The Lord invites everyone to “Come and talk with Me” in Psalm 27:8, yet many find prayer difficult. Sometimes lack of self-worth prevents prayer, other times the pain, fear or sorrow is too great to put into words, while others feel intimidated and don’t know what to say to an “all-powerful, all-knowing Creator.” For these reasons and more Dr. James Banks penned praying the Prayers of the Bible, to encourage personal prayer and inspire readers with prayer examples from the Bible.
The collection of categorized prayers is divided into nine different prayer themes, further divided into “full length prayers” and “prayer starters” to help “jump-start” prayer. Brief “reflections” introduce each theme, similar to devotions that elaborate on God’s Word.
Themes include prayers…
· …to praise and honor God
· …to say thank you
· …to strengthen faith…give ourselves to God
· …our everyday needs
· …to confess sin and humble ourselves
· …seek guidance and direction
· …seek help and protection
· …of those who struggle and need answers
· …and blessing prayers
The book ends with a Scripture index and thirty “when to pray” guides, complete with scripture and words for difficult prayer periods. For example, if you need encouragement, feel tempted, need to forgive, lack peace, need strength, feel lonely, sorry, lack hope, need advice and more yet the words just aren’t there.
I enjoyed Dr. Banks note about Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a Scottish pastor from the 1800s that encouraged his congregation to “turn the Bible into prayer.” That also told me prayer has been a long-standing problem, it’s not just a modern-day issue.
Yet, how can better thoughts and words for prayer be than to speak God’s Words back to Him in prayer. Especially when Isaiah 55:11 reminds readers God’s Word will never return void? “…So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where I sent it.”
Although small in size, this powerful book equips readers to “make the Bible’s prayers” their own. God desires relationship and wants to communicate with His children, to trust Him enough to simply talk with Him like you would a trusted Friend. Praying the Prayers of the Bible is destined to become a dog-eared, cherished part of anyone’s prayer life.
***Click through the slideshow for more inspirational books on prayer***
‘Praying the Prayers of the Bible’ by James Banks, Discovery House Publishers, 2013, 208 Pages, 9781572937505, $12.99
Midwest Book Reviews—“Gail’s Bookshelf” www.midwestbookreview.com/rbw/may_13.htm#gail