As a wise man once said: “of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). This would have to include books on prayer. For some of us, it would be easier to spend less time in prayer and read a book on prayer.
Matthew Henry’s A Way to Pray is different. The whole book is full of actual prayers based on Scripture. He considered this book (originally called Method for Prayer) more important than his famous commentary on the whole Bible, that he actually stopped working on his commentary to work on this book (xi). This edition was updated by O. Palmer Robertson and his students at the African Bible University of Uganda. The different sections include: Praise, Confession, Petition, Thanksgiving, and Intercession.
Here is a prayer from the Petition section:
Pray that God will work compassion and brotherly love in you. Lord, put in us the love toward one another that perfects our unity. Enable us to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let us live in love and peace, that you, the God of love and peace, may be with us. Give us the grace to love our neighbour as ourselves, with that love which fulfills all the requirements of the law. Let us love one another with a pure heart fervently, that all men may know we are Christ’s disciples. Col 3:14; Eph 4:3; 2 Cor 13:11; Rom 13:9, 10; I Pet 1:22; John 13:35 (104).
That prayer packs a punch because it is packed full of God’s Word. What could be a better way to empower our prayers than to pray the promises and commands of God? This book does not equip us for the battle of prayer, but drops us right into the fight by giving us the best words to pray. Yes, we should talk and teach about praying God’s Word, but the task before us is actually praying God’s Word. And Matthew Henry’s Scripture-infused prayers are one way to direct us in this pursuit of God.
I highly recommend this book! You can find a different edition online.