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Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Pray the Scriptures" (Kevin Johnson)

TITLE: Pray the Scriptures: A 40-Day Prayer Experience
AUTHOR: Kevin Johnson
PUBLISHER: Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2013, (177 pages).

This book is a 40-day journey of prayer using the Bible as the main reference.Noting that the early Christians have a habit of praying the Scriptures, praying is very much about reciting back to God, the Word of God, with us as interested parties. Arising from the author's own worship experience, the book comprises of prayers that are intermingled with the preparation to worship God. In the process, there is spiritual formation going on, beginning with an initial thought, questions posed, prayerful responses, and finally, a declaration of who God is, as prayed in the Bible.

Each day, one chapter of the Bible is offered as the main spiritual food source. Through longings, wonderings, and worship, the Word of God helps readers to linger with the presence of God in mind. The various themes are provided as a guide to the 40-day journey. For example, John 10 is about Jesus being our Shepherd. It is not simply the reading of the prayers, but also an invitation for readers to respond. Finally, the book can also be used by groups as a discussion format. The short questions, at the end of each chapter, or day, provide readers some starting thoughts to discuss. There are also prayers on finding out God's plan (Romans 8); prayers to encourage the spiritually weary (Ephesians 2); prayers to provide hope (John 14); prayers to see God (Ps 19); and many more.

The key to reading the book is not to rush from cover to cover. Read the words slowly. Respond in writing with a purpose. Even a one-word response, written honestly, can evoke a desire to connect with God. Do not be distracted by the need to maintain a 40-days schedule. Travel as you feel freely. Cover a few days at a time, or stay at a passage for a few days. Speed up or slow down, let the Spirit guide your reading and your praying. Of course, the best result when reading this book is not to be locked into this book per se, but to be led to the love of Scriptures, and the desire for God more and more. If this book is able to lead you in this direction, you are on the way to spiritual formation and growth. 

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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