“Do I have to pray daily?” she asked.
I looked at my new friend’s puzzled expression over the salads that were just placed before us. I delivered what I hoped was a warm, understanding smile before responding. “Does prayer feel like a chore? Like something you’re supposed to do?”
“Yes!” She answered without hesitation. “It’s on my list of ‘shoulds’. I should eat right. I should exercise. I should pray every day. But I rarely want to pray.”
By asking careful questions of this brave friend who was willing to risk vulnerability, I discovered that her reluctance toward prayer began in childhood. She was required to pray each night before bed with a father who later abandoned their family. After he left, she begged God to restore her family. She perceived those pleas as the beginning of a lifetime of unanswered prayers.
She felt as if she were the only one struggling to trust God, as if everyone who surrounded her in church each week found it easy to turn to Him in daily prayer.
In reality, many Christians occasionally feel blocked in prayer. Most of us sometimes wonder if God is listening. It’s during those seasons when our faith is stretched. We can give up and stop our practice of prayer, or we can see the opportunity to press in and watch Him restore our trust.
By regularly talking to God through prayer, we make it possible to see and feel real, tangible blessings. But what do the Scriptures say about prayer?
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Does the Bible Say I Should Pray Daily?
Christianity is more about relationship than religion. It’s not that we’re required to pray every day in response to spiritual law. It’s more of a heart issue. We’re called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (see Matthew 22:37). To love God, we must spend time with Him, foster a relationship with Him, and establish trust—just as we would in any human relationship.
That said, we’re instructed in the Bible to “pray at all times” (Ephesians 6:18, CSB) and to “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). These instructions imply more than a requirement to bend our knees and bow our heads at a particular time every day. Instead, they speak into our need for a continual attitude of prayer, seeking God and abiding in Him in all we do.
What are the benefits of daily prayer?
I find it’s so easy to become absorbed with my daily routine: get up, get ready for work, take care of the family, and fly out the door to meet the day. There’s so much to be done and never enough to finish it all. When my time is scheduled to overflowing, why would I pause and take time to pray and seek God?
The benefit of time
When I spend time with God, I find I’m more efficient. I believe God honors the time I devote to Him and supernaturally returns it to me as I move through my tasks, responsibilities, and even fun activities. It’s the law of sowing and reaping. When I sow time into my relationship with Jesus, I reap multiplied time for other things. If I were to plant a kernel of corn into a fertile field, I would harvest several ears with hundreds of kernels. The Bible says “whatever a person sows he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). One powerful (and nearly unexplainable) benefit to daily prayer is reaping the efficiency of time every day.
The benefit of drawing near to God with prayer
There are many other benefits as well. By sitting with God each day, I learn to discern His will for my life. Decisions become easier and stress diminishes. My relationship with Him grows stronger and I feel more confidence and assurance. When I pray daily, I more readily sense His closeness and His love for me. Through daily prayer, I grow my faith and draw near to God.
The benefit of involvement with God through daily prayer
When we pray, we’re given the blessing of watching Him work. I believe He encourages us to ask so that we can become more involved with what He’s doing. When I pray for someone, I’m more alert to the changes that come in their circumstance. It builds my hope which I can then share with others.
How to Pray Daily When You’re Short on Time
Because prayer is simply a conversation with God, it can take place at any time, day or night. God is always available. We don’t need a reservation to talk with Him or wait for Him to give us His attention before we begin. We can talk to Him while we’re driving, in the shower, cooking lunch, changing diapers, or any other time of the day. I do like to converse with Him throughout the day in whatever I’m doing, but I like to give Him my full, undivided attention too. Here are some ways I’ve learned to do this, even my work or family schedule is full to the brim:
If I’m going to give God my full attention, it’s the easiest first thing in the morning. Just as I’m opening my eyes, I thank Him for the new day and invite Him to lead me in all I do. This works best for me before getting out of bed, before jumping on the scale, or reaching for my first cup of coffee. Then, as I rise and I’m bombarded with all things that need doing, I know I’ve already made Him my priority. The rest of the day I can stay in a continued conversation with Him about whatever comes up.
