Prayer is easy. Prayer is valuable. Prayer is difficult. Prayer is unknown. These phrases among many more begin to describe people’s view of prayer. It’s also helpful to know the most diligent prayer warriors struggle with prayer. Even they desire for their prayer life to grow deeper. However, there is an easy and practical technique one can use to pray better.
Don Whitney has recently written a very small and effective book called, Praying the Bible. In this short book, which can be read in less than two hours, he provides a simple framework to pray better. Mostly he suggests Christians should pray the Psalms.
According to Whitney the Psalms provide the best and most consistent place in scripture to teach us to pray. This is because he believes that every theology taught in the Bible can be found somewhere in the Psalms. Now, he doesn’t want you to neglect the rest of scripture. Rather his point is that by regularly praying through the Psalms one’s prayer life will increase as they learn the theology of scripture too.
As a result, Whitney suggests this should be done by scanning the first five Psalms. In doing so a Christian should be able to find a Psalms they identify with and can begin to pray. As one prays they simply read each line of the Psalm they selected and pray it to the Lord. One may rephrase the line in a way that is more personal and prayerful for them. Also, each line may remind one of other things from their life to pray over. Then once all the reminders have been prayed over the Christian should move on to the next line in the Psalm until finished. Admittedly some lines may not inspire very much prayer. This is acceptable because within each Psalm there are plenty of prompts to increase the ease, interest, and value of one’s prayer life, which is the goal. A goal that can be repeated each day as one returns to pray the next five Psalms.
Personally, I have enjoyed this technique for about two-weeks now. Often I would pray other parts of scripture the same way, but it never occurred to me to make the Psalms my regular practice. In doing so I’ve found that not only has my prayer life increased, I’m personally changing, and my appreciation for biblical poetry is growing. One could argue this technique is already answering prayer due to the ways this new prayer approach is affecting other parts of my life.
In closing, I share this with you not because Dr. Whitney has paid me to or because I received a free copy of the book. I share this with you because this prayer technique is powerful and practical. I’ve already seen it in my life and I believe you can too. I know many people who want to “know how to pray” better. Well, this book is a tool that offers a very simple solution to an old problem. My hope is that you will read it, but my prayer is that your prayer life will grow even more.