If you’ve read the devotional Bible “The Message,” you know the name Eugene Peterson.  What you may not know is that he wrote a book about prayer titled, “Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer.”  If you want to improve your prayer life, I suggest you purchase and use this book as a help.

As he writes, his book is not the latest, newest thing on prayer… instead it relies on the oldest… the Psalms.  This book of the Old Covenant is a collection of prayers prayed to God in the depths of hurt… in the throes of fear… and the mountain top of joy.  He suggests that what we need to do is…

Open our Bibles to the book of Psalms and pray them — sequentially, regularly, faithfully, across a lifetime.  This is how most Christians for most of the Christian centuries have matured in prayer.  Nothing fancy, just do it.  (Page 7)

He reminds us of the concept that… “What is essential in prayer is not that we learn to express ourselves, but we learn to answer God.  The Psalms show us how to answer.”  Thus the subtitle of the book.

I took special note that Mr. Peterson’s perspective on prayer is that… “we learn to deal with God… this God who is determined on nothing less than total renovation of our lives.  We would rather have a religious bull session” and that is not God’s purpose in prayer.  He notes that the Psalms come from people who heard God speak to them in various ways and realize it is the most important word they will ever hear… and they decide to respond.  Thus the written prayers we call Psalms.

If you want to strengthen your prayer life… this is a book to use to understand the book on prayer (Psalms).