Keep Prayer Short
Prayer is about building a relationship with God and spending time with Him in conversation. He knows what we need before we ask (see Matthew 6:8), so when we turn to Him, we’re simply sharing our heart on a matter. If you’re a parent, consider the difference between knowing something about your child because you saw it on social media versus hearing it through a heartfelt conversation. If you’re like me, you’d much rather see the joy on your child’s face or be able to encourage them through trials than just know what they experienced. I believe the same is true with God. We are His children and He loves when we share the details of our lives with Him.
Our prayers don’t need to be lengthy and filled with spiritual words. Matthew 6:7 (CEV) instructs, “When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers.” We can simply talk to God as we would our best friend. Often, honestly, and in friendly, conversational tones.
Use Tips and Tools to Grow Closer to God in prayer
It takes a measure of discipline to pray every day. There are a few tips and tools that I use to help the process and stay dedicated to at least short daily prayers. Each helps me draw near to God and develop an abiding relationship with Him.
1) Devotional books
The first tool is a daily devotional book. This is filled with short readings that take only a few moments and point my heart toward the goodness of God. Reading a devotional helps me know what to pray and often provides a Bible verse that I can pray back to God. Two of my current favorite devotional books are Everyday Joy, a compilation from the writers at The Joyful Life Magazine, and Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons.
I’ve also released a daily prayer devotional for marriage. It’s a powerful tool that guides prayer for couples or individuals, specifically on the topic of marriage. I believe all marriages need prayer and whether you’re married or want to pray for the marriages of those you know, this devotional (31 Specific Prayers for Your Marriage) is sure to be a blessing to you.
2) Prayer Journals
Recording my prayers helps me focus. Whether I write prayers longhand or add bulleted notes to a prayer journal, I find it helpful to have a pen in my hand. Prayer journals often provide helpful prompts, walking me through several parts of prayer including thankfulness, praise, confession, and asking.
A friend of mine recently released a printable prayer journal bundle. It’s not only lovely, but it also shares specific Scriptures to pray for categories like marriage, forgiveness, family, and more. I also like that I can print only what I need and use the files over and over as I need more pages for my journal. Take a look at all of the great content inside:
3) Daily Prayer Challenge
Sometimes I need a bit of prompting to stay on track. Since I know a few other people who benefit from daily reminders, I created the free 21-day prayer challenge. Inside the challenge, a prayer prompt is delivered to your email inbox first thing each morning for 21 days. It’s open for anyone to join and, again, is my gift to my readers.
What Does the Bible Say About Prayer?
Throughout His Word, God emphasized the need for prayer. It’s a sound practice to help us draw near to God day by day. Prayer helps grow your faith and develop an abiding relationship with Jesus, so we should practice it daily and work toward an attitude of continually communing with God. I want to leave you with a few Scriptures on prayer that I’m sure will fuel your desire to connect with God. In time, I believe you will stop thinking of yourself as someone who is reluctant to pray and start seeing yourself as a child of God who enjoys spending time with the Father.
You are a Child of God. Come enjoy time with your Heavenly Father. Remember, God listens to and acts on every word we utter to Him. Here are 5 inspiring Bible verses revealing that God hears our prayers.
Jeremiah 29:12 (CSB)
You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
2 Chronicles 7:14
And my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.
I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears.
Why It’s Important to Pray Every Day
Once again, prayer is about building a relationship with God. It’s about turning to Him will all of our cares, joys, celebrations, and tears. When we do, we draw closer to Him and He draws near to us. While it’s not required that we pray every day, the benefits to “praying without ceasing” (as the Bible instructs) are endless. God is less interested in our regimen than He is with our friendship and our desire to fellowship with Him. By offering even short prayers every day, we see an increase in our desire to be near to Him. As we’re honest and vulnerable with Him, we develop trust and it becomes easier to seek Him more. Yes, prayer is a foundational habit to grow our faith and connect with Jesus, the Living God.
