3 yellow roses

When You Pray

Making the Lord's Prayer Your Own
by Philip Graham Ryken
Published by Crossway Books 2000 ISBN: 1581341946

Philip Graham Ryken grew up with a grandfather who made this prayer come alive and bring him into God's presence whenever he prayed it. His father also taught him to love and respect it, and the God to whom they prayed this short but complete prayer. In this book Ryken shows how it has saturated his own life and studies. It is the best study on Jesus' model prayer that I've ever read.

He notes that hypocrites and heathen can't pray this, and too often Christians feel like they are orphans, and really aren't ready to address the Heavenly Father with the terms and worship included here. The Lord's prayer is a family prayer, only meant for His children who know and trust our Father-God.

Each part of the prayer is presented and shown as the gem it is by itself, and how it fits into it's perfect place in the whole.

A lot of sound theology happens in this book. The explanation on what is meant by "daily bread," is excellent, as is the one on the difference between trespasses and debts. I learned still more in chapter 11, called, "Lead Us Not into Temptation." (It would take too long to transfer that concept here, but it is worth the price of the book).

You may have wondered why the doxology, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." is not included in all translations of the Bible. Ryken delves into translation and church history to explain that doxologies were commonly added to all prayers in Jesus' day. That it doesn't show up in all the earlier copies of the New Testament may assume each would end with his or her own praise. Still, we get sound reasons for using the traditional one, and I found a refreshing new appreciation for using doxologies in all prayers.

This book comes with good discussion questions at the end of each chapter, source notes, and an index. It would be great for small groups or adult Sunday School classes for one quarter. Every student will want their own copy.

(Reprinted with Permission from Provident Bookfinder)

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Ruth Marlene Friesen

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