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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
229 pages
Dec 2005
InterVarsity Press

Learning to Pray Through the Psalms

by James W. Sire

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Learning to Pray Through the Psalms is a book for people who are ready to listen to God. The author, James Sire, introduces his book with the thought that the Psalms are God’s answering speech to each of us in all facets of our lives. With the hope that we will use the design presented to read further in the Psalms, the author takes an in depth look at eleven psalms. Each chapter follows the same outline: read, read, and then read again the psalm; look at the meaning of words and emotional structure; consider the context; make the psalm yours by fitting it to your own prayer needs; praying it in community; hints for the leader of a group; and adaptations for small group study. A useful study in its entirety, this book is also a good one for dipping into for its gems of wisdom, for instance: ‘The anchor of hope is indeed beyond the horizons of hope,” (43) “Pray with the full arsenal of our emotions open to God,” (105) “Let God be the one to judge as he sees fit.” (162)

A former editor of InterVarsity Press, author of many Bible studies, and a Christian lecturer, James Sire brings years of research, study, and practical experience to this book. He has learned to appreciate the Psalms in their totality and wants his readers to have the same exciting experience. Adaptable for use with many ages from older elementary through adult, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms will find a niche in many home, church, and Christian school libraries. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Weariness. Wonder. Joy. Longing. Anger.

These are the feelings of the Psalms: honest expressions of pain and joy penned by real people in the midst of real life circumstances. Though they were written centuries ago, the Psalms still resonate deeply with us today, giving voice to our thoughts and longings:

  • "Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD." (Psalm 130:1)
  • "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
  • "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." (Psalm 84:2)

In Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, James W. Sire teaches us to take our appreciation for this rich book of Scripture a step further. Choosing ten specific psalms, Sire offers background information that helps us read each one with deeper insight and then lays out a meditative, step-by-step approach to using the psalmists' words as a guide for our own personal conversation with God. A group study is also included in each chapter, along with a guide for praying through the psalm in community.

The Lord loves when his people pray. And his Word is a powerful tool for framing honest, intimate prayers. Sire's innovative approach will enrich our minds and our souls as we read more perceptively and pray with all of our emotions.