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One of the most helpful resources for us when learning the discipline of prayer has been the Psalms. Many of these prayers and songs were written by King David who had a prolific prayer life which he documented well in poetry and song. The Psalms teach us how to pray over almost any situation we might face. They teach us to praise our creator, give thanks, and take shelter under the wings of our Lord when we need help. Jesus memorized the Psalms and quoted them while dying on the cross. Allowing Jesus to lead by example, we feel the Psalms are the best resource for learning how to pray.


Keeping with our theme of going directly to the source with scripture, the Psalms are located in the Old Testament of the Bible. They are a wonderful starting point for learning how to pray. Another resource we recommend is a book titled The Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller. This daily devotional takes you through the Psalms in a year with a nice short explanation and prayer to give you an on ramp into praying each day. We really enjoy reading the written book as well as listening to the audio version which is available as an integrated experience if you purchase both from Amazon and use the Kindle app. A tip for couples: This book is an excellent tool to use at the beginning or end of your day to form the habit of prayer. Coming together to listen/read the passage from the Psalms each day, discussing and then praying together builds intimacy not only with God but each other as well. We've found this brings a healthy rhythm of prayer to our relationship. This practice also works well if you are single. Fortunately Jesus gives us additional instruction on how to pray:


Matthew 6: 6-14

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases like the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:


Our father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you." 

Additional Resources:

Timothy Keller Sermon - Basis of Prayer

Timothy Keller - The Songs of Jesus. This book helps you read through the Psalms in a year with explanations and prayers accompanying each day. Available in print or audiobook. We like using both together. 

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