Yesterday at prayer meeting, James recommended the book: Matthew Henry’s A Way to Pray (also called A Method for Prayer) It’s a great book, so I asked Andrew to write a review of it. Here it is:
It’s your quiet time. You sit down. You shut your eyes. And… you begin to pray. Now what?
Prayer can be a daunting task. There are infinite things to pray for and there are countless different words to use. So how do we do it? How does God want us to pray?
At prayer meeting last night Simon showed how Exodus 34:6-7 is repeated throughout Scripture in people’s prayers. God’s people used Scripture as their prayer (almost word for word!). And here is the key for us – our prayers should be soaked in Scripture. We should use the words of Scripture as our prayers. Scripture itself tells us what we should pray for and the words we should use.
God wants the words he has spoken to us to be spoken back to Him.
And this is a wonderful thing to do because as we use Scripture more in our prayers, the more we will pray in line with God’s will. Our will will match God’s will. Is not what is revealed in Scripture God’s will? Absolutely! So surely if we make that will our will, those words our words, God’s words our prayers… well, then, he will answer them. God does what he wills. Of course, this will always be in God’s timing and providence but, nevertheless, that is the way we should pray.
Now the Bible is a big book. It is a mammoth task to memorise all Scripture and be able to turn them into prayers. If only someone had done that for us… well they have! Matthew Henry, a godly minister 300 years ago, did just this. A Method for Prayer is a book in which Henry has compiled lots of prayers about different topics (praise, confession, thanksgiving etc) and all of them are based on verses of Scripture. They are deeply rich, soaked in Scripture and well crafted. Personally, I have found it has changed my prayer life. Not only has it given me direction in what to pray for but also the very words on my lips have been gradually aligning to the words of the Bible.
I recommend this book to pray through just once a day. Read one prayer to yourself. Reflect on it and then pray those words to God. Over time, the language you use will be transformed and your prayers and desires will be become more in line with God’s will.
So, don’t let prayer be daunting. God has told us what to say.
A hardback edition can be found here
Or an online version here: http://www.matthewhenry.org/