Monday, July 10, 2017

Praying the Psalms, a Review

Source: NetGalley
Praying the Psalms: Growing Emotionally Closer to God and Those You Love, by Rick Stedman
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: October 1, 2016
Category: Christian, nonfiction, motivational
Source: I received this galley from NetGalley for consideration of a review.

Rick Stedman has written a series of books on prayer, the latest a teaching on how to pray the Psalms of the Bible. Early on in his book he gives a good description of what this entails and the benefits he sees in learning to pray the Psalms: "The Psalms are not church-lady approved, sanitized prayers. They are real, edgy, and authentic—even violent at times. In praying the Psalms, we learn to face our deepest hopes, hurts, and fears and to bring them to God in brutally honest prayer. We learn to identify and express a wide range of emotions, while at the same time keeping those emotions from ruling our lives. We learn how to handle hate and anger, overcome guilt and sorrow, and experience grace and mercy. After all, the only place to learn these skills is within real relationships, which is very clever of God. In the process, we find intimacy with God, deeper community with others, and—in what is perhaps the biggest surprise of all—we discover our very selves."

He provides a four step method for praying the Psalms, which consists of finding emotional words while reading a Psalm aloud, journaling the words in connection to personal experience, and formulating prayers from there. Stedman then spends a good portion of the book working through the first ten Psalms as examples of this practice. A number of word lists wrap up the book - emotional words found by certain categories to help you find Psalms that may be more relevant at a certain time.

For anyone looking for a new way to pray - and specifically to pray using the Bible - Rick Stedman's book is what you are looking for.

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