Sunday, November 29, 2009

Walking through A History of Britain

Walking indoors is my favorite way to workout. My back trouble keeps me from extremely strenuous routines, but a fast walk is something I can handle. To make my workouts a little more interesting I check out dvds. I've walked my way through all the European travel dvds our library offers, so I'm watching something historical now: A History of Britain.

From the most ancient civilization to World War II, historian Simon Schama narrates the history of Britain. At first I wished there were a few other narrators. There are other voices reading letters and giving bits of historical speeches, but Simon Schama is the only modern person walking through the historical sites and summarizing the events. But after an episode or two I began to really enjoy watching him. He has a somewhat birdlike way of speaking, sticking out his neck and his head while emphasizing syllables. This makes me chuckle at the most unfunny moments!

I do appreciate Simon Schama's viewpoint on British history because he is neither Catholic nor Protestant (he's Jewish) so it seems to be without a prejudice towards one side or the other. Amazon's description says "From India to Ireland, the Norman Invasion to the American Revolution, Schama spotlights the epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island 'at the edge of the world' into the greatest empire on earth, examining the impact of this extraordinary heritage on the modern nation."

This series would be helpful to a highschooler studying British history, but it's also an interesting escape for a southwest housewife on a late autumn afternoon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Words of Praise on Wednesday

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

--Psalm 103:1-8

Flat Belly Diet: 7 pounds lost with the help of the Jumpstart Menu

I've been following the Flat Belly Diet for 25 days, and I love it! In the first 3 weeks, I lost 3 pounds. My youngest child is 3 1/2, and it's been a real struggle to lose the baby weight. I've lost a few pounds on various eating plans, but I haven't been able to stick with them. The Flat Belly Diet allows me to have chocolate chips with my breakfast cereal, so I'm pretty sure I can keep it up. The diet is based on eating 1600 calories a day, divided into 4 meals, with a monounsaturated fat (such as nuts, avocado, chocolate) at each of those meals. It's a good balance of healthy foods (without using any sugar substitutes) but I certainly don't feel deprived.

The Flat Belly Diet suggests you begin by following their Jumpstart plan for 4 days. These 4 days have very limited food selections, designed to "banish bloat" and I wasn't ready to do that when I started. This week I decided to give it a try. 3 days into this, I've lost 4 pounds! This brings my weight loss over the 25 days to a total of 7 pounds. I have 18 more to lose.

One of the things I like about the Jumpstart menu is the Sassy Water. This is an infusion I make in the evening: water and limes (the book recommends lemons) and ginger and cucumber. I put it in the fridge overnight and drink it the next day. I make 8 cups, and just the process of making it helps me remember to drink all of it. I like a strong infusion, and I think fresh mint is a little expensive, so I begin by making a pot of peppermint tea: 2 cups of boiling water, 2 teabags (herbal), an inch of fresh sliced ginger, and 2 small quartered limes. I let it steep for 15 minutes, then pour it into my 8 cup pyrex pitcher (it has to be a heat-safe pitcher!) and add the cucumber and water to make 8 cups. I like the way this tastes, and it's really helpful when I'm craving a snack. The first day I realized it was too cold to drink from the fridge (peppermint and cucumber are cooling in themselves), so I took it out in the morning and left it on the counter. I get cold on these late autumn afternoons, so I make another small pot of peppermint tea with ginger and lime, and drink it hot. I can't find any information in the book about drinking it hot, so I'm not sure I'm following the rules, but it keeps me from craving my usual cup of tea.

There are 2 lunch options, and I chose the pressed turkey/grape tomatoes/string cheese option the first day. The second day I repeated it, but I wanted a little more flavor. The Jumpstart menu forbids balsamic vinegar (my usual addition to tomatoes), but I am allowed to use herbs. I wanted a little liquid to make the herbs stick to the tomatoes, so I sliced them in half and put them in a glass bowl with the diced turkey and diced cheese. Then I sprinkled Fines Herbes from Penzeys over them, and stirred it. A little juice came out of the tomatoes, giving me a very light dressing and a lot of flavor.

I look forward to the end of the Jumpstart menu, and a return to the rest of the diet, but I do like the difference the Jumpstart has made in the way my clothes fit! 2 years ago I bought a pair of cargo capri pants to wear on our trip to Ireland. They didn't fit, so I wore my comfortable yoga pants for most of the trip. I never have been able to wear these...until this week.

I must confess, I have not completely followed the No Caffeine rule of the Jumpstart. In the morning I make a small pot of tea with 1 peppermint teabag and 1 Irish Breakfast teabag, several slices of ginger, and 1 teaspoon of honey. My kids are sniffly and I'm waking up with a sore throat every morning--I need that raw local honey to soothe my throat and fight the allergies. And the caffeine in these two cups of half-caffeinated tea is equal to the caffeine in half a cup of coffee and so far has eliminated the lack-of-caffeine headache. I usually have at least 2 cups of coffee or 4 cups of tea every day, so this is a big change.

(I am not connected with the authors of the Flat Belly Diet in any way, nor do I have their thoughts on my adaptations to it.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunrise and Music and Grace

At church last week, Pastor spoke about trials--those bad things that happen to good people, for reasons we cannot imagine. I hardly heard the sermon because the message I'd heard sung behind me a few minutes earlier was still echoing in my heart. A friend of mine was sitting behind me, a friend who a month ago experienced a tragic loss. One of the songs we sang before the sermon was "His Grace is Enough." I heard my friend singing and I turned to look at her and saw her arms raised and her gaze focused upward as she sang words that mean so much to her right now.