It’s not uncommon. All followers of Jesus have seasons of life when they feel distant from Him. It’s a natural part of our spiritual journey. Knowing that, however, didn’t ease my feelings of discouragement when it happened to me. Our family—and I suspect yours too—has seen long periods of unexpected, sometimes troubling situations. I’ll admit that amid the distractions, I wondered if I would ever be able to draw near to God again.
I’m thankful that when we draw near to God He draws near to us. The Bible promises this is so. Even when my efforts feel feeble—or somewhat mechanical—God responds. I’ve experienced firsthand that remaining consistent with the spiritual practices (or “holy habits”) helps me feel God’s nearness again. It helps me grow in faith and sense God’s closeness and His favor.
What does it mean to draw near to God?
Drawing near to God is a process of humbling myself, confessing my sins, and turning my full focus upon Him. Often that means finding a way to mute daily distractions. It requires making room in my schedule for time with Him, even when I don’t “feel” like it or when countless disruptions stare me in the face.
Drawing near to God means letting go of my own desires and letting God have His way in my life. This is a picture of submission to the Holy King. When I submit to Him, I affirm—day by day—His priority in my life.
As I draw near to God with a sincere heart (see Hebrews 10:22), I see His promises become apparent in my life. I recognize His blessings, His partnership in my efforts, and His mercy in my mistakes. I no longer feel alone or separated from Him and I can sense that He walks with me every minute.
Grow in Faith and Find Intimacy With God
I believe that all followers of Jesus want to draw near to Him and develop an intimate level of faith that’s unshakeable, even through the most challenging seasons of life. Our distractions don’t have to make us feel discouraged or steal the focus we want to give God. We don’t have to feel as if we’re missing out on the blessings He has in store for us. Instead, with some intentional practice, we can grow in faith. Later in this post, I’ll share some tips on how to practice our faith daily.
Resist the Devil When You Draw Near to God
James 4:7 (ESV) says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” When we draw near to God, we enter into His presence—a place where evil cannot dwell. The most effective way to resist the devil is to practice the holy habits that help us connect more deeply with the Lord. The following verse confirms it. James 4:8a (ESV) says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Why is it Important to Draw Near to God?
Our current world events seem to become more troubling every instant. It’s clear that I cannot handle every situation I face on my own. I fully understand my need for divine help, so I draw near to Him in prayer.
As with any relationship, intimacy with God develops when I spend quality time with Him, practicing His presence and turning to Him. The more comfortable I begin to feel with God and the more I delight in His presence when my circumstances are good, the more readily I can turn to Him and receive His partnership in everything I face.
Then, as I rely on God more and more and receive His blessings, I begin to reflect His love. Soon, others around me start to sense something different in me—a level of hope they may sense is missing in their own lives. This opens doors to begin conversations about Jesus and His love. Not only is my life blessed, but I can start to have an influence on others and share the hope of Christ.
I feel so strongly about the importance of drawing near to God that I created an online membership to support you as you grow in Christ. I invite you to hear more in this video.
5 Beginning Steps to Draw Near to God
By now I hope you’re wondering—How do I get more faith in God? How can I practice my faith daily? Here are 5 simple beginning steps to begin the process. Keep in mind that they are simple, but unless you practice them, you will not experience the deep connection with God that you seek.
Read His Word to Draw Near to God
At times the Bible can be difficult to understand, but I hope you won’t let that deter you from reading it every day. I found that it becomes so much easier to understand when I ask the Holy Spirit to guide and teach me as I read. The key is simply to begin. Find a place to start—the Gospel of John, the Psalms, or even Genesis—and begin reading. Before your eyes touch the first word, ask God for wisdom and understanding. He will meet you where you are and soon you’ll be drawing near to Him.
