After decades of researching what the Bible has to say about prayer and buying a bunch of prayer books that weren’t quite what I wanted, I felt led to collect the actual prayers in the Bible then prayer-a-phrase (prayerfully paraphrase) them into THE prayer book I personally want and need. If you do, too, you’ll be happy to know the Book of Bible Prayers is now available on Amazon.
With the gathering of these prayers, I saw things I’d never before noticed. As the Foreword notes, for example, “The prayers in the Hebrew scriptures (aka Old Testament) are frequently pleas, praise, thanksgiving, complaints, and petitions, but in the New Testament such requests or responses are less likely to occur. Instead, Paul and other apostles typically ask believers in Christ to pray for them. Or, more often, they offer parental blessings over the Christian communities they’re addressing. Similar to the priestly blessing of Aaron in Numbers 6, these New Testament blessings are directed toward the people rather than God, but I felt I would be remiss to exclude all of them, so a few of those blessings have been prayer-a-phrased as prayers."
An exception is the prayer of Melchizedek, which remains the blessing given over Abraham and now over us!
“May you be blessed by God most High,
maker of heaven and earth.
May you be blessed by God most High,
Who has delivered you from the hands
of those who wish you harm,”
That blessing also brought another surprise: i.e., It’s the first prayer-blessing recorded. Prior to that, we had God’s blessings over all creation in Genesis, and by the time of Adam and Eve’s grandson, we hear how “All people began to call on the Name of the Lord.” But it’s the actual prayers spoken to God that bring us this prayer book.
Lord willing, I’ll post a prayer from the book with some regularity on this site with the hope and prayer the Book of Bible Prayers will bring unity to the Body of Christ and more power to your prayer life and mine.
MaryHarwell Sayler, ©2019