As a Christian and a pastor, there is one thing in my life that, up until about two or so weeks ago, was boring, repetitive, slightly mind-numbing, but also one of the most important things that a Christian must do: Prayer. I pray faithfully every day for myself, my family, my congregation, my community, other churches, and many other people and ministries and things. However, I’ll tell you (and I probably wouldn’t be the first) that praying the same things over and over is boring. I love praying for the same people, but repetition gets boring.
I love my pastoral prayers every Sunday morning, as I pray for our congregation using the ACTS method of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication), lifting up the saints of Hopewell Baptist Church. I love praying with people in the congregation and for people in the community. However, I must confess, that personal prayer time is something that I have always, and I mean ALWAYS struggled with. That is, until recently.
Dr. Whitney leads you through the Psalms as a way of prayer for the biblical discipline of praying. Read a verse then pray what comes to your mind. This application is applicable to any passage of Scripture from any genre of Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. I love praying now in my personal prayer time, and I am beginning to incorporate it into pastoral prayers on Sunday mornings. Honestly, I cannot read any passage of Scripture now without thinking of the passage or verse as a prayer. I pray more, for longer, for everything and everyone I have always prayed for, and it’s no longer boring.
I had put together a collection of books that I am working through reading this year, and there are a wide range of books, from at least one systematic theology book to short books on baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and in there are two books on prayer. One of those books is Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney (author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, another book that has had a profound impact on my life). And, a couple weeks ago, I read it. To be exact, I read the intro on May 10th, 2019, and then the rest of the short book in the evening of May 14th. And my prayer life was never the same.
I encourage you to go get this book. It’s relatively short (Amazon.com lists it at 112 pages, but that includes all the extraneous pages that no one reads), and an easy read because it’s so profoundly simple yet life-changing. Then, when you’re done reading it (and applying it to your own prayer life), pass it on and let someone else read it. Dr. Whitney shows us what’s already there, right in front of us, to make prayer more exciting, as it should be, and for me, I praise God for Praying the Bible!
Disclaimer: No one sent me this book to review. I bought it a while ago and finally read it and felt the need to write a short review!