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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: "Everyday Prayers"

TITLE: Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith
AUTHOR: Scotty Smith
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

Wow! This book is a gift for the Church. It integrates prayer with Scripture. It weaves cultural understanding with a keen awareness of the times. It packs theology with daily practical applications. Most of all, it focuses attention on God without taking one's eyes off earthly needs.

For each day, Scotty Smith writes a 1-page prayer, beginning with a short Scripture passage. Whether the prayer is in the first, second, or third person, the focus is always directed to God. There are prayers of anticipation (Jan 1), of pain and suffering (Feb 2), for being more Jesus-centered (Mar 14), for clarity (Apr 10), on suicidal fears (May 1), on working hard (May 25), and many more. Smith journals his prayers honestly from his heart, intentionally toward God, and compassionately with the world he loves.

I like this particular phrase that Scotty makes:

"Indeed the central and operative questions in life is not 'What would Jesus do if he were here?' Rather, it is 'What is Jesus doing?' since he is right here, and everywhere else, right now." (14)

How true.

There are so many ways this book can be used. As a devotional, one starts the day with Jesus, trusting one's emotional and spiritual needs to God. As a meditation, one clings on to the Scripture passage which directs the day's prayer focus. As a prayer, one internalizes the needs of the world with the feelings inside the heart. Regardless of the ups and downs in daily living, this book enables readers to journey strongly in faith and in confidence that God is in charge. The book can also be used for public prayer, like the congregational prayer in churches.

Fresh. Intentional. Biblical. Brilliant. If you buy this book, do not let it sit on your bookshelves. Keep it by your bedside. Pray with it. Mark it. Meditate on Scripture with it. If you are looking to pay more attention to God, this book is like turning a key on our ignition engine to start our vehicle of prayer.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

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