Worship God to Enter His Presence
One way that I feel almost immediately connected to God is through worshipping Him. Psalm 16:11 (NASB) says, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand, there are pleasures forever.” Worship is an essential step to enter His presence and draw near to God.
Our worship can take on many forms, like quiet meditation, writing, speaking, or singing about who the Lord has shown Himself to be. We can worship at church, of course, but we can also praise Him while doing mundane tasks like laundry, changing diapers, driving to work, or in any task we do.
Pray Without Ceasing to Connect with Jesus
The very nature of prayer suggests that we draw near to God as we begin. Prayer is much more than a wish list—it involves connection and fellowship with Him. In the Scriptures, Jesus made an ongoing habit of prayer, yet He didn’t use a ritual or repeated words as He prayed. He often shared true, raw emotion before His Father while staying fully submitted to His will. We, too, can show our real, heartfelt emotion as we draw near to God in prayer. We can imagine ourselves climbing into the lap of our Abba Father and feeling safe in His arms. Being honest and vulnerable with God is a quick way to develop intimacy with Him.
Engage With Other Believers
One often-overlooked way to draw near to God is to partner with other believers. Don’t go this journey alone. Developing strong spiritual habits that grow your faith is easier alongside like-minded friends. I almost always find greater success when I work together with others who support, encourage, and inspire me. Develop friendships with others who have similar goals. Ask them to help you press on and connect with Jesus and in deeper and more meaningful ways.
Practice Faith Daily
Alongside practicing spiritual habits, building strong character is essential to drawing near to God. I find that my intimacy with Him is more intense when I confess my sins, forgive others, practice gratitude, and live generously. Each requires that I rely on God’s strength to (as Colossians 1:10 says), walk in a manner worthy of Him.
God is always near. He is always accessible to us and will never leave us (see Hebrews 13:5). Still, we can take intentional steps to deepen our connection with Him. With a sincere heart and commitment to intimacy with God, we can draw near, receive His goodness, respond to His love, and rest in His promises. There’s no greater joy than the unshakeable faith that comes when we do.
Earlier on the blog I laid out a simple, 15-minute challenge to sprout our spiritual growth:
Read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb each day.
Like when we meditate on God’s Word, the simple practice of reading it daily helps turn our hearts to God and keep Him at the forefront of our minds. The Psalms are filled with encouragement and hope while the Proverbs teach wisdom and point us toward a character-filled life. Reviewing them often—reading God’s Word as an ongoing process—draws us into a deeper, abiding connection with the Lord of Hosts.
That’s the entire goal for sprouting our spiritual growth. It’s the process of transformation that draws us into a closer relationship with Jesus. It prepares us to allow the Holy Spirit, making us more like Christ so that we may participate in the divine (see 2 Peter 1:3-8).
As we begin to adopt new practices like meditating on God’s Word, it’s not merely for the sake of doing, it’s for the sake of displaying more of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and less of our worldly nature.
Today’s challenge is also simple:
Mull it over. Meditate on God’s Word
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Meditate on God’s Word
The thought of meditation has taken on some negative connotations. Eastern religions and new age thinking often twist the Biblical practice. Throughout God’s Word, however, we’re instructed to mediate (mull over) on God and on His precepts and ways. When we meditate according to God’s instruction, we ponder His truths.
Biblical meditation is not a practice of emptying our minds to let “the universe fill the voids.” Rather, it is focusing intently on God’s Word. As you read Scripture, take time to pause when a verse stirs your heart. For example, when I read Psalm 5:12 yesterday, it captured my attention and felt like a spiritual hug from God. So I paused to meditate.
A Meditation Example
In The Passion Translation Psalm 5:12 says: “Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy.” I began to mull over the verse, considering the wonderful blessings that God gives His children. My mind traveled back a few days and I recalled God’s goodness in both large and very small ways. I thanked the Lord and spent time recognizing each gift as coming from my Heavenly Father.
