Book Review: A Book of Prayers

Book Review: A Book of Prayers

Author: Arthur A. R. Nelson

Publisher: InterVarsity Press ISBN: 9780830857364

A Book of Prayers

I recently received a review copy from InterVarsity Press of A Book of Prayers by Arthur Nelson. About this book, Nelson writes the following:

Often when situations of very specific pain or joy arise (pregnancy at risk, marriage crisis, addiction, psychosis, incarceration, rape, celebrating wedding or anniversary, victory over abuse, etc.), we struggle to find the right words to pray for that situation. The high emotion of the moment or the longstanding nature of a chronic illness or the shock of enduring a national crisis leave us frustrated at just the time when we want and need to pray.

As a pastor myself, I identify with these words from Nelson. There have been situations where I have been speechless, words failing me when comforting, prayerful, words were needed—God, of course, knowing the need—and I had none.

A Book of Prayers is helpful in times such as these. Written prayers are very helpful when our own words fail us, if not giving us “right” words for a situation, they help to inspire us and put our thinking in a vertical or godly direction. I think this is the objective of Arthur Nelson’s little book of prayers.

I won’t go as far to say the prayers in this book cover every circumstance or the full range of human emotion, but they span a very broad spectrum of life, both personal and corporate. There are twelve separate categories of prayer covering areas of the inner life, grief, illness, healing, marriage, family, celebrations, and the global community to name a few. In each of these areas, Nelson has drilled down more specifically detailed concerns such as “when grief is raw,” “for one being bullied,” “for learning disorder,” “for retrieving the promises of marriage,” “for a struggling adolescent,” “loneliness,” and many, many more.

This little Book of Prayers is a tool of inspiration and a companion of comfort when we find ourselves lacking the words to help provide assurance and remind us that God is near and God is in charge. I feel that Arthur Nelson has supplied us all with a collection of prayers that encourage us to look again to God when our own words fail. I am grateful for this collection of prayers and believe you might be as well.

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