"Our prayers and God's mercy are like two buckets in a well. While the one ascends, the other descends. So, while our prayers ascend to God in heaven, his mercies and blessings descend upon us." - Ezekiel Hopkins
Many of us likely feel our time in prayer could use a boost, the same way we have good intentions to exercise (but never get to it), make a monthly meal plan (but that requires a lot of forethought) or going through the storage closet in the basement (but that project is just too overwhelming).
We wonder what it means to be “good” at prayer and how much time is enough, as if there’s a measuring stick.
Jesus withdrew from the crowds intentionally to pray. Jonah had nowhere else to go, stuck in the belly of a whale, so he prayed repentantly. Hannah prays in deep longing, the disciples gather to pray for Peter’s release, Hezekiah prays in his illness, David prays words of lament and praise. The prayers of Paul for the church are spread throughout his letters.
Scripture teaches us to pray constantly, to pray for each other, to be watchful and pray, to pray for our leaders, to pray together and alone, to pray in confession, adoration, supplication, and thanksgiving.
There’s a lot to go on here, but the point is, to pray.
Into His Presence is a new book coming out by Tim Chester. It’s a compilation of prayers written by Puritan believers. If you don’t know the Puritans, their movement in England during the 16th century, passionate “to see the church shaped by the Bible with a gospel of justification by faith alone.” Many were persecuted, forced out of the Church of England and some sailed for the safety of America.
I’ve started reading some of the books they’ve written, often a collection of sermons they preached, and I’m struck with how practically and exhaustively they teach on a topic, which has really helped me, both in understanding scripture and in my own writing.
As I've gone through this book, I've been blessed, encouraged and humbled. These prayers are rich in scripture and theology, and when I pray them, I’m drawn to worship God and invite the work of the Spirit in my life.
When I've not known what words to offer, these prayers express truth with emotion and passion, helping me fix my eyes on the goodness and justice of God. There’s also no rushing through them, because the words bid you to stop a minute and take it all in.
So, if you’re looking for a prayer resource, something to draw you toward praying more and praying faithfully, I would recommend this one. It will guide your time in reflection of God’s Word and help you pause to meditate on His character.
# of pages: 208
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
*Thanks to the Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review!