Have you ever wondered what, exactly, the Bible has to say about prayer? If you are anything like me you have heard, and maybe even said, the phrase “Just pray about it” countless times. I’ve read books about how to pray, and even some books that tell you what to pray or when to pray. What I want to know is, what does God say about prayer? And I want it straight from the Almighty’s mouth, or His word. How about you?
I recently received the opportunity to review the new book, Everything the Bible Says About Prayer, and thought it would make finding those passages in a hurry a breeze.
The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. It illustrates the elements of effective prayer, promises to hear and answer our prayers, and even offers a few models of prayer from heroes of the faith like David, Moses, and Hannah. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus himself teaches us how to pray.
The Bible talks a lot about prayer. In the book, Everything the Bible Says about Prayer, all scriptural prayers and essential references to prayer have been cataloged into categories. Following are the chapter titles within the book:
- Confident Before the King: Praying With Boldness
- Key Ingredients: Elements of Effective Prayer
- Count on It: God Hears and Answers Your Prayers
- Wisdom From the Master: Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
- Divine Direction: Prayer for Guidance and Wisdom
- Finding Freedom: Prayer for Forgiveness
- Let Righteousness Reign: Prayer for Salvation and Justice
- A Mighty Fortress: Prayer for Protection
- Strength for the Journey: Prayer for Healing and Wholeness
- An Ally Amid Adversity: Prayer in Times of Hardship and Heartache
- A Bounty of Blessings: Prayer for Provision and Prosperity
- Give God the Glory: Prayer as Praise
- Timeless Tutors: Biblical Prayers to Follow
Appendix: Thoughts on Prayer by Classic Christian Writers
What I liked: I appreciated the thoroughness of the author in including scriptural references to prayer. Indeed, it isn’t always easy to find a specific scripture when in the midst of crisis. Having a concise listing of prayer related scriptures is nice.
I especially appreciated the twelfth chapter, on prayer as praise. All too often people forget that prayer is a form of praise.
What I didn’t like: How the author skipped from one translation to another at whim. Within the first chapter alone, quotes are taken from the NLT, ESV, NIV, HCSB, NASB, The Message, and God’s Word translations.
I am always a little wary when authors skip from one translation to the next, as it makes it seem like they are trying to make the Word say what they want it to say. KWIM? Why not keep all passages from one or two translations (at most three) and then in parentheses say, “See also …” if another translation will make the verse more understandable to the reader.
While I will likely keep Everything the Bible Says About Prayer on my shelf, and would recommend it to seasoned Christians, I think it has the potential to be confusing to new Christians with the way it skips around translations.
***I received a courtesy copy of this book to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.***