Next, I pondered the idea of His favor wrapping around me. It isn’t in front of me or behind me, but wraps all around me, shielding me from every direction. When I considered being covered by a canopy of His kindness and joy, I couldn’t help but smile. Mulling over this passage brought a new thought to my mind: How can I live differently today knowing that God’s favor wraps around me, He has blessings in store for me, and that I am covered in His kindness and joy? As I face things like an uncomfortable conversation, or a new business venture, or deal with a challenging personality, how can I think and act differently knowing the promises of Psalm 5:12?
Embrace God’s Promises
The Psalms and Proverbs are books of poetry. They’re beautifully written AND they are God’s truth. They’re thick with promises that the Lord will fulfill, and gifts that He wishes to lavish upon us as His own.
By mulling over Scripture, by taking the time to recognize that the Words are intended for me, personally, and by receiving them as my own, my outlook changes. My mood improves. And my hope and joy grow. I recognize that the Lord doesn’t intend for me to say stuck in a life of hum-drum, but longs to bless me as a child of the King. As we move toward sprouting our spiritual growth, I encourage you to take a few minutes after reading God’s Word and mull it over. Let it penetrate your mind and sink into your heart. Receive God’s promises and grab hold of them with all your might.
Additional Help for Meditation
My friend, Manyesha Batist helped me greatly. I’m thrilled to share her short video that helps me meditate on God’s Word. If you’re joining me on this journey of spiritual growth, I’d love to know! Please reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram. And share this post with others if you feel they’ll be blessed! May God’s Word strengthen you today,
If you’re like me, you might be feeling a bit unsettled these days, wondering how to find and embrace inner peace. There’s one thing that’s helped me immensely and that’s drawing near to God. My ultimate favorite way to do that is through Bible Study. I receive a lot of questions about how to get started, so I decided to post these helpful tips for Bible study beginners.
If this is your first step into learning God’s Word, allow me to be the first to say welcome to Bible study! Knowing some basic information will help you persevere, and will hopefully set a fire in your heart for learning more about God through the Bible. So let’s start at the beginning.
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Why is Bible Study Important for Beginners?
Before beginning any endeavor, it’s important to understand why you’re starting. Your “why” will help you push through when it doesn’t feel easy, or in the case of Bible study, when you’d rather press your snooze button and get a few extra minutes of sleep. Here are some compelling reasons why Bible study is important:
We learn about God.
The Bible reveals who God is and shows His character. Sometimes it seems the world portrays God as a mean judge, constantly trying to catch us making mistakes. As you open His Word, however, that’s not what you’ll find at all. You’ll begin to see His true nature as a loving Father, a helpful Guide, and a beloved friend.
The Bible is a Plumbline of Truth.
There’s a lot of noise in our society, and lots of people offering their opinions on every subject imaginable. It’s always important to have a baseline of truth from which to consider the opinions of others. God’s Word is truth (see John 17:17). When we know and understand His truth, it strengthens our daily decisions, improves our relationships, and delivers inner peace.
We discover God’s love for us.
Bible study is especially important for beginners who want to discover how God sees them as His children. Through God’s Word, I discover that I am His child, He loves me unconditionally, I never disappoint Him, and that He values me just as I am—so much that His Son willingly sacrificed His life for me. As you dig into His Word, you’ll realize He feels just the same about you
What is the Best Way for Beginners to Study the Bible?
While there are many methods of Bible study, the best way for beginners to study the is to. . .
- Observe the Text by slowly reading and examining what it says.
- Interpret the Text by looking up meanings of words in the original language and taking context into consideration. Even beginners can do this easily with Bible apps like Strong’s Concordance or through websites like blueletterbible.com.
- Apply the Text by taking what you learn to heart. Consider how it can impact your situation, your upcoming decisions, and your current needs. Then trust God’s instruction and live it out.
Bible Study Ideas
As you begin to study the Bible at home, here are some ideas to get you started.
Study the Bible by Verse
Bible apps like You Version Bible provide a verse of the day and offer a large number of translations to choose from. Using that as a starting point, you can use the Observe, Interpret, Apply method of Bible study (detailed above) to learn more about that verse.
