When our schedule is full, and big changes are happening, the only thing we should never stop doing is praying; other things can wait, prayer can’t. We cannot live a Christian life if we don’t live it in prayer; if we don’t come to Him every day in prayer and in the Word.
Prayer goes hand in hand with the Word of God, and when we pray God’s Word we know we are praying according to His will and that our prayers are God-centered. One way to do this is to pray as we read the Scriptures; pray as we memorize it, pray as we meditate on a certain passage. Another way that has been a blessing to me is use Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer (which is full of prayers based solely on the Scriptures). I have used this book; consistently for more than a year and I have shared many prayers, and quotes with you in this place. Today, however, I want to take the time to explain you how I use it; so if you get the book (or happen to win it here!), you’ll find it easier to start including it some days in your prayer time.
A Method of Prayer has 9 chapters that can be used as companions, aids in our daily prayer :
1. Adoration (with suitable Acknowledgments, Professions, and Preparatory Requests.
2. Confession of Sin
3. Petition and Supplication
6. Addresses to God upon Particular Occasions (We use this chapter differently)
7. Of the Conclusion of our Prayers.
Notice how these follow the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer, and are God-centered.
So first, I recommend you to get some post-it© banners (like these or these); one for each section. Each section is subdivided, this means that you will be praying a subdivision from each chapter every time you use this guide in your prayer time.
This is an example:
1. (From Ch 1.1) We must solemnly address ourselves to that infinitely great and glorious Being with whom we have to do, as those who are possessed with a full belief of his presence and a holy awe and reverence of his Majesty, which we may do in such expressions as these
2. (From Ch. 2.1) We must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God and to be ashamed of ourselves when we come into his presence and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness and obnoxious to his justice.
3. (From Ch. 3:1) We must earnestly pray for the pardon and forgiveness of all our sins.
4. (From Ch. 4.1) We must stir up ourselves to praise God with the consideration both of the reason and of the encouragement we have to praise him.
5. (From Ch. 5.1) We must pray for the whole world of mankind, the lost world; and thus, we must honor everyone, and, according to our capacity, do good to everyone.
6. (From Ch. 7.1) We may then sum up our requests in some comprehensive petitions, as the conclusion of the whole matter.
As I read each prayer (I did not post the complete prayers here for the sake of space), I add my own personal prayer to it; I only use these prayers as a guide; as I don’t want to repeat just for the sake of repeating them. (If you click on the links above, you will go to the online version of the book; which I would not recommend you to use in private prayer. It could be very distracting. I am sure you’d agree.)
When I come to the Intercession section, is the time I pray for the special requests of my family and friends. (It is very useful to keep those prayer needs written down because we want to be faithful in praying for those who ask us to pray for them).
In chapter 6 we find different prayers for particular occasions such as :
– In our morning and evening prayers.
– Prayers for those days when we are going on a journey.
– Prayers in the evening before the Lord’s Day; on the morning of the Lord’s Day.
– Prayer in our preparation for the Lord’s Supper; in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and after celebrating the Lords Supper.
– Prayers upon the occasion of the cares, and burdens, and afflictions of particular persons.
– And many more.
We can include one of these as part of our prayer time, when we intercede for others.
As I finish reading one section; I move my post-it banner to the next subdivision in each particular chapter; so the next day I won’t lose my place.
Chapter 8 presents a Paraphrase on the Lord’s Prayer, in Scripture Expressions. It is very long, so I read sometimes one section from it instead of the rest.
Chapter 9 includes some short forms of prayer; for example a prayer to be used by children, a morning prayer for the family, an evening prayer for the family, family prayers for the Lord’s Day, a prayer proper to be put by parents for their children, and different addresses before and after a meal.
The book also includes three discourses by Matthew Henry, that I have found very profitable and encouraging. I have read them several times. In the first one he shows how to begin every day with God; the second is on how to spend the day with God; and the third is on how to close the day with God.
