“Are you preparing your heart to listen to what God has to say to you concerning events that will be happening in your life this day or any other day?” So asks Orva Lynn Kaufmann in her delightful new book Prayer Thoughts.
How does one focus more fully on God? For the author, the answer is a no-brainer: turn to the Bible for inspiration and direction.
Drawing heavily from sacred scripture, but with insights from current events, pop culture, and such spiritual writers as Oswald Chambers, the author provides a series of short, practical reflections on the importance of using the Bible for daily prayer. Emphasizing the need to develop good prayer habits, Kaufmann argues for developing a daily relationship with “God’s word,” setting aside family time for Bible study and fellowship, and making sure we pray for our country and its leaders, in order to “fight against the darkness, distress, and confusion that is overcoming our nation. “
Along the way, she offers readers a four-step process for daily prayer (praise God, repent of our sins, ask that our needs be met, and yield to God’s will); reminds readers that “fear” just stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real”; and stresses the need to memorize biblical passages so we always have a guidepost to finding the right path in life.
Prayer Thoughts is drawn from writings that originally appeared in church newsletters, and while the essays themselves are uplifting and insightful, the book could have been stronger had it been arranged chronologically. For example, one chapter toward the book’s end discusses January as a time for a new prayer routine, while an essay on Christmas appears in the middle. This makes the narrative feel a little disjointed.
Organizational issues aside, Kaufmann presents timely, gentle, affirming guidance on how to overcome anxiety and stress, appreciate God’s creation in our daily lives, and cultivate stillness. This is a worthy compendium of Christian devotion.
Also available as an ebook.