Author: Markus McDowell
Those of us who pray often feel that our prayers could do better. We might wish we prayed more often, or that the words of our prayers were better (whatever that means to us). Maybe we wonder if we are praying correctly. (We should remember that, since God is our Father, He is pleased if we talk to Him at all—even if it is infrequently or shallow.)
Most of us never had anyone teach us how to pray. We mimicked what we heard from others. So we find
ourselves saying the same things in the same way. We yearn for a way to enrich our prayers and add variety and depth.
This book can help. Scripture contains hundreds of passages about prayer, with much richness and variety. Studying them is an excellent way to enrich our own prayers.
This volume contains a chapter for each of the 40+ prayers in Genesis through Joshua.
Each chapter includes the text of prayer passage, followed by a study of its background, an exploration of its meaning, and an application of what we learn. The introduction includes an exploration of studying the Bible and an overview of every type of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, petition, intercession, vow, confession, repentance, lament, blessing, and curse.
Reviewer: Valerie Jackson
This is the book every Christian should acquire in order to enrich their prayer life. Prayer is one of the key ways we communicate with God, yet, as the author rightly notes, most of us never had anyone teach us how to pray. We stumble, we go blank, we mimic others’ prayers... Markus McDowell’s apparent lifelong fascination with prayer has blessed the world with an easy to use devotional that not only describes the various ways prayer is used in the Bible but gives the student suggestions on actually practicing these forms. And that’s the real bonus.
This is a commentary and the author uses exegesis to explain things, but his style is very readable and never preachy or dry. I wasn’t very far into the book before I wanted to get on my knees! Each prayer he covers is discussed in a short section, (as is suitable for a devotional). He tells us about the circumstances surrounding each prayer, gives just enough explanation regarding the type of prayer it is, then gives the reader a chance to try it out.
My only problems with this book are technical and thus easily remedied. First, it could use the fresh eye of an editor to catch sentences that are missing words. It could also use a new cover. Why? Because this is the cover of a boring, theological thesis on prayer, but the book itself is anything but! I hope one day it has the sort of cover that draws every prayer-weary Christian straight to it.
For myself, I plan to read it more slowly my next time, praying my way through. I can’t imagine what the author may have to say in future volumes that haven’t been covered in Volume 1 (Genesis – Joshua), but I certainly look forward collecting the complete set.
Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free through Interviews and Reviews in exchange for rating it for their site. I do not know the author and am not required to write or post a review, positive or otherwise, on any website.
Reviewer: Jill Jones
Scripture is full of examples of prayers that can add variety to our prayers and enrich our prayer life. Some people have never had anyone teach them how to pray and others desire to improve. God is pleased that we talk to Him and is not looking for perfection or a certain type of prayer. However, our prayers can become less focused on content and more focused on God when we have a prayer plan.
Studying the prayers we find in Scripture can help us in our prayer life. Markus McDowell's "Praying Through the Bible-Vol 1" focuses on the prayers in Genesis through Joshua, and each chapter contains the passage, a study of its background, an exploration of its meaning and an application.
McDowell's book is a great devotional and a great benefit to your time with God. I am looking forward to more volumes covering all of the prayers of the Bible. These will be great resources for my prayer time.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Interviews and Reviews in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”