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Praying in 2015

Has God has led you to a particular focus for study this year? I hope so, He let me know what my focus will be, and I’ll share that with you on Friday. I hope you’ll let me know what you’ll be focusing on spiritually in 2015. I get 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 pull out an old blog post and share some of these resources again with all of you!

Here are a few books on prayer that I’ve used and 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.

I’ve just started reading Tim Keller’s new book on prayer: Prayer, Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, and it promises to be another excellent resource!

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!

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9 Comments

  • Robbin Dunkum

    God is so Awesome! My study this year is also prayer. Great confirmation. Thank you for the book list! Last year was Trust and He faithfully taught me so much. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!

  • Sheila

    Hi Kimberly, Yes, mine #1 goal and my heart’s desire is to be an effective prayer warrior. My “guiding verrses” for the coming year are 2 Timothy 2:3-4 – “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”
    I know being an “enlisted soldier” is only the beginning. It’s great to try on my uniform and armor and to study my weapon, but I will be useless unless I am an “engaged warrior.” My struggle is needing to have a strategic prayer PLAN so that I am not, in essence, “shooting into the air.” I am asking God to show me His plan for my role as an effective intercessor. May God protect and bless you, your family and your ministry!

  • jeanne

    One of the most recent resources I’ve found so helpful in my prayer life is the app, “PrayerMate.” I think it was Tim Challies that recommended it. It helps in staying focused during prayer.
    I’ve also started paying the Word more, praying God’s promises helps me as I’m going through a very difficult time in my marriage.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Robin ~

    I love when God does that, so glad He gave you clear confirmation! I’m hoping to do another post on prayer next week that I hope will be helpful. Happy new year to you, friend, I hope it has been an enjoyable time with loved ones!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sheila ~

    Praying that this year will be filled with opportunities for you to be strengthened in your prayer life and experience a greater level of growth in your walk with Christ. I hope to have a post on prayer next week that you might find helpful in developing a plan. Also, you might want to check out Jeanne’s suggestion that she left in her comment. Thank you so much for sharing, hope to hear more about what He is teaching you!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Jeanne ~

    I’ve not seen the prayer app you mentioned, but Tim Challies is a great resource for helpful things like that! So sorry that you are walking through a difficult trial in your marriage. Praying Scripture is a powerful weapon for an intercessor, continue pressing in, God hears those cries, friend!

    Pausing to pray for you now:

    “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:14–21)