A Prayerbook

Some people struggle with prayer. They struggle to begin, or they struggle to keep their mind focused, and some struggle much over whether or not it is doing any good. My own belief are that there aren’t compelling answers to the problems with prayer, and there aren’t any sure-fire methods that will get us over the hump. But I do know that for many people prayer books are of great help in rekindling a prayer life.

I want to recommend a new (anabaptist-shaped) prayer book: Take Our Moments and Our Days Volume 1. Kris and I have used it for two months or so, we took it to Australia, and it is a good prayerbook. The first volume (link above) is for the weeks of Ordinary Time (between Pentecost and Advent, or roughly May through November), and it focuses (as it ought in Ordinary Time) on the life of Jesus. To take us into the life of Jesus, we have weeks focused on the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, parables and signs and wonders. Each day’s readings — and it has a morning and evening reading — includes a call to praise (psalm, thanksgiving, song, confession — evening readings), a call to discipleship, with either Zechariah’s Benedictus or Mary’s Magnificat or Simeon’s Song, a call to intercession and a benediction. Each reading includes the Jesus Creed (and I know of no other prayer book that does this as consistently) and the Lord’s Prayer.

The second volume is shaped for that time of the Church Calendar from the advent of Christ through Lent and Holy Week and all the way to Pentecost: Take Our Moments and Our Days, Volume 2.

These prayerbooks are eminently useful and user-friendly. For an introduction to using prayerbooks, including a biblical discussion, see Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Tim

    Thanks for the recommendation! May our prayer lead us to live Jesus shaped lives, especially on this day when we recall Dr. King’s dream speech and Emmit Till’s murder. I love anabaptists because of theIr efforts to live Christ’s wholeness in the world, from a Lutheran who lives by grace.

  • John C. Gardner

    Can you recommend a good Anglican prayer book and a prayer book that could be carried while traveling(i.e. one that is not to heavy to travel with for several weeks)?
    John C. Gardner

  • Scot McKnight


    The Book of Common Prayer?

    Or, Phyllis Tickle, The Divine HoursTM, Pocket Edition

  • Wes Horn


    I’ve been using Take Our Moments & Our Days since the first preview copy came out in 2005. It was my first introduction into prayerbooks…and it has been a true blessing. After using it for a year, I introduced my congregation to it (we in the Churches of Christ have not had much…if any exposure to prayerbooks) and most loved it.

    I’m glad that you recommended it. One of the editors, Arthur Boers, has also written a short book on praying the hours called “Day by Day These Things We Pray: Uncovering Ancient Rhythms of Prayer.”

    Grace & Peace,


  • http://Anglicanposse.com Michael Strachan


    I’d highly recommend the Church of England’s “Common Worship: Daily Prayer”.

  • http://theorant.com Billy Kangas

    I use the Catholic “Christian Prayer” myself…. It’s excellent!

  • http://www.youtube.com/psalms4guitar Brian

    I would love to get a prayer book app like this on my iphone. Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks.

  • http://www.stpaulsnitro.org Mark E. Smith

    I’ve used prayer books on and off for several years. A few years ago, I even developed my own order for morning and evening prayer based on the Book of Common Prayer, using its prayers for individuals and families as a guide.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    Yes, I discovered this myself some time ago and have used it some. You’ve prompted me to get back into it :-)