Handbook to Prayer
Published by Trinity House Publishers on 1993
Format: Kindle, Logos, Paperback
This prayer tool will guide you through the process of praying Scripture back to God. It gives you form and freedom as well as a "balanced diet" in your prayers, since each day includes prayers of adoration, confession, renewal, petition, intercession, affirmation, thanksgiving, and closing prayers. - Publisher.
Why This Book?
I came across this book years ago as part of my Logos library. I was looking for a resource to help with a spring retreat with my youth. Ever since then, I have used it in a number of different events and have often used it in my personal prayer time.
From the introduction, “Spiritual growth is impossible apart from the practice of prayer. Just as the key to quality relationships with other people is time spent in communication, so the key to a growing relationship with the personal God of heaven and earth is time invested in speaking to Him in prayer and listening to His voice in Scripture.”
Some devotions start with a single Scripture (or even part of a Scripture) and offer some story or personal thoughts that may or not be biblical (My Utmost for His Highest). A few devotions focus solely on Scripture (Daily Light). Boa’s book utilizes Scripture in categories and offers prayer prompts based on those Scriptures. So Boa’s personal contribution is very little allowing readers to interact with God based on his word.
The book is split into two main parts. The first are “Morning Affirmations” which is a one shot, one part section with ten different categories of affirmations.
- Submitting to God
- Adoration and Thanksgiving
- My Identity in Christ
- Filling of the Spirit
- Fruit of the Spirit
- Purpose of My Life
- Circumstance of the Day
- Protection in the Warefare
- The Coming of Christ and My Future with Him
The bulk of the book centers on Daily prayers with the following categories:
- Petition and Intercession
- Closing Prayer
Prayers of petitions are on a seven day cycle so it changes up every day of the week. Intercessory prayers also change up every day.
Finally, the last section is an intensive one week long prayer guide for intensive prayer times.
This approach is unique among devotional guides and provides a variety of ways to use the handbook. The daily prayer guides are numbered sequentially but not according to any particular month, and there are three months worth of prayer guides. All of this allows for great flexibility and less compulsion to complete each day’s activities.
Room for Improvement
If you are looking for a quick devotional, this is not it. Nothing can be significantly improved upon, but the reader should be aware that such a handbook requires engagement. Some will find the book too much to process in the morning or during a simple quiet time.
Some people may also be put off by Boa’s own translations of the Scriptures rather than going for an established translation. Boa is a scholar, but established translations involve committees with corroboration. Boa did consult established translations, but anything “interesting” in Scripture or word choice would require follow up with established translations (or the original languages if possible).
But these are all minor.
Why You Should Read This Book
Personally, I prefer devotionals that allow me to interact with God rather than just sharing stories. I highly recommend giving this handbook a try. To spend time in Scripture and using the Scriptures to guide one’s prayers is liberating. It provides a variety of ways to use the book, and not only that, the book itself is an attractive, pocket sized, thinned “Bible-like” book. It’s not just great content, it looks great!
Finally, Boa has several handbooks on several different topics for several different purposes. This is a great place to start in the series, and I can’t recommend it more.