Teach Us How to Pray: A List of Prayer Collections

February 10, 2023

De Pree Journal

Healthy marketplace leaders know how to pray. And they do it often. When we interviewed exemplary Christian marketplace leaders for our research study, they told us time and again that praying is one of their primary strategies for navigating the challenges they face in their work. Some of them even told stories about how and what they prayed in key, crucible moments.

As Richard J. Foster explains in his classic book, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, looking at the prayer lives of spiritual giants can feel intimidating. How can we ever learn to pray as they do? Foster encourages us with these words: “…God always meets us where we are and slowly moves us along into the deeper things. Occasional joggers do not suddenly enter an Olympic marathon. They prepare and train themselves over a period of time, and so should we.” He reminds us, “Real prayer is something we learn. The disciples asked Jesus, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke 11:1).”

So, how do we learn to pray? Sometimes, when we’re not quite sure how or what to pray, it can be helpful to use other prayers as a guide. In the wake of national tragedies, our staff has adapted prayers written by other people to help us give voice to our lament. The Bible also contains several prayers, notably the psalms, that can teach us to pray as we read or speak the words, making them our own.

Listed below you’ll find other collections of prayers that have helped our staff learn to pray, and that we hope might serve as helpful guides for you in your prayer life.

Every Moment Holy
by Douglas Kaine McKelvey
This two-volume series contains hundreds of prayers for the everyday circumstances of our ordinary lives.

The Book of Common Courage
by K.J. Ramsey
Drawing on the themes of Psalm 23, this collection of poems and prayers helps us find courage amidst some of life’s darkest valleys.

 
 
 

The Book of Common Prayer
by The Anglican Church in North America
This book contains several types of prayers designed to guide us through the Bible in worship, both personally and corporately.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
by Shane Claiborne
This collection of prayers and liturgies invites Christians from all traditions to join their hearts and voices with others around shared words and practices.

 
 
 

Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans
by James M. Washington
Published in 1994, this collection consists of prayers rooted in the experiences of African Americans and assembled in chronological order.

 
 

Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle
by Ted Loder
This book contains prayers that read like beautifully crafted poems but that, according to the author, ought to be wielded like a powerful weapon against the challenges of our times.

Banner image by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash.

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