3 Helpful Prayer Resources
In the past few years, I feel like God has been drawing me more and more deeply to prayer and the various ways of practicing the "holy conversation" with God. Add to that my ministry context where we are constantly talking about what prayers "work" and what should prayer really look like, etc. In light of that, I wanted to give you three (out of many, many more) resources that I have found extremely helpful in developing a richer discipline of prayer. Some of them are conventional, some are non-conventional, but I hope they help you.
1. The Psalms - In the last 6 months, I have begun walking through the Psalms one at a time each morning. The great part of doing it this way is that you can spend as much or as little time as you have reading through them. I did spend a day on each section of Psalm 119, given its length, but the others can usually be read in one sitting with some meditation on them. To read the prayers of others, change the subject to ourselves, and pray them as our own is incredibly potent. It's a great practice for those days when we don't know what to pray but long to vocalize our hearts and souls in some way.
2. John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer. This book is indispensable, honestly. It's one of those touchstone books that if you read it you will continue to come back to it over and over again. It is organized into small chunks, and unlike other books on prayer (such as the wonderful writings of E.M. Bounds) it is designed as an aid to prayer rather than an overwhelming bank of words and concepts that may actually get in the way of prayer. I recommend it highly and I also have stories of others who have read it and have been impacted greatly.
3. An "off" switch. Now to the unconventional resources! Recently I watched a lady on a plane turn the power off to her Kindle e-reader. I was surprised, somewhat, as I thought you could only put them into sleep mode but apparently you can switch it off. Which leads to a great insight: every piece of tech in our life has an off switch. The richness and depth of honest conversation with God could stand just outside the silence after a power button has been pressed. Taking time to switch off my radio in the car during my brief morning drive has led to 3-5 minute moments of encounter with God. Why?
The absence of noise equals the ease of perception of God's Spirit wooing me toward life and life to the full.
Practice - intentionally and actively - shutting off and turning off and shutting down and I believe you'll find prayer coming more naturally to you than ever before.
I pray those are helpful. Be well friends. Peace