Recently I read Donald Whitney’s newest book Praying the Bible. In this book Whitney explains why praying the Scriptures, particularly the Psalms, is so important and helpful for Christians. Whitney says that many Christians don’t neglect prayer because they don’t care about it or they don’t love God, but instead they are bored with prayer because they tend to “say the same old things about the same old things” (page 11). He also says “the method of most Christians in prayer is to say the same old things about the same old things” (page 15). Whitney argues the solution to this problem is simple – “When you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a Psalm” (page 27).
Throughout this book Whitney helps his readers understand that method a little better. He spends multiple chapters walking readers through how to pray through a Psalm as well as things to remember when doing this. He doesn’t limit this practice to the Psalm. He encourages Christians to also use other parts of Scripture for prayer. There is also a chapter that gives examples of people (including Jesus and the early Christians) who practiced this idea of praying through Scripture.
One helpful addition to this book is the “Psalm of the Day” chart that Whitney provides as an appendix. He explains how to use this chart earlier in the book but it serves as a great help to anyone who wants to use this method of prayer.
When it comes to the topic of prayer this is one of the best books I have read. It serves a great reminder of why prayer should be guided by and saturated with Scripture. Not only does it remind us of that great truth, but it guides us in how to do that well.