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Preparing for 2014!

Several of you have mentioned to me that God has led you to a particular focus for study this year. I’m so excited when I think about an army of spiritual warriors—digging into God’s Word and living out His truth! I had a few friends mention that their topic of study this year was going to be prayer, and they asked for some book recommendations, so I thought it might be a good idea to do a blog post and share some of these resources with all of you!

Here are a few books on prayer that I’ve used and can recommend as good resources:

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller

This is an excellent resource that I found helpful and have recommended to many of my friends. Miller provides a lot of practical suggestions for connecting prayer to your daily life. He’s honest about his own prayer struggles but also demonstrates how a meaningful prayer life is possible. This is a book you’ll return to often.   

A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers by D. A. Carson

In this book, Carson carefully takes the reader through all of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament. I loved studying Paul’s prayers and getting some practical advice on how to allow Scripture to shape my prayers. The year I focused on prayer, I worked my way slowly through this book and the Scripture passages Carson was teaching through. This is one of the most helpful books on prayer I’ve used. I’ve returned to it more often than any other book on prayer.

Andrew Murray on Prayer by Andrew Murray

This is a compilation of six books by Murray on prayer. It provides a rich treasury of biblical guidance on the topic. Just this one book could fill your year of study on prayer! Don’t let the size of the book overwhelm you, it can be divided into bite-sized chunks, or you may want to pick up one or two of his smaller works (which are included in this volume): With Christ in the School of Prayer, and The Prayer Life.

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett

This is a simple, yet profound, collection of puritan prayers that combine theology with passion. The humble and holy desires expressed in these prayers train me in developing my own prayer life. I regularly use this little volume in my devotional time and it prepares me for the day. This is a treasure that was given to me several years ago by a dear friend, and now it’s one I like to share as a gift with others.

There are many more great books on prayer I could’ve listed. More important than reading good books on the topic of prayer, is the actual practice of prayer. I encourage you to commit to daily intercession, set aside specific periods in your day for focused prayer, but also develop the practice of continual communication with the Father, if you haven’t already.

Below are some posts on prayer that you may find helpful:

Growing Into a Prayer Warrior

24/7 Praying

Honest Praying

Praying in Spirit and Truth

My Cry in the Darkness

Whole-Hearted Seeking

Getting Out of the Rut of Worry Prayers

I would love to hear practical ways you’ve developed an effective prayer life.

Please share your heart with us by leaving a comment below!

6 Comments

  • Jody

    Happy New Year Kimberly. I mention you in my last post of 2013, which is up. So glad brought us together via social media. He can use anything for His glory.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Happy New Year to you, friend ~

    May you experience knowing God in a more intimate and meaningful way in 2014.
    May you be fruitful for His glory ~

  • Vivian Etherington

    Thank you, Kim! I have just downloaded your first recommendation, Miller’s book, onto my Kindle app on my iPad! Can’t wait to dig in! I usually have an aversion to electronic books, but decided I wanted access to this book NOW and this way I can have it with me easily anytime. But, I don’t want to just read about prayer; Kim, I want to be an effective, persistent, fervent prayer warrior: a fierce woman in prayer!

  • Vicki

    Dear Kim,

    I waa one of those who posted about desiring to grow in the area of prayer. It was an easy choice, as God has made it a burden for several months now. I love the Valley of Vision and Paul Miller’s book. I’m reading through E.M. Bounds book on Prayer right now. Thank you for your other recommendations. One thing I have noticed, though, is that it seems like as my prayer life grows, so do the trials. Have you often found that to be true? I’m in a deep one right now. Please pray for strength. It’s been a hard few years, but I have also come to realize that the trials are what has driven me to my knees. It seems like a vicious cycle!

    We are still looking for a pastor. Thanks for remembering us in that regard, too.

    Striving in Christ to be a Gentle Warrior!

    Vicki

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Vicki,

    Yes, I’ve found that as my prayer life grows, trials seem to increase . . . but I don’t think the trials necessarily increase because of the progress in my prayer life. Perhaps as that area of our life matures, the Father entrusts greater challenges in the same way I entrust more responsibility to a child who is ten, than to a newborn.

    I am so sorry for the deep trial you are currently experiencing. It may not be evident to you, and it is hard to appreciate when we’re in the midst of it, but I assure you, the Father is producing a beautiful work as you continue to press into Christ (which is evident you are doing!).

    “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

    Pausing to pray for you now dear friend ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    YAY!! I love reading your last line, Viv!

    Let me know how God uses the book in your life.

    Blessings, friend ~