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10 Great Books on Prayer

As Christians, prayer should be an important part of our lives. Spending time in prayer with our Heavenly Father grows us in our relationship with Him; it rights our thinking, gives us peaceful hearts and love towards one another, and is an act of worship to the Lord.

I had a friend recently ask me for a book recommendation on prayer, and as I was pondering which of my favorites to share with her, this idea to share my top favorites came about. Out of all the emails and messages I get, most of them are regarding book recommendations so over the next months I’m going to add top ten book recommendations on various topics.

Prayer is one of those areas as believers we all desire to grow in and that we would come to know what it means to “pray without ceasing.”

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Martin Luther

I have several podcasts and articles here at the blog on prayer. Our Best Parenting is Done by Prayer came about from reading my all-time favorite book on prayer, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. We discussed prayer in the spiritual disciplines series in EP 56: Prayer {Spiritual Disciplines Series} and one of the top viewed posts at the blog is A Prayer for Our Husbands. You can find all the posts in the prayer category at the blog here.

“Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NASB). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like claws in your brain. You feel pummeled by life. What does heavy-laden feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don’t even know where to start. You can’t do life on your own anymore. Jesus wants you to come to him…” 

Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life

As Christians, prayer should be an important part of our lives. Spending time in prayer with our Heavenly Father grows us in our relationship with Him; it rights our thinking, gives us peaceful hearts and love towards one another, and is an act of worship to the Lord.

I hope we will not neglect this spiritual discipline that is the most precious gift from our Lord next to our salvation. We always have a loving Father to communicate our emotions, desires, and concerns. Prayer is simply talking to God. As we come to Him in prayer, it reminds us of our utter dependence on Him for all things.

Grab a free copy of my guide to Daily Time with the Lord. It is to walk you through time in the Word and help you to meditate on and apply what you've read.  @mferrell

As I’m recommending books on prayer, I want to share two of my favorite prayer apps. PrayerMate has organized my prayer life and kept me consistently praying for the needs of others on a regular basis. Prayer notebook I keep on my phone and pray through daily. I have seven categories, one for each day of the week and an area to add in prayer as friends and family request prayer needs.

for apart from me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5b

My category list breakdown in Prayer Notebook is:

  • Daily: Close Family Members
  • Sunday: Church Leadership and Church Family Needs
  • Monday: Our places of work
  • Tuesday: Close friends
  • Wednesday: Missionaries
  • Thursday: Unsaved family and friends
  • Friday: Ministry and special requests
  • Saturday: The world (government, local government, concerns in the world)

10 Great Books on Prayer:

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller – I’ve read this twice and this is the book I recommended to my friend. She mentioned she was listening to it on audiobook, and I thought that was a great idea. So this is my current audible listen.

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God. It was actually quite relaxing.”

Paul Miller

Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney – If you’ve been wanting to utilize scripture in your prayers and get an understanding of how to pray through the scriptures, this is a helpful resource and one you will turn to again.

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett – I sit with this one almost every morning, praying the prayers in my own words, but I’m thankful for the richness of the prayers, and so often I can find myself camping out in one prayer for the whole week. (The bonded leather copy is my favorite if your budget can swing it.)

The Autobiography Of George Muller by George Muller is just a lovely autobiography of a man with childlike faith who truly prayed without ceasing and lived a life that was clearly dependent on the Lord for all things.

A Method for Prayer: Freedom in the Face of God by Matthew Henry – If you’re looking for a book to help you pray more biblically, look no further. (You can also get daily prayers from Matthew Henry’s book in your email, so before you pick this one up, check out Matthew Henry’s Method for Pray, it is a ministry of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals led by Ligon Duncan to get this resource into the hands of believers for free.)

Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell – This book is worth it for the chapters on praying and discerning God’s will. It was a book I will re-visit, possibly after writing this post.

The Prayer of the Lord by R.C Sproul – This short but impactful read walks us through how Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer.

Pray About Everything: Cultivating God-Dependency by Paul Tautges – This one is running neck in neck with A Praying Life as one of my favorite books on prayer. It’s a more recent read for me and walks us through so many questions we have on prayer.

Praying the Attributes of God: A Guide to Personal Worship Through Prayer by Rosemary Jensen – This was a memorable book purchase for me because we visited St Andrews Chapel many years ago, and it was a morning when R.C. Sproul was preaching. I picked this one up in their bookstore and turn to it quite frequently in my prayer time with the Lord. I utilized it for a prayer list on the attributes of God in my PrayerMate app to pray through daily.

Do You Pray? a Question for Everybody by J. C. Ryle – It’s a classic, short read on prayer (72 pages) and one every believer should read.

Plus Ten More Honorable Mentions:

Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans by Robert Elmer

Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul by John Macarthur 

Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle by Alistair Begg

In Light of Eternity, The Life of Leonard Ravenhill by Mack Tomlinson

It Happens After Prayer: Biblical Motivation for Believing Prayer by H.B. Charles Jr.

What Every Child Should Know About Prayer by Nancy Guthrie (don’t let the title fool you – you’ll learn much from this one too – it’s not just for kids)

5 Things to Pray Series by Various Authors

Prayers of a Parent by Kathleen Nielson

How Can I Cultivate Private Prayer? (Cultivating Biblical Godliness) by Joel R. Beeke

Developing a Healthy Prayer Life by Joel R. Beeke

What would you add to this list?

What books have impacted your prayer life the most?

One Comment

  1. Alone with God by John MacArthur was excellent!

    Great list, thank you 🙂

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