Trouble praying? Prayer journaling, a book review + giveaway!

Disclaimer: Family Christian provided me with a copy of “Praying the Bible” for review, and they are providing one to the giveaway winner (see below).This review and all the thoughts and opinions contained in it are honest and my own. This post contains Family Christian Affiliate Links. 

In his most recent book “Praying The Bible”, Donald S. Whitney, offers readers a method of prayer that draws from the bible, particularly the psalms to pray through the regular concerns, thanksgivings, and petitions we have each day. Though I was a little unsure at first, (perhaps because we are different denominations), I found the book very clear, and his method was very fulfilling.

Whitney is a professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Whitney talks like a pastor, but his speech is clear. You don’t have to have a deep understanding of theology to read his book — he writes at a level that is easy for all to understand and so for some, this will be an easy read. That’s okay though, the whole point is to get you praying the method right? And his method was one that I enjoyed very much.

Though I’m not terribly familiar with the concept of prayer in other denominations, I believe that most Christian faiths including Catholics would find that this method of prayer fits in with their beliefs. In fact, since you have to choose part of the bible to pray over, Catholics (or others) could even use the daily reading, especially the responsorial psalm, as the chosen passage to pray through.

why pray the bible?

Whitney suggests that a lot of people get “bored” with prayer, or they think their prayers sound repetitive and dull. I never really had that concern much — perhaps because I have only been praying regularly for a few years, but my prayer problems tend to be “When will Michelle stop tacking people on to the end of this prayer list” or “I forget the words of the Fatima prayer.” I think the fact that there are so many Catholic prayers to meditate over helps too, when I feel like I don’t know what to pray I just turn to one of those and invariably God has a way of leading me where He wants me.

However, I do think Whitney’s method is a great way to pray, and perhaps it will help you if you feel like you just pray for the same things over and over. Certainly it will help us to pray in a way that is more aligned with God’s will, since we are using His words to pray it.

So how did I do it? And how can you do it? I don’t think Whitney will mind me telling you, since his book contains a section entitled “If You Teach This To Others” and then instructs you on how to do just that.

the “praying the bible” method

Basically, you choose a part of the bible to pray through. The psalms are really good for this, and so he (and I) encourage you to start with a psalm. Basically you start with the first line, and use those words to guide your prayer. Today’s responsorial psalm starts: “Blessed the man who makes the LORD his trust;” so I might pray “Lord, help me to be more trusting of others. Help me to be a trustworthy partner and friend.” or I might pray “Help me to always trust and have faith in you Lord. We know that faith is a gift. Grow my faith strong like a tree and help me always to rely only on you”.

You can pray whatever comes to mind, even if it seems like it has nothing to do with the verse you just read. Perhaps I see the word man and I pray for the men of the world, the fathers, the priests, etc.

now try it!

You do not have to write anything down to “pray the bible”, I just chose to since I’m a visual learner and happen to love arts and crafts. Since this was my first try, and I am not a skilled calligraphist, I photocopied a page from my bible and used that to journal on. I wrote down the line that I was praying, and then my little prayer below it. Psalm 22 turned out to be a little dark. That’s okay, there are plenty of prayers that can be said using these kinds of psalms too. Not every prayer is a joyous one.

Whitney goes into more detail about this in his book… which you can win below! Good luck, and if you try this way of praying I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section! If you’d rather just buy this book right away, it’s available from Family Christian.

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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