Few “warnings” (if I should call them so) about this book:
1. It should NEVER substitute the Word of God.
2. You should NEVER hear yourself saying: “Without it I just can’t pray”
Now, maybe you are asking, Why a prayer method? From experience I can mention some benefits:
1. It has helped me to pray in so many different ways that I never used to; it has widen and enriched my prayer life; and it has helped me learn to pray God-centered prayers, instead of me-centered.
2. It has helped me to spend more time in prayer. Now I can’t pray only few minutes and then just start running through the day. It has helped me to discipline myself to stay in God’s presence and meditate on His Word for longer periods.
3. I highly recommend this prayer companion, because it only uses Bible verses put together in sentences, and paragraphs. And it points you to each verse that the author is quoting. This helps me to search the Scriptures too. (I love the Valley of Vision, for example, but even though those are wonderful prayers, when I pray over them -and I do sometimes- I know I am not reciting the Word of God; but other saints’ words.)
4. I have also learned to pray consistently over the Scriptures as I read them.
5. Don’t laugh about this…. but it has helped me not to fall asleep in prayer when I am super tired! Yes, I bring my companion, and my journal and I write short prayer or Scripture passages; this is a great help indeed for tired and sleepy mommies.
The most natural way to finish this post, is by hosting a giveaway of this book; don’t you think so? So, if you are interested please leave a comment saying that you want to enter it. The providential winner will be announced Tuesday, September 13. (You don’t have to be a follower of this blog to enter this giveaway, but it would be nice if you could pass the voice around!) UPDATE: GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
Under His sun and by His Grace,
I republished a classic prayerbook by Matthew Henry called A Method for Prayer that I thought you would like to check out.
The book is about praying to God with God's words. I hope it will be edifying in some way.
Here is the book's description at Amazon.
PRAYING GOD'S PROMISES FOR LIFE AND ETERNITY….
This Prayerbook is the Puritan writer Matthew Henry‘s world renowned Christian classic ‘A Method for Prayer’ -the 1710 edition. Professionally typeset in a classic prayer-book format with modernized spelling, and with all the cross references from Matthew Henry's original prayerbook.
With added devotional prayers and Bible study aids from the publisher/author of this new blue expanded edition.
–Featuring a collection of devotional prayers to the Godhead of Jesus Christ called ‘My Affection’ –A poetic setting of Psalm 119. –A Glossary containing 2400 words of the King James Bible. –And a daily Bible reading plan.
A Method for Prayer is free in a audio book and in every eBook format at http://www.mrmatthewhenry.com and https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/395369
contact info– firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hi, I thought you might like to freely use this on your website, or give to others or for yourself. It's a free prayer book by Matthew Henry called 'A Method for Prayer' 1710 edition, with added devotional prayers, Bible helps and a glossary of 2400 words of the KJV. You can use the audio files for the book if you like. http://www.mrmatthewhenry.com
I want to have this book…I need to learn how to pray efficiently…Thanks you for the opportunity.
Thanks for the giveaway! I've been wanting to change my prayer life; your words are timely.
Just popped over here via a link at Ann Voskamp's. I have never heard of this book and I am adding it to my wish list.
I see some folks didn't read closely and notioce that this is a post from last Sept. and the book drawing is long over! 🙂
I look forward to coming back and reading more.
I love to use Matthew Henry's commentaries, so I would LOVE to win a copy of this book! Thank you for your post of how you use it to get the most out of our prayer lives. Pray without ceasing! Blessings to you!
Always Experiencing Him,
I had never heard of Matthew Henry until my husband introduced me to him while we were dating. This man put a lot of time into writing and I would love a copy of his book. Thanks for the offer!
Thank you for this wonderful review on this book. Sounds like a great tool to prayer and focusing on God. Thank you for sharing, and I would love to win one!!
Great post and very useful. Definitely a useful item during prayer time.
