How Did People in the Bible Pray?

That’s the question I set out to answer in my book, Ask, Seek, Knock: Prayers to Change Your Life.  I just figured, if we look to the Bible as a sacred text that gives us guidance in spiritual matters, maybe the characters therein exemplified something we can learn from.  So I looked at Old Testament figures, the Psalmist, Jesus, the Apostles, and even leaders in the early, medieval, and modern church.

The result, I think, is a pretty interesting book.  And this week, it’s available for only 99¢.

See below for the Table of Contents.

And see all the Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt books on sale this week.

Ask, Seek, Knock: Prayers to Change Your Life Table of Contents


part one. introduction
1. What Is Prayer?
2. How Does Prayer Work?

Part two. Prayers from the Old Testament
3. Praying with the Patriarchs and Judges
Abraham: Doubt, Then Faith
Moses: Looking to God for Leadership
Deborah: An Ancient Song of Praise

4. Praying wi th the Psalmists
Psalm 136: A Story-Prayer
Psalm 93: An Enthronement Song
Psalm 130: A Lament

5. Praying with the Kings and Prophets
Solomon: A Request for Wisdom
Jeremiah: Righteous Questions
Daniel: A Prayer of Confession

Part three. Prayers from the New Testament
6. Praying wi th Jesus
The Lord’s Prayer: A Prayer for All Time
Facing the Cross: A Prayer for God’s Glory
At Death’s Door: A Prayer of Forgiveness

7. Praying with the Apostles
The Disciples: A Prayer for God’s Choice
Peter and John: A Prayer for Courage
The Author of Hebrews: A Prayer of Blessing

8. Praying with Paul
Paul’s Lifelong Prayer: On the Damascus Road
Paul Prays for His Friends: Strength for the Colossians
Paul Prays Through Pain: Strife with the Corinthians

Part four. Prayers of the Church
9. Praying with the Ancient Church
Clement of Rome: A Prayer for the Needy
Origen: A Prayer for Inner Cleansing
John Chrysostom: Prayers for the World

10. Praying with the Medi eval Church
Hildegard of Bingen: An Ecstatic Hymn of Praise
Francis of Assisi: A Life and Prayer of Giving
Julian of Norwich: God Is Enough

11. Praying with the Modern Church
Evelyn Underhill: A Prayer to Serve
Dag Hammarskjöld: A Prayer in Community with the Trinity
Mother Teresa: A Prayer to See Jesus

Part five. Exercises in Prayer
A Pilgrim Song: Psalm 131
King David Blesses the Lord God: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13
Stephen Forgives: Acts 7:59-60
Paul’s Prayer to Love: Philippians 1:3-11
Jude’s Benediction: Jude 24-25
Francis of Assisi: Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Brother Lawrence: My Heart, Your Heart
Joseph Louis Bernardin: Grant Us Modesty



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