Book Review: Pray the Scriptures by Kevin Johnson

Engaging God’s Word through prayer is a soul building habit to develop. Kevin Johnson in his 40 day prayer experience called Pray the Scriptures provides a format each day to build that habit into your life.

When I saw the title for this book, my assumption was Kevin would use great prayers of the Bible each day to “pray the scriptures”. Prayers like Nehemiah in the first chapter of his book, the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 or Luke 11, and Paul in Ephesians 3. Paul’s prayer makes it on day 32, but not the others. That’s the book’s greatest value and in some ways its greatest weaknesses.

Cover Art

I greatly appreciated how Kevin expanded my skills in praying the Scriptures. Each day features a reading from a portion of the Scriptures that is broken into smaller units with sentences to complete based on the reading. Day 11 deals with the Great Commandment from Matthew 22. The verses that look at loving God feature these sentences:

It’s obvious I don’t fully love you when I …

I want to put you first in my life by …

The verses that deal with loving your neighbor as yourself has these sentences to guide one’s prayer:

I struggle to love …

I need your help to …

At the end of each chapter there are questions to Reflect + Pray + Discuss.

The tools I picked up in doing the daily prayers help now in my daily reading of the Bible. Instead of marking off each reading, I am finding new ways to pray about what I have read. This is the book’s greatest strength as it deals with a variety of verses from the Bible: the psalms of David (in some ways prayers in their own rite), the narrative of Jesus death and resurrection, Paul’s teaching as in Ephesians 4 and 5, and Old Testament prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah.

Besides Day 32 and Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 (depending how you view the psalms), there was not much work done in working through the prayers of the Bible. Perhaps this is the focus of another work, but I have found such prayers to add richness and power to my own prayer life.

I give Pray the Scriptures 4 out of 5 stars. It is a good workbook especially for daily Bible readers and for those beginning their own prayer journey to develop a mindset that adds a prayer emphasis to engaging God’s Word.

My thanks to Bethany House for a free copy to review. I was not required to give a positive review just an honest one.


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