Praying the Bible with Luther

A simple approach to everyday prayer

Michael Parsons

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This book is brilliant! It may well be the best book on Luther to appear during these 500-year celebrations - biographical, theological, pastoral and practical. Mike Parsons has done an amazing job of mining and distilling the great Reformer's teaching on prayer to help us walk closer with the Lord.
Simon Ponsonby, Pastor of Theology, St Aldates, Oxford

Content

Praying biblically and with intent

There is a need in today's church to relate scripture and prayer in such a way as to enable us to speak God's words after him. This book takes a simple lectio divina approach developed in the sixteenth century by Martin Luther and offers practical guidance to pray in this way.

Beginning each time of prayer with a Bible passage, Luther would meditate on it with four 'strands' in mind: teaching, thanksgiving, repentance and supplication. Then he would pray, having his thoughts shaped by his reading, praying God's words after him, confident of God's grace. Praying the Bible with Luther explains this method, demonstrates it and encourages readers to follow his example, helping us to turn scripture into prayer and to pray it into our own lives today.

Contents

Chapter 1 - Praying with Luther today
Chapter 2 - A simple way to pray
Chapter 3 - Praying the Bible today
Chapter 4 - Following Luther's example: starting out
  • Exodus 19:3 - 8
  • 2 Chronicles 30:23 - 27
  • Psalm 51:1 - 4
  • Isaiah 6:1 - 8
  • Lamentations 3:19 - 26, 31 - 32
  • Ezekiel 37:1 - 10
  • Mark 4:35 - 41
  • Luke 15:11 - 24
  • Acts 4:23 - 31
  • Galatians 5:1 - 13
  • Colossians 3:4 - 10
  • 1 John 3:1 - 3
Chapter 5 - Following Luther's example: going solo
  • Numbers 6:22 - 27
  • 1 Kings 19:9 - 13
  • Psalm 36:5 - 9
  • Psalm 42:1 - 5
  • Isaiah 43:10 - 12
  • Matthew 13:44 - 46
  • John 1:14
  • Galatians 3:1 - 5
  • Ephesians 1:13 - 14
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 24
Chapter 6 - Following Luther's example: taking it further
Chapter 7 - Final thoughts

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Endorsements

This book is brilliant! It may well be the best book on Luther to appear during these 500-year celebrations - biographical, theological, pastoral and practical. Mike Parsons has done an amazing job of mining and distilling the great Reformer's teaching on prayer to help us walk closer with the Lord.
Simon Ponsonby, Pastor of Theology, St Aldates, Oxford

This is more than a simple approach to everyday prayer; it's a deep book for those who desire to be serious about prayer. The author is well versed in the life and writings of Martin Luther and he proves an immensely able teacher in introducing the reader to Luther's imaginative pattern of praying the Bible. The fact that Luther first introduced his pattern of praying to his hairdresser underlines the down-to-earth practical teaching in Luther's writings on prayer. The "business end" of this book, with the examples of how to use the Bible in praying, is brilliant and highly commended for use personally and with small groups.
David Coffey OBE, Global Ambassador BMS World Mission

Michael Parsons proves a wise and gentle guide to reading the word of God not only with our head but with our hearts. His passion for the Bible and Luther is infectious.
Amy Boucher Pye, author of The Living Cross (BRF, 2016)

This superb book offers practical advice for individuals and groups to experience prayer afresh as a place of encounter with God. Three excellent chapters outline Luther's scripture-centred approach, followed by an imaginative series of steps where the author first allows us to "overhear" how this works for him before we are nudged to have a go ourselves. This book could change your life!
David Kerrigan, General Director of BMS World Mission

Mike Parsons rightly understands that the general dissatisfaction most Christians feel about the state of their prayer lives often stems from a tendency to dissociate prayer from Bible reading. Of course, the two belong together. In this wonderful book, peppered with fascinating anecdotes and insights from the life of Martin Luther, the author leads us - via worked examples in scripture - to life-giving prayer habits. The tone is relaxed and conversational, the content is theologically rich and the ideas are eminently practical. So I urge you: take, read, confess, worship and pray!
Paul Hedley Jones, Trinity College, Queensland, Australia

Written in a warm and accessible tone, but with a real sense of purpose, this book brings the prayer life of Martin Luther alive for a new generation. I have no doubt that it will change the prayers of all those who read it, as it inspires us to dig deeper into scripture and press further into prayer with warm encouragement and practical examples. A much needed book which effortlessly combines Reformation wisdom with 21st-century warmth, I am excited to see what difference it makes to the prayer life of the Church today.
Nell Goddard, author of Musings of a Clergy Child (BRF, 2017)

This excellent resource takes important Reformation insights, makes them accessible and then applies them to prayer today. There are many healthy biblical insights here and, if acted upon, they have the potential to enrich our prayer lives greatly. I wish this book a wide readership. Peter J.
Morden, Vice Principal and Director of the Spurgeon's Centre for Spirituality, Spurgeon's College, London

Author info

Currently commissioning editor for The Bible Reading Fellowship, Michael Parsons is the author of several books on the Reformation and an Associate Research Fellow at Spurgeon's College.

Reviews

Review by Amy Boucher-Pye

Michael Parsons is a gentle teacher who introduces Luther's love of the Bible and how we can pray with the reformer using God's Word as our text and guide. Parsons says that praying with the Bible will become an instinctive and living experience, in which we grow in our faith.

I find it interesting to note that the way of praying with the Bible highlighted here is lectio divina - the ancient four-part practice that began in the (Catholic) monasteries. That Luther would pray according to this form reveals the influence of his decade as a monk - he didn't leave all of those practices behind. Parsons' book is practical and encouraging, giving a hands-on means to introduce another way of praying into our lives.

Our world would be very different without the influence of men such as Luther, Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli and William Tyndale.

Amy Boucher-Pye, Woman Alive Book Club

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465030
  • Published: 21 July 2017
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
Bible Reflections for Older People - September 2018
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