Prayer in essence is simple, and yet there are times when we all seem to find it hard. Are you struggling with your prayer life at the moment? Then take a moment to read through some of these recommendations of Christian books on prayer. There are book reviews for some of the best books about prayer, these include new titles as well as a few classics. But I have also added some devotional books of daily prayers. All of these are tools to help us develop and deepen our relationship with God.
10 Best Christian Books on Prayer
Prayer in essence is our way of communicating with God. We don’t need a format or a method to reach out to God in prayer – we can talk to Him at any time. But we also understand the disciples’ request in asking the Lord ‘to teach them how to pray.’
Sometimes our prayers become stale, or repetitive, we may even feel that we’ve run out of words. A book that will inspire us to think differently, or to try another approach, is a great prayer resource. I’ve selected a few here of the best Christian books on prayer. These are personal recommendations, and you can always drop a note in the comments if I’ve missed your favorite!
The Prayer That Changes Everything: The Power of Praising God by Stormie Omartian
As the title suggests the prayer that changes everything here is the power of praising God. The author’s focus throughout is that praise is an essential component of prayer. There is a thorough introduction to the topic along with personal testimony of the transformative power of worship.
The remainder of the book is divided into two sections. This begins with fifteen reasons to praise God that highlight who He is. Then the final section examines fifteen times when praise is crucial in our lives, even in the middle of difficulties. Each chapter ends with a praise prayer, and some study questions, to practice and affirm the teaching. The book could also be used as a daily devotional.
PRAY: What most people never learn about prayer by Rev J Martin
A short book (only 47 pages) that highlights the acronym, P.R.A.Y. as a powerful prayer method. The author brings us back to a simple but effective approach to prayer and uses practical examples of common concerns.
There are written prayers that illustrate how to turn our innermost feelings and thoughts into a releasing prayer. Throughout there are encouraging, humorous, stories that illustrate prayer as a process of growing our faith and deepening our relationship with God.
Prayer: Finding the heart’s true home by Richard Foster
This is a re-issue, with an attractive new cover, of a book that is regarded by many as a classic. The book is divided into three parts titled, Moving Inward, Moving Upward, and Moving Outward exploring transformation, intimacy, and ministry.
Each section is then further divided into chapters that delve into different aspects of prayer as fundamental to our relationship with God. This covers ancient prayer practices – many of which are experiencing a resurgence today. There are also exercises to lead us into prayers of adoration, flowing from meditation and contemplation. The final section works outward into the community with prayers of intercession. Each chapter closes with a prayer encouraging participation in this full and comprehensive practical guide to prayer.
Seven Ways to Pray – Time-Tested Practices for Encountering God by Amy Boucher Pye
This is a study guide that delves into ancient prayer practices. Each chapter includes personal reflection and recounts the historical research for the topic discussed. The method for each prayer practice is explored in detail and there are practical tips for applying this to our prayer life today. The author shares her own experience of the method and her view of the benefits and challenges. The book is suitable for individual use to work through and try out the different prayer practices. It would also be good for discussion in small groups. The topics covered are:
- God’s Word to Us: How to Pray with the Bible
- Lectio Divina: How to Pray through the Bible
- The Indwelling God: How to Practise the Presence of God
- Hearing God: How to Listen in Prayer
- The Prayer of Lament: How to Cry Out to God
- Entering the Story: How to Pray with Your Imagination
- Remembering in Prayer: How to Move Forward by Looking Back
How to Pray – A simple guide for normal people by Pete Grieg
There are twelve chapters in this book founded on the pattern of the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ The author breaks the vast subject of prayer down into a simple acronym – P.R.A.Y – pause, rejoice, ask, and yield. This is a practical guide in how to be still, to worship, to ask, to contemplate, listen, confess, and exercise spiritual authority.
As far as prayer resources go, whether you are a new Christian or have been a Christian for a considerable time, this is an invaluable book for developing a life of prayer. It is easy to read and there is an authenticity in the writing from someone who knows from their own experience that prayer is not always easy. The message is “to keep it simple, to keep it real and keep it up.” We all need a little help, and this book provides just that!
