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? There are so many prayer resources available to inspire and refresh our prayer life. Take a moment to read through the suggestions listed here. There are book reviews, prayer journals, Bible reading plans, and a prayer course – some of these are free. They are all tools that can help develop and deepen the way in which we reach out to communicate with God.
“If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer”Philip Yancey
6 Best books on Prayer
Prayer is our way of communicating with God. We don’t need a format or a method to reach out to God in prayer, but we understand the disciples’ request when they asked 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 one of the best prayer resources we can invest in. I’ve selected a few here of my current favourites, some newly released, and others that are becoming classics.
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!
Practical Prayer Ideas
There are many practical prayer resources available. Prayer is active, it is about relationship, and is lived out every day! Whatever we read about prayer is only going to be helpful when we start applying some of those lessons. I have included a small selection of prayer journals, if you’ve not considered journaling before, this may be something to try. And there are also some free prayer resources available, I have included a few links to follow through.
Prayer Journal Resources
Prayer Journals come in all styles and sizes. They have many different formats, from a simple template to a guided journey through Scripture, and everything in-between. If you are like me and enjoy making notes, particularly with a nice notebook and pen, then you may find prayer journaling a powerful tool. It helps develop the practice of reflecting and recording your responses to Scripture and keeping a record of prayer requests and discerning the answers.
Create by Liz Carter
This notebook consists of unlined pages with feint decorative images, original poetry, and Scripture verses. There are subtle themes through the book to inspire our own creativity. The poetry prompts a train of thought, and the Scripture verses lead gently to a response. The quotes appear at the bottom of the page, in a small font, so rather than being the main focus we are drawn to seek out the words.
If you enjoy doodling, drawing, writing Scripture verse art, or poetry, then this boo inspires to be creative and play with recording our prayers and thoughts in different ways.
150 pages, size 15.24 x 0.86 x 22.86 cm.
Inspired to Grace Prayer Journal
This is a larger sized notebook, with a set template to encourage prayerful Scripture reading and reflection. There is plenty of space to record our response within the lined text boxes. The headings are today’s verse, reflections, prayers, and gratitude. There are no Scripture verses or prompts but a systematic manner for recording daily readings, prayers, and reflections. If this is your style then this book will provide all that you need.
108 pages, size 20.32 x 0.64 x 25.4 cm.
Prayer Journal for Women: 52 week Scripture, Devotional & Guided Prayer Journal by Shannon Roberts.
This is a larger book with four pages for each week of the year. It includes a Scripture and a short reflection for each week, and the verses are organised into themes. There are templates for us to journal our responses to the prompts, or thoughts from our own studies. The headings each week are; thank you; teach me; guide me; things on my heart; highlights, and prayer requests. The interior design is black and white with black backgrounds and borders on the pages. This is a well-designed book to develop the practice of prayer journaling.
231 pages, size 20.32 x 1.35 x 25.4 cm.
Free Prayer Resources
Bible Reading Plans
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
7 Ways to Pray 7-day devotional journey with Amy Boucher Pye
Each day includes a Scripture reading, a short devotional reflection, and prayer.
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.
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
Related Post: Why is Listening to God in Prayer Important
8 Session Prayer Course – compliments ‘How to pray’ book by Pete Grieg
Each session uses the framework of the Lord’s Prayer and starts by introducing the theme. There is an opening prayer, and a video to watch with teaching on the week’s topic. There are discussion questions to help deepen understanding and at the end a practical prayer activity to apply the lesson.
Link To: 24-7 Prayer
Free pdf – Ten Scripture Guided Prayers for Prodigals
Related Post: Praying for our Children