This is material SA Vice-president Steven Gaines shared in chapel January 29, 2015.
Compiled by Steven Gaines
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2 NRSV). When we walk into the HST chapel, a banner with that verse reminds us of this year’s theme: “Life of Prayer.”
We hear, read, think, talk, and learn much about prayer and are encouraged to pray. Sometimes, however, learning about prayer can be easier than actually practicing it. Unplanned reading assignments and neglected research papers force all-nighters. Friends and family members have needs, and we have jobs.
Chapel speakers call us to pray, and perhaps we wonder how to find the time. If we find the time, maybe we grow weary of repetitious patterns that have rutted our prayer lives.
An improved prayer life requires more than books and information; the information must shape action. As Thomas Merton taught, “If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying” (Thompson, 49).
Here I offer a few resources to help us pray. (These are not scripture. I trust that you know to find powerful prayer language in the Bible, especially the Psalms.) I invited recommendations from several church leaders and professors in various parts of the world, and this list shares some of their suggestions.
The list is eclectic; it contains some works you might love and some you may dislike severely. It has books about prayer, books of prayer, websites, and mobile apps. I pray that you will find something that will play a small role in increasing your devotion to prayer.