Answering God – The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by Eugene Peterson
The psalms were written as a hymn and prayer book, intended to be spoken or sung, and are a tool for prayer today. The psalms lead and guide our prayers – not in a doing and getting way, but in being and becoming.
“Prayers are tools that God uses to work His will in our bodies and souls. Prayers are tools that we use to collaborate in His work with us.”
Often, we need help to move from our world, full of our worries and concerns, and to refocus our thoughts from ourselves onto God. When we read the psalms as prayers, we begin to see the personal language, they don’t talk about God but talk to God. This is the heart of prayer, it is intimate, based on a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. If you have never read the psalms as prayers, then this book is an excellent companion to encourage and develop that journey.
Related post: Psalms for Morning Prayer
Prayer – Does it make any difference? Philip Yancey
This book is an honest and open account of the inner struggle of faith. There are questions that we all ask, whether verbally or just inwardly, regarding the mystery of prayer. The book journeys through the search for the answers to some of these questions. Included, throughout the book, are moving true stories of the power of God at work in people’s lives today. This added an extra dimension of the reality of faith and the power of testimony.
If you feel alone with your questions, then this book will bring encouragement that you are not the only one. It may also provide some of the answers, or the realization that sometimes the only answer is to trust God.
Related Post: Still Waiting
Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days by Kay Arthur
A practical study guide, which sets the basics for developing prayer as a fundamental part of our relationship with God. The Lord’s prayer forms the framework, and the study is divided into four weekly sections:
- Learning to pray God’s way
- It’s all about Him
- You belong to God
- Staying in the Word
It is written in a conversational style and the author encourages us to mark, colour code, and underline Scripture as her preferred method of examining and reflecting on the text. Each chapter finishes with a ‘Time to Pray’ section, with encouragement to apply the lesson learned. This book works well for individual study, although there are some questions included at the back of the book for group discussion.
I Told the Mountain to Move – Learning to Pray So Things Change, by Patricia Raybon
This is one woman’s story, as she shares painful and difficult life experiences, that set her on a journey of developing and growing in prayer. It is an honest memoir, with an openness that is refreshing. It is written as a series of prayer lessons that the author draws out of her own life events – her husband’s life-threatening surgery, difficult family relationships, and dealing with past mistakes.
The story comes to an endpoint but not all the loose ends are tied off – but that is the reality of life. There are still questions and unanswered prayers, as there are for many of us, which make this book very relatable!
Secrets of a Prayer Warrior by Derek Prince
No list of Christian books on prayer would be complete without reflecting on its power as a spiritual weapon. This is another classic prayer book and one that presents foundational Biblical teaching on our position as priests before God because of our standing in Christ Jesus.
The author gives a detailed guide to developing a focused strategic life of prayer. The emphasis is on the role of the body of Christ, and our part in it, to impact our communities and nation for God. Kingdom principles and the enabling conditions for powerful Spirit-led prayer are identified and discussed so that we pray with new confidence and authority.
5 Daily Prayer Books
Following on from this selection of Christian books on prayer I have included some recommendations of daily prayer books. There are times when we can struggle to express ourselves in prayer. It could be as a new Christian, or through grief, or times of hardship, or suffering. Then written prayers that help to prompt and guide our thoughts into words are a valuable resource.
There is a selection here of daily prayer books with a pocket prayer book, and some yearly prayer books. I’ve also included a daily prayer book that prays through one of the gospels focusing on the words of Jesus. Check them out here!
365 Days of Prayer for Life by Broadsheet Publishing
Broadstreet Publishing have a series of these books formatted around different themes. The book has an imitation leather cover and each page has a colorful border making it beautifully presented. This book would make a lovely gift for new Christians, the busy person, or anyone who is struggling with their faith as it is gentle and encouraging.
There is a prayer for each day of the year, which has a theme and starts with a Scripture verse. At the bottom of each page there is one question which gives the reader a takeaway thought to further reflect on.
