When it comes to prayer, one of the comments I hear often from people of faith often is, “Sometimes I just don’t have the words.” You know what that’s like. You sit down to pray and you are so overwhelmed by life that you just cannot find the words. There are feelings that our words are not elegant enough. Even though we know that God knows what is on our hearts, we are overwhelmed with wanting to give God the best.
In those times we search for a guide to prayer.
In Every Season Prayers, Scotty Smith provides 330 pages of such a guide. United Methodist Bishop Young Jin Cho, of the Virginia Conference, has been teaching for four years that ministry begins and ends with prayer. All that we do is grounded in our time with the Creator. Prayer is that communion with God and is, as George MacDonald has written, “the thing we need first and most.”
Every Season Prayers is divided into twelve sections based on various seasons of life. There are prayers using scripture, prayers during times of struggle, prayers of confession, and more. In addition to the kinds of prayer, Smith includes teaching on different ways to pray.
Smith says in his Introduction, that his goal in this book of prayers is to “equip God’s people to pray.” This is what makes this book a great resource for the Christian not sure where to start or where to go next in their prayer life.
The first prayer in the book is “A Prayer for Rejoicing in the Scandalous Goodness of the Gospel.” The second is, “A Prayer for Accepting the Changes that Come with Aging.” This provides a small glimpse into what Smith is doing. Each prayer has a scripture or two and then the prayer.
A plus is that Smith includes a section of prayers for Advent and Lent.
These are traditional seasons in the church that hold a depth of meaning for the church. Too often, they are forgotten in projects like this. After the War on Advent, it is a relief to see that Advent and Lent had place in the Every Season Prayers.
I found that no matter where you are on the spiritual spectrum, these prayers are appealing to all. The prayers either begin, “Dear Lord Jesus,” or “Dear heavenly Father.” The Father language is prominent throughout the book. This is, no doubt, Smith’s tradition. For those looking for more inclusive language, the essence of the prayers can handle the substitution of Parent, Mother, etc.
Overall, it is a quality collection of prayers.
You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.