Study the Bible by Topic
If you’re currently struggling with something specific (such as fear, worry or anxiety), you can use sites like info to search for those words and discover what the Bible says about them.
Study the Bible by Book
Many people study individual books of the Bible, like the book of Esther, for example, or John, or Matthew, or Romans. By studying a book in its entirety, you’ll discover much deeper meaning and context than studying by verse.
Bible Study Groups
It’s always nice to study with a group of friends. Having the ability to talk about what you’re learning is helpful and many times additional resources are used inside groups. Since it’s difficult to meet in groups right now, online Bible studies are becoming more popular. One I recommend is through the Facebook group for The Joyful Life Magazine. They offer online studies once a quarter or so.
Bible Study at Home
Here’s where I want to encourage you right now. Just begin today, right where you are. Pray and ask God to lead you with His wisdom, then open His Word and begin. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll reap some of His overwhelming blessings. Engage with your family members, or start off on your own. There’s no reason to fear because God will meet with you when you seek Him. When the Bible seems confusing, look into different versions or look up the word meanings as suggested above, or consult with a friend or pastor who knows the Bible well.
Tools for Bible Study Beginners
You may wonder what you need to begin studying the Bible. What you truly need is simply a Bible (electronic or in book form), a pencil, and some paper. The more you progress, however, the more you’ll enjoy having some writing tools to use. The pages of paper Bibles are thin and a lot of the writing instruments we use every day bleed through the pages and make it hard to read. Here are some of my favorite writing tools that I use specifically for Bible study:
Bible Study Pens
I like these Micro Pens from Amazon because they come in a variety of colors, they’re fine-tipped which makes it easier to write in small spaces, and best of all, they don’t bleed through Bible pages. This set from Sakura is even higher quality but has fewer color selections.
Bible Study Highlighters
Call me crazy but my favorite Bible study highlighters aren’t highlighters at all. They’re colored pencils, but they never bleed, they’re comfortable to write with, and they come in a large variety of colors. Check out these Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils. You can also find Bible Study Highlighters in Bible book stores or online, but I find they’re more expensive and don’t last as long.
It’s nice to have smaller, narrower sticky notes that fit into the margins of your Bible. For that reason, I like those designed for calendars like these from Erin Condren. (And they’re cute)!
Bible Reflection Worksheets
I created these printable worksheets to use over and over with any book or passage of the Bible. They’ve proved invaluable in my faith walk and I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Books I recommend for Bible Study Beginners
It’s always a good idea to start to accumulate a small library of resources. There are several books I recommend—specifically for Bible Study beginners—because they have fueled my own faith.
- Without question, you need a Bible that’s easy to read and understand. To begin your journey, I recommend a version that’s a bit more conversational in tone, but still maintains the integrity of original Biblical texts. The CSB version is my favorite and is available in these gems: The Study Bible for Women, She Reads Truth and (in)Courage Devotional Bible.
- Believing God was the first book I ever read by Beth Moore and it had a profound impact on my life and ministry. It remains one of my highest recommendations, even after all these years.
- Kay Arthur is another Bible study favorite because she teaches you to mine God’s word for truth on your own. I recommend Lord Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days.
I hope these pointers and recommendations get you off to a strong start in Bible study, especially if you’re a beginner. As always, I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!
To your closer connection to God,
Nearly every Christian can use a boost in our prayer lives, whether we’re seasoned or new to the practice. I thought I’d share what I believe are the best Christian books on prayer. Perhaps they’ll make good gifts for friends or titles to add to your own wish list. I hope they’ll eventually make it into your library because each of them will strengthen your prayer life.
Any way you look at it, this will be a good resource whenever you need it. I suggest you bookmark this post if you think you’ll refer back to it later. 🙂
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Best Christian Books on Prayer
Let’s get to it! Here are the books on prayer that I most often recommend. Be sure to read all the way through—at the end of this post, I’ll share a few of my additional favorite things.