Thanks for sharing this. I always liked the Matthew Henry commentary, but had never come across this book before. If I don't win it, I will certainly buy it. 🙂
I did post a comment last time, I guess I didn't do it right…
Anyway, this sounds like THE resource I was looking for, to improve my prayer life.
Gracias Becky por este mensaje.
Aunque no lo gane, tratare de conseguirlo…
Matthew Henry is a favorite commentary that I use. This prayer companion with its strong emphasis on scriptural petition sounds wonderful. Please enter my name in your giveaway. Thanks.
Well, since I'm only the steward of the funds I handle, in a very real way all my books are free, loaned to me by our heavenly Father. But I'd like to be entered, primarily because you refer to this as a “providential” giveaway– a very rare and refreshing declaration in an age when winning is largely associated with (fictitious) luck. So, please cast the lot and I'll be delight to see how our Lord determines its outcome.
Thanks much for doing this, and for being you.
Yours because Christ's,
Thank you for having this giveaway. I've tried reading it online and became totally overwhelmed. I'd like to be entered, please. Thank you!
Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!
Te quiero mucho y muchas gracias por este generosa “giveaway” de libros! No hay nadie como tu!
Yes, sign me up for this giveaaway! Thanks for the opportunity.
Dear friend, thanks for posting this! I already have the book (at your recommendation), and will start using it immediately!
Like you, I tend to get sleepy as soon as I close my eyes to pray. A prayer journal really helps keep me focused.
This book is on my wish list because of your posts on it. 🙂 I've also found Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt to be helpful. Though there are theological differences with the way in which many of the prayers are worded by the author, the scriptural goldmine it is has been a great help to my prayers. I'm looking forward to purchasing (or winning! :)) Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer – thanks so much for the opportunity! 🙂
My friend gave me this book for my birthday last year, and I have yet to use it to its fulness! Thanks for your post!
Particularly impressed by point 3 you raised that the prayers are generally words of Scriptures put together, I would love to pray more of the scriptures more naturally, this sounds a great book. Thanks for the post!
Much love to you
I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have this prayer companion! I have recently begun a series of posts on my blog on Wednesdays called “Before the Throne Wednesdays” where I am offering a scripture passage each Wednesday to specifically pray over my kids.
I have become convinced that praying scripture is one of the most effective ways we can pray as you mentioned in your post “in God's will”. Matthew Henry's book would be an invaluable resource! Thank you for hosting such an awesome giveaway!!
Hi Becky, so glad that you explained how to use this book. Honestly I have never been really good at these prayer books. I was so happy when I read what Elizabeth wrote about being intimidated, I have always felt the same way. Please sign me up, I look forward to trying this with your instructions and recommendations. Love to you 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing how you have used this book for your prayer times. Please don't enter me in the giveaway, as I have a copy of my own waiting to be used. I will pass on the info about your giveaway.
Honestly, this is the first “prayer book” I've heard of that does not intimidate me. You've explained so well how it can be used effectively, that now I cannot pass up the chance of winning a copy of my own.
Count me in!
I'm so excited you are giving this book away! I have wanted it for quite a while now. It sounds excellent! I have tried reading it online, but as you said, it can be very distracting. I really want my prayer life to grow and it's something I struggle with. For some reason I always feel like I am praying wrong. And I too have fallen asleep during praying. Oh my goodness! I felt terrible about it. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one.
Thank you so much for hosting this give away! I know whoever wins will be very blessed by this book 🙂
Becky, thank you so much for this posting. I've been going through an “unsettled” phase of my prayer life lately, seeking for “something” to inject new life into it once again. I've been trying to use the Valley of Vision, but I find that unless I re-write them using new English and my own words, they don't help bring me closer to the throne of grace. You've encouraged me with this description of Henry's work.
Do I automatically win since I'm the first to comment? Please?? 🙂 Yes! Yes! Please enter me. I've been longing to buy this book for some time, and I currently enjoy getting the e-mails, but it's just not the same as having a book to mark up. LOL
Love you much, my friend!