Praying the Bible

by Donald S. Whitney

Hardcover, 2015


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Due 15 April 2024

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Crossway (2015), 112 pages


All Christians know they should pray, but sometimes it's hard to know how-especially if the minutes start to drag and our minds start to wander. Offering readers hope, encouragement, and the practical advice they're looking for, this concise book by professor Donald Whitney outlines a simple, time-tested method that can help transform our prayer lives: praying the words of the Bible. Praying the Bible shows readers how to pray through portions of Scripture one line at a time, helping us stay focused by allowing God's Word itself to direct our thoughts and words. Simple yet profound, this resource will prove invaluable to all Christians as they seek to commune with their heavenly Father in prayer each and every day.

User reviews

LibraryThing member wilsonknut
Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney is a short book with a relatively simple premise, but it is one of the most powerful and helpful books I’ve read about prayer. Whitney starts with some questions, “Since prayer is talking with God, why don’t people pray more? Why don’t the people of
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God enjoy prayer more?” He goes on to say that he thinks Christians don’t pray more because they don’t feel like it. Why don’t they feel like it? “They tend to say the same old things about the same old things… When you’ve said the same old things about the same old things about a thousand times, how do you feel about saying them again?” As a result, we get bored. Our mind wanders, and we think there must be something wrong with us. Or we think that we’re just not good at praying, or maybe we’re not spiritual enough. Whitney says it’s not you; it is your method.

Whitney writes, “The Holy Spirit causes all the children of God to believe that God is their Father and fills them with an undying desire to talk to Him.” However, many of us simply don’t have good experiences with prayer. We have a mental script that we run through repeatedly, or we have bits and pieces of prayers we’ve memorized through the years that we mindlessly repeat. Whitney writes, “Prayers without variety eventually become words without meaning. Jesus said that to pray this way is to pray in vain” (Matt. 6:7). So, what are we do?

Whitney makes a careful distinction. He writes, “The problem is not that we pray about the same old things. To routinely pray about the same people and situations is perfectly normal. It’s normal to pray about the same old things because our lives tend to consist of the same old things.” We’re back to the method. Whitney says the solution must be simple, because the Spirit enables every believer to pray- young, old, educated, uneducated, rich, poor, mature, or new to the faith. The solution is to pray through a passage of scripture. He emphasizes the psalms, but explains how to pray through other scripture as well.

This seems like common sense, but unfortunately common sense is not common practice. Whitney gives many examples and suggestions. His first is using Psalm 23. He writes, “You read the first verse, ‘The Lord is my shepherd,’ and you pray something like this:

Lord, I thank you that you are my shepherd. You’re a good shepherd. You have shepherded me all my life… please shepherd my family today: guard them from the ways of the world…”
And so on through the entire Psalm one verse at time. If the verse doesn’t bring something to mind to pray, go to the next verse. If you only have a few minutes, just stop when you run out of time. It’s amazingly simple, but extremely powerful. It really transforms your prayer time, and you don’t mindlessly repeat the same old things.

Whitney’s writing is very conversational and easy to read. You could get through this book in one sitting if you wanted to. The book is sprinkled with great quotes from John Piper and others who practice praying through scripture. Whitney gives plenty of examples and even a guide for how to work through the Psalms in prayer. I highly recommend Praying the Bible to anyone who wants to revitalize his or her prayer life. Praying the Bible will be available July 31, 2015 from Crossway.
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LibraryThing member RobSumrall
For many Christians, prayer can be a tedious, boring task. After mumbling through barely-cohesive short prayers, we suffer under loads of guilt for not praying well.

Dr. Whitney makes a convincing case that the problem is not you, but your method. Praying The Bible is a breath of fresh air for
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Believers who have struggled to have a consistent, vibrant prayer life. Whitney lays out a simple methodology that drives people to pray through the Psalms verse by verse.

I have heard Dr. Whitney give a seminar on this before. The information was revolutionary to me back then. This book is essentially a print version of his seminar. Still, if you have been to one of his seminars, you should pick up the book for a quick refresher. If you haven't had the privilege of being at one of his "Praying Through Scripture" seminars, get this book today! It will change your life.
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LibraryThing member galoma
This is an excellent book to energize your prayer life. The author contends that we don't pray as much as we should because "we tend to say the same old things about the same old things." His solution is to pray through the Bible - especially the Psalms. He explains well and simply how to pray in
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this way. The book is a quick read, but life changing. I am going to try to pray this way from now on.
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LibraryThing member judyg54
This was a book that offered encouragement and help in making one's prayer life more meaningful. I LOVE praying scripture, and this author did a great job of helping folks see how to do this and the benefits of doing it. Very practical. I highly recommend this book; it won't take you long to read
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it and hopefully it will bring a whole new meaning to your prayer time.
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LibraryThing member Leann
This book is a very effective method for prayer. I highly recommend it!


Original language


Physical description

112 p.; 8 inches


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