Number One: Fervent
by Priscilla Shirer
I had the privilege of watching this book in action and it was amazing! We used Fervent as a backdrop for our Lord, Teach Us to Pray study. Many in the group were blessed through Priscilla’s direct approach and practical wisdom. Some said it was the best book they read all year. Purchase Fervent Here
This book is a long-time favorite, filled with stories, testimonies, and powerful works of God that the Brooklyn Tabernacle church experienced through the prayer of the people. It provides a lot of ideas to strengthen your prayer life. Purchase Fresh Wind Fresh Fire here
Beth simply speaks my language. I am always blessed by her teaching and this book is no exception. My highlighter worked overtime in this book. She shares her teaching journey and gives us a “behind the scenes look” at her ministry – while encouraging readers to dig into God’s Word and pray it right back to Him. If you’re looking for Scriptures to strengthen your prayer life, look no further. Purchase Praying God’s Word Here
Stormie has written extensively on the topic of prayer and you’re sure to find blessing through any (and all) of her work. In this particular edition, Stormie encourages us to pray for something we tend to neglect: ourselves. It’s not selfish, it’s not idolatry. Praying for our own needs is a BIG part of self-care that equips us to meet the needs of those around us. As women, we often pour out at work, as a parent, as a spouse, as a daughter, as a sister, and as a friend. This is God’s reminder that He’s willing to pour into us. What a gem. Purchase The Power of a Praying Woman here
To me, this is a bare-bones basic instruction manual on how and when to pray and holds a solid position in my best Christian books on prayer. Elizabeth has a wonderful way of making things simple and easy to follow. You’ll grow spiritually as you read her work, and this book helps us all strengthen our prayer by putting it into practice. Purchase The Heart of a Woman Who Prays here
Like Fervent, this book came out of the inspiration of the movie War Room. It takes beginners and seasoned prayer warriors through simple and attainable practices to engage in prayer. My favorite quote from this book is “When prayer becomes your immediate reflex instead of your last resort, the whole battlefield begins to tilt in your direction.” The Kendrick brothers show us how to use prayer as the first weapon we grab when trials strike. This will make a great gift for the men in your lives, and you’ll find encouragement in its pages as well. Purchase The Battle Plan for Prayer here
Here’s a moment of transparency. I haven’t read this one. It was recommended to me by my dear friend and mentor who worked with Evelyn in her ministry. When I purchased it… I bought the wrong book. (It was by Evelyn Christiansen and it blessed me immensely – the link to that book is here.) At any rate, I have no doubt of its excellence. Evelyn led the charge for prayer groups forming around the world in the 70’s and 80’s. We have much to glean from her wisdom. Purchase What Happens When Women Pray here
This book goes far beyond prayer and covers many different faith-building practices. I include it in this list of best Christian books on prayer for its comprehensive encouragement in both prayer and fasting, which go hand in hand. Don’t let the word “disciplines” scare you – for the most part, they’re simple ways to engage with the Lord and build a strong, foundational relationship with Him. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to deepen their walk with Christ. Purchase Spiritual Disciplines here
Number Nine: War Room movie
(I know, it’s not a book).
If you haven’t yet viewed this movie, you must. It shares a great story of a woman who’s learning, for the first time, to pray through her trials and provides heartfelt motivation to get on your knees. Seriously, this is a must-see for anyone who follows Christ. Just do it. It’s worth owning, but you can rent it on Amazon Prime as well. Purchase War Room here
Adding to the Best Christian Books on Prayer. . .
I created this journal to inspire myself to record my prayers, to remember how I prayed so I can watch the Lord move through my prayers, and to remember to praise and thank Him daily. It’s a lot of fun to share personal tools with all of you. I’m giving this journal to several people on my gift list. Maybe your friends will enjoy using it too! Purchase My Prayer Journal here
My heart thrills with a new journal and colorful pens. Many in our prayer group feel the same way, so here is a look at some of the pens I most enjoy using. I’m going to spare you the commentary because each would say, “I love these pens so much – they’re my favorite!” Instead of sharing that redundancy, I’ll just let you know which I like. It’s all about mood for me—the type of tip my fingers happen to anticipate and the color that strikes my fancy. Yes, I have a large pen collection… scattered everywhere in the house.
