Confession time - I struggle with prayer. A lot of the time is seems like I'm praying the same things in the same way. While I need some type of routine to my prayer to keep it focused, it invariably becomes a rut I get too easily stuck in. When Donald Whitney's book, Praying the Bible, became available through Crossway's "Beyond the Page" book reading and reviewing page, I jumped at the chance to get it.
Why this book is needed
When it comes to people who struggle with prayer, they usual misdiagnose the problem. We see ourselves as the problem which isn't the case. Whitney within the first few pages tells us, "... the problem isn't you, it's your method." Whitney isn't against method, I actually need method and routine, but the problem with the wrong method is when it becomes a rut. Whitney says, "... the method of most Christians in prayer is to say the same old things in the same old way." No wonder we get bored and frustrated.
This book is a method book, but not in the way you think. The method simply put is, "...when you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture ..." Use God's words to you to guide the conversation back to Him. This doesn't mean that you do pray for the same things, just that you pray for them in different ways. This means as the words of a verse bring things to mind to pray about, do so. When you're done praying, read the next verse. Continue this until you are out of time or at the end of the passage. This method works great whether you have 2 minutes to pray or 2 hours.
Who needs this book
This is a valuable resource for any believer. It is short and easy to read and has the potential to make a huge impact. I highly recommend this book.
"Prayers without variety eventually become words without meaning."
"... what you are doing is taking words that originate in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God."
"... turn every thought Godward as you read the passage."
"No matter how long you pray, you never run out of things to pray for when you pray the Bible."
"... this book won't help you unless you apply its teaching to your prayer life."
"... prayer shouldn't be considered a one-way conversation."
"The way to transform them from a routine recitation into a mindful, heartfelt petition is to send them heavenward through a different passage each time."
"... a stale prayer life can experience new freshness with a simple change of method."
"By filtering that prayer through different passages of Scripture ... prayer changes from a mind-numbing repetition of the same old things to a request that ascends from ... (the) heart to heaven in unique ways every day."
"... there is nothing in my devotional life that more quickly and consistently kindles my consistently cold heart like praying the Bible."
All quotes taken from the kindle edition of Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney ©2015 and published by Crossway.