I’ve been ever so slowly working my way through Handbook to Prayer: Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa, and I’m finding it very helpful in my times with the Lord. I’ve linked to the Kindle version because it’s much more affordable, but I’m using a leather-bound edition that I’ve had on my shelves for ages. Sometimes I can do an entire day of the plan in one sitting, and when I’m pressed for time, I just do part of the plan and resume the next day. The book, as the title suggests, weaves Scripture into prayers and exhortations. Here’s how the book is laid out:
Part One: Morning Affirmations These are short thoughts to start off your day. Here’s one called Circumstances of the Day:
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28; also see 8:29)
I acknowledge that You are in control of all things in my life, and that You have my best interests at heart. Because of this I will trust and obey You today.
Review and commit the events of this day into the hands of God.
Part Two: Daily Prayer Guide This section (the largest of the book) is divided into three months of daily readings. Each day’s reading (about four pages for each) is broken down into Adoration, Confession, Renewal, Petition, Intercession, Affirmation, Thanksgiving, and a Closing Prayer.
My reading for today includes a personalized portion of Psalm 139 in the Adoration section, a verse from Psalm 41 (“O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.) in the Confession time, selections from the Sermon on the Mount and a verse from Mark 8 (“May I be more concerned about the things of God than the things of men.”) in the Renewal section. In the Petition part, there was a verse from Deuteronomy and a breakdown of things to pray about: family, ministry, sharing Christ with others, helping others grow in Him, career, my activities for this day, and special concerns. In Intercession, there was a verse from Psalm 5 and then a list of areas for prayer: local missions, national missions, world missions, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, and special concerns. For Affirmation, I read verses from Job 28, Psalm 25, Psalm 128, and Psalm 147. In the Thanksgiving section I read some verses form John 16. The Closing Prayer included verses from Micah 6 and Romans 14, all personalized for praying back to God.
Part Three: One-Week Prayer Guide This is one week of those sections I just mentioned above (Adoration, Confession, etc.)
Part Four: Personal Prayer Pages Here are a few lined blank pages for jotting down your own prayers. Obviously, this works better in the printed edition.
As I said, I’ve found this a helpful guide in my devotional time. There’s something about praying God’s Word back to Him that is powerful and personal. It’s a good tool and would be an excellent “training” manual for a new Christian.
If you give this book a try, I’d love to hear about it. And if you try the Kindle version, I’d like to know how that works out, too.
Reading & praying,