Purchase EnerGel Pens here
Purchase Paper Mate Pens here
Purchase FORAY Pens here
Purchase Micron Pens here
There you have it—my list of top Christian books on prayer and some of my favorite tools. I hope you enjoy them all as much as I do and that they will help you begin to build your own library and collection.
It was a tough morning. I could barely keep my eyes open and struggled to get out of bed with any level of energy. I felt mentally ready to face the day and my spirits were high, but my body wasn’t cooperating. It just wanted more sleep!
Have you ever felt that way?
Naturally, I made my way straight to the coffee pot, which is part of my normal routine. But caffeine didn’t do the trick. I’ve noticed that it’s not always the miracle pep-provider that I hope. Fresh fruit for breakfast didn’t help, either. My time with Jesus helped a bit and I could finally start to move the wheels on this bus. Once I got moving, I started feeling a lot better. My liveliness and clarity were great through a couple of morning meetings, but then I sat down to work at my desk and my energy plummeted again.
Why am I so tired, I wondered. And then it became clear. I haven’t taken a real day off for weeks. Our entire family is getting ready for some big moves and gigantic changes and we’ve all been running proverbial marathons. Several of us have been sick, fighting through colds, coughs, and sneezes just trying to stay on track. It seems we never stop. And that’s probably because, in reality, we never stop.
Rest in the Bible
There’s a little gift the Lord gave us that we tend to overlook. It’s the gift of rest. If I dig deeper into my honesty tank, I’d say we ignore the gift. On purpose. That’s not good.
Our family has a propensity to let our ever-increasing task list and upcoming deadlines keep us from enjoying Sabbath. Perhaps your family does too.
Many Scriptural encouragements remind me that the Lord provided rest for our good. Yet it is an aspect of His protection and provision that we often fail to embrace. Consider with me:
Mark 6:31— And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat (ESV).
Matthew 11:29— Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (ESV).
Exodus 34:21— “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest (ESV).
Mark 2:27— And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (ESV).
Setting aside a day each week for rest is commanded (“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . .” [Exodus 20:8]), and as with all Scriptural commands, it’s intended for our good and God’s glory.
Rest and Productivity
I find it remarkable that when I take true, Sabbath, I’m more productive afterward. I recognize the Lord’s hand of favor and ease over my work. It’s as if I get more done after a break than I would have without one. Then I wonder why it’s so easy to ignore rest and work straight through the week.
Apparently, I’m not alone in neglecting my rest. The Lord addressed it through His prophet, Isaiah. “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling. . .” Isaiah 30:15 (ESV).
This verse is convicting! God offers us so much in our rest, yet we are quick to turn our back, believing we can accomplish more in our own strength. He wants to do more than provide for our rest, He wants to be our rest. By connecting and abiding in Him, thorough His Word and in prayer, we can find refreshing rest in His presence.
Spiritual Growth Through Rest
As we work to sprout our spiritual growth, let’s make a conscious effort to rest our bodies, minds, and spirits. On top of adopting some of the practices we’ve outlined in this series (time in His Word, meditation, and worship), schedule a real, actual day off and rest. Your rest can look a lot different than being a couch potato. You might decide to sleep late or take a nap, but you’ll also find rest as you get out and do something you enjoy—something that’s not part of work or a project on your “to-do” list.
Rest is a wonderful practice that helps us keep God as a high priority in our lives and avoid making our tasks an inadvertent idol. But rest often takes intentional focus. It certainly doesn’t flow into our lives naturally, so we must actively pursue it to enjoy it’s wonderful benefits.
May you embrace the joy of the Lord today,