Resources for Practicing Prayer

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During the sermon I promised to post some resources that have helped me cultivate some of the basic spiritual disciplines. There are so many good resources to aid us in our prayer life! You can find very practical books on prayer such as Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does it Make a Difference and Bill Hybel’s Too Busy Not to Pray.  Let me share a few that I think are helpful – some are about developing a prayer life while others include actual prayers.

A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie. I’ve given some people the assignment of reading his prayers out loud in their devotion time for a week straight and the consensus is they are very helpful. First published in 1949 by the professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the book is filled with marvelous prayers that leaves one with a sense that written prayers can often unite the heart with God’s heart. There is a morning prayer and an evening prayer over a period of thirty one days.

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. If you struggle with a life without prayer, this is a great book to start with. What I absolutely loved about the book is it takes the idea of prayer and brings it down to our life in very practical ways.

Prayer by Timothy Keller. Really any book by Keller is outstanding because he takes differing ideas on subjects and finds what’s helpful in each then connects them to the gospel. What sets this book apart is Keller is the master at getting people to think about what prayer actually is. So while there is very practical application, it’s main thrust is to get people to contemplate what prayer is.

The Prayers of Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard. He tends to get a bit of a bad rap among Christian thinkers yet when you read his prayers you sense what we call “passion for God.” This collection of prayers by Perry D. LeFevre has been a staple in my devotional time for quiet awhile.

One last book that I didn’t have space in the photo (and I couldn’t find it) was Prayers From the Confessions by Father John Rotelle. We can learn something very important from early Christians as they wrote and then seamlessly broke into prayer. One example would be Anselm’s Proslogion, which was his reflection on the character of God. Before Anselm offers arguments for God’s existence, he breaks into a marvelous prayer! This is the same with Augustine’s Confessions which is his account of God’s faithfulness in the past, present, and hope for the future. He seems to be writing an account of his life and then it’s as if his mind can’t fathom God’s goodness to him as he breaks to pray! In fact, the whole book has rightly been called one long prayer. Rotelle has simply collected all of Augustine’s prayers in The Confessions and made them available to read.

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