Daily Prayer Through the Life of Jesus: (Praying Through the Gospel of Luke) by Berenice Aguilera
The author takes a book of the Bible, in this case the gospel of Luke, as the focus for prayer. Each day includes an excerpt of Scripture followed by a prayer. The prayers sometimes develop a theme from the text and draw out a spiritual lesson from the reading. Or at other times they are simply a heartfelt response to the word of God.
This daily prayer book would be a great gift for new Christians or for anyone who finds it difficult to connect with Scripture. It encourages reading the word, reflecting, and then responding in prayer. The written prayers can be prompts to add our own personal thoughts, thanksgiving, or requests.
Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest by Max Lucado, Andrea Lucado
This small book (63 pages) is aimed at those who acknowledge their struggle to focus in prayer but who want to pray, more, or better, or deeper, or even stronger. Just as the disciples, who saw the impowering that prayer time brought to Jesus, wanted to know how to pray ‘like that.’ As the author points out, Jesus did not respond to their request by teaching them about prayer but gave them a prayer to pray!
Forty short prayers that begin with a Scripture verse to shape and guide the prayer. This daily prayer book is a pocketful of truth and encouragement to begin a conversation with God. There is powerful teaching contained within these short prayers that will build our faith and grow our relationship with the Lord.
Jesus Listens: Daily Devotional Prayers of Peace, Joy and Hope by Sarah Young
This daily prayer book starts on 1st January, but you could start on any date, and continue on from there. Each of the 365 daily prayers also includes some Scripture references. There are 3-4 references for you to look up and read as an affirmation of the prayer.
This devotional book is designed to draw us closer to Jesus as we voice our thoughts and feelings to Him in prayer. These prayers can be a starting point for our own richer and more meaningful conversation with the Lord. Our time in prayer, may change our circumstances, but also change us and our relationship with the Lord.
365 Pocket Prayers for Women: Guidance and Wisdom for Each New Day by Amy E Mason
This is a daily prayer book full of encouragement with 365 prayers arranged by days and topics. You can choose to simply read through sequentially or by dipping into a particular topic, for example Blessings, Goals, or Challenges etc. There is a Scripture at the end of each prayer, with a verse or two to reflect on.
This is a way of drawing close to God by taking a moment to listen for His voice, in response to ours. Every few days there are also included prayerful moments – shorter prayers for those particularly busy times, otherwise the format is the same every day. This sets a pattern and a sense of rhythm to our prayer time.
5 Free Christian Books on Prayer!
Finally, here are some free prayer books. There are a wide range of free prayer resources available – complete books about prayer, daily prayer books, and short daily prayer reading plans. I have included some links for you to investigate:
The Lord’s Prayer 5-day Bible Reading Plan
Each day includes a short reflection on a section of the Lord’s prayer and a further 2-3 associated Scripture readings.
Free PDF – Download Here
Basics of Prayer by Stephen Nielsen
A thorough study guide to the basics of prayer that is available to download to your computer, ipad, tablet, or any other digital device.
Visit Studying Prayer
Toolshed – The Prayer Course
This may not strictly be a free prayer book, but it is an excellent free prayer resource. There are 30 prayer tools, guides to different aspects of prayer, to save or download (PDF). They answer so many of the ‘How to’ questions and provide practical application for so many prayer concepts and methods.
Prayer PDF Books
On this website there are currently over 6o titles of prayer books. These cover Christian books about prayer, books on prayer, and daily prayer books. All these are available to download as a PDF document with just one click:
YouVersion Study Plans
To read any of the Bible reading plans from YouVersion you can either download the app or create a free account on your tablet, laptop, or desktop and sign in to access their resources. Here are a couple of suggestions for daily prayer reading plans:
7 Ways to Pray 7-day devotional journey with Amy Boucher Pye
Each day includes a Scripture reading, a short devotional reflection, and prayer.
Link To: YouVersion 7 Ways to Pray
The Listening Side of Prayer 7-day Reading Plan by Jason Grubbs
Each day includes devotional teaching and between 1-3 associated Scripture readings.
Link To: YouVersion – The Listening Side of Prayer