiencing the Holy Spirit. (This book also has a rich bibliography.)

The Spiritual Gifts Handbook by Randy Clark and Mary Healy (Chosen Books, 2018)

I highly recommend this book for its comprehensive and extremely accessible teaching.

Born to Create: Stepping into Your Supernatural Destiny by Theresa Dedmon (Destiny Image, 2012)

I’d recommend this book for anyone who ever had a dream related to any creative pursuit—whether that dream is alive and flourishing, or long-dead and buried.

Fully Alive by Susie Larson (Bethany House Publishers, 2018)

The first time I saw Susie Larson speak online, the faith and life that emanated from her and from her words—and the bold yet humble way she prayed—captured my full attention. I began reading her books one after another, starting with Fully Alive. After listening to Fully Alive first as an audio book, I then started through the DVD and print book because I wanted to really take my time and chew on it some more. It was life-changing. See more in this blog post.

Waking the Dead: The Secret to a Heart Fully Alive by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Another life-changer. Eldredge dismantles long-entrenched notions that aren’t helping Christians. He introduces a synthesis of four ideas that can get people free. (And in case you are into audio books: I listened to this as an audio book, and the narrator is excellent.)

Gift & Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today by Craig S. Keener (Baker Academic, 2001)

This is an amazing resource on how God is empowering his people to do his work. Grounded in Scripturally sound doctrine, and written with wisdom and humility, Gift & Giver is accessible and understandable regardless of a person’s faith background.

Faith with Wings by AmyLu Riley (AmyLu Riley, 2020)

When life got hard, healing didn’t come, and subtle wedges were slipped into your relationship with God, did you find yourself trusting him a little less? Loving him a little less? This journey of truth, love, and freedom in Christ is a message of hope for every believer who is tethered, but longs to soar free. More Information

The Way of Life by Bill Johnson (Destiny Image, 2018)

If you are looking for mentorship to deepen your spiritual life with God, I recommend this book.

All Things New by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 2017)

If you need a perspective shift about the daily grind, especially when life is hard, the unique vision Eldredge shares in this book should certainly do the job.

The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 1997)

This book zooms the camera lens far out from my one brief life on earth, to reveal the huge picture into which that one life fits, and tells the story of what has happened and is happening in that much larger picture. It’s good to know where one’s life fits, and to see the role of God’s love in that story.

Walking with God: How to Hear His Voice by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Eldredge tells his story of walking with God, by transparently recounting events from his own life. It’s authentic and captivating.

Stay: Why I’m Still Here, A Spiritual Memoir by AmyLu Riley (AmyLu Riley, 2019)

In this intimate inner journey, I recount how God brought love, compassion, and restoration to a life pressed hard by chronic illness. More Information

sword imageSpiritual Warfare

Deliverance from Evil Spirits: A Practical Manual by Francis MacNutt (Chosen Books, 1995)

This book is a wealth of useful information for gaining and living in spiritual freedom and helping others to do the same.

UpperDogs: Christians Have the Advantage. It’s Time to Take It. by Sarah Thiessen and Heather Hughes (WestBow Press, 2015)

In addition to the other insightful aspects of UpperDogs discussed above under the heading of Prayer, this book gives an excellent explanation that a child can understand about the spiritual battle all Christians are in. As Thiessen explains, spiritual warfare is a part of life that even young Christians can—and need to—learn how to do.

Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority by John Eldredge (Thomas Nelson, 2017)

Eldredge shares how pervasive spiritual warfare is in daily life, from the seemingly mundane to the deadly serious, and how he fights.  (See more about this book discussed above under the heading of Prayer.)

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Geoffrey Bles, 1942)

With the perspective of this classic wry, witty tale, teens and adults will be better equipped to spot enemy strategies from a distance. (Randy Alcorn has also written a modern takeoff, Lord Faulgrin’s Letters (Multnomah, 2001).) These stories serve as a very accessible introduction for those new to the topic of spiritual warfare.

Prayers for Spiritual Protection

At 14:09 into this video, called Healing Prayer for Our Families, are two simple but important prayers for spiritual protection, taught by Judith MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries.

Dreams and Visions

Sunbursts through tree cover

The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens by James W. Goll (Destiny Image, 2012)

I found this to be an extremely helpful resource. As John Paul Jackson wrote in the Endorsements section to this book, “For those who have a revelatory gift, this book may make your entire life make sense.”

The expanded edition of this book also contains a 40-day devotional, called The Seer Devotional.

The Divinity Code to Understanding Your Dreams and Visions by Adam F. Thompson and Adrian Beale (Destiny Image, 2011)

In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible makes many mentions of God speaking to people through dreams and visions. And as Peter explained (see Acts 2:14-19), we are now living in the days when dreams and visions are a regular way that God communicates. For a Scripture-based examination of the topic, plus biblical aids for practical application, I recommend this book. See more in this blog post.

A Practical Guide to Decoding Your Dreams and Visions by

Adrian Beale and Adam F. Thompson (Destiny Image, 2017)

I found additional helpful material in this study guide, which has 8 lessons that align with the book mentioned above.

Exploring the Nature and Gift of Dreams by James W. Goll (Destiny Image, 2013)

This book is written in a style of a summary and study guide. It provided some helpful concepts and content.

Decoding Your Dreams: What the Lord May be Saying to You While You Sleep by Jennifer LeClaire (Thomas Nelson, 2018)

This book provided some additional insights that I found helpful.

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The Prisoner in the Third Cell by Gene Edwards (Tyndale House, 1992)

From God’s own viewpoint, how does it look when God appears not to rescue or answer a suffering one he dearly loves? This is a beautiful story, both acknowledging a mystery and bringing comfort at the same time, with the truth it contains.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins 2001, McMillan 1944)

How can a loving God can allow suffering and pain, and permit other bad things to happen? This book expanded my foundational understanding of what really happened when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and how that relates to our present suffering. Reading this book helped pull together truths and highlight their applicability to my life.

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (The Seabury Press, 1963)

Lewis shares so many incredibly expressed thoughts about the nature of faith, suffering, and illness, that this book has much wisdom to share, far beyond the named experience of grief at the death of his wife.


Finding Your Calling 1 (video) by Sarah Thiessen

In this YouTube video, Sarah Thiessen gives an inspiring and practical talk on finding your calling: Finding Your Calling 1.

Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson (Bethany House Publishers, 2013)

This book and the companion DVD are beautiful, gentle, and grounded in Scripture. This is a journey so worth taking. Susie’s personal testimony of finding her own calling is authentic and inspiring. The fingerprints of God are all over her life, and this book and video. I talk about some other aspects of this book and DVD that I really liked in this blog post.

Related blog post: 10 Books That Surprised Me in 2019

For Even More Book & Resource Recommendations…

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