This week my prayer list is overflowing with friends' needs--heavy, frightening burdens. Again and again I think of His sufficient grace, and I pray that each of them will be conscious of that grace.

Today I rode my bike early, just as sunrise was fading over the mountains. I thought of the Light of the World, reaching out to us with multi-colored rays of hope and cheer. As I rode I tried to pray but my prayers kept being interrupted by music running through my head: "Great is the Lord," "Great and Mighty is the Lord our King," "Jesus, Draw me close," and "Be Thou My Vision." I realized the songs were prayers too, so I inserted little personal requests between the lyrics: "Lord, draw my friend close to you! Be her great and mighty King today!"

Finer Things Friday is hosted here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crockpot Black Bean Taco Soup

I've been making this for years, in many variations. Here's the latest:

3 chorizo sausages (I recommend the chorizo sold by Costco)
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 TBS chili seasoning (or to taste)
1 TBS powdered baking chocolate (yes, really)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can black beans, undrained
2 TBS powdered buttermilk or one package powdered ranch dressing mix

Cook the sausages. I put them in a pan with water up to half the thickness of the sausage, and let it boil away, then let the sausages brown.

Remove sausages from pan and add the onions and garlic. If there isn't enough sausage grease in the pan, put one of the sausages (diced) back in the pan. When they've cooked for a few moments but aren't browned yet, add the seasoning and baking chocolate. When they're brown, add the vegetable broth and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Dice the sausages.

Place veggie mixture, sausages, tomatoes, black beans, and buttermilk in the crockpot. Cook on high for four hours on on low for eight hours.

This made 11 cups. By my calculations, each cup has 125 calories. I plan to eat a 2-cup serving, with avocado (1/8 cup=69 calories) and 1/2 TBS blue Cheese dressing (20 calories). This makes a 339 calorie dinner.

You could use sour cream instead of the blue cheese (I like a little more flavor and I rarely remember to buy sour cream). You could add shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips on top of your soup. If you are not concerned about carbs, you could add some frozen corn for the last two hours of cooking time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Words of Praise on Wednesday

Lord, hear my prayer. In Your faithfulness listen to my plea,
and in Your righteousness answer me. (Psalm 143:1)
I call on You, God, because You will answer me;
listen closely to me; hear what I say. (Psalm 17:6)
Lord, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help. (Psalm 130:2)
I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears. (Psalm 18:6)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: Scouting the Divine, by Margaret Feinberg

Scouting the Divine: my search for God in wine, wool, and wild honey
by Margaret Feinberg

When author Margaret Feinberg realized that her modern life had little in common with the farmers and vinedressers she studied in the Scriptures, she began a quest to learn about these ancient professions. Along the way, she visited a shepherd, a farmer, a beekeeper and a vintner. She talked with each of them at length, learning about their work and discussing scripture passages relating to their professions.

Margaret describes Scouting the Divine as “a heartfelt attempt to make the Bible come alive in a fresh and innovative way” and she certainly succeeds. Her words are informative and thought-provoking without being preachy. Her style is honest and friendly and fresh--as if she's sharing her deep thoughts with a good friend. As I read her experiences with sheep, I saw the shepherd giving individual attention to each sheep and I thanked Jesus for being my personal caring Shepherd. In the chapters about farming, I was challenged by the balance a farmer finds between working hard and leaving the results to God. When I read Margaret's description of honeybees, I marveled at God's perfect design in such tiny but vital creatures. The vineyard segment showed me how intimately involved a vintner is with each vine—and I praised God for watching over me and walking beside me.

Equally appropriate for a cozy read alone or a chatty small group discussion, Scouting the Divine is a fascinating book, helpful to anyone who reads Scripture. I look forward to sharing it with my daughters when they are older. In the meantime, I'm recommending it to friends at Bible study.

Scouting the Divine is available at Amazon and Lifeway. Lifeway also offers a DVD study.

Margaret Feinberg's blog is hosting Scouting the Divine's Blog Tour. This post is my contribution to the tour.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Words My Kids Don't Know

Every once in awhile I am surprised by the words my children don't know--words that were familiar in my Pacific Northwest childhood, but words that just don't come up in desert conversations. On a vacation to Seaside, Oregon, I mentioned a log on the beach. My then-three-year-old didn't know the meaning of "log." Last month we were reading about the Pilgrims sailing to Holland, and the word "harbor" was mentioned; my children wanted to know what a harbor is. "Dock" and "log truck" and "moss" are others I've endeavored to explain. I feel sad sometimes, thinking that my children are unfamiliar with the lush green environment I knew so well at their age.

But a Jeopardy episode reminded me of some other words my kids don't know. A contestant correctly defined the word "malignant" and I was surprised that this was considered difficult enough for Jeopardy--I can't remember ever not knowing the meaning of that word. My mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was only six months old, and she had recurrences every year or two until her death when I was twenty-four. I always knew that if she heard the doctor say "malignant" she would cry, but if he said "negative" she would rejoice. My kids, however, have no idea what those words mean--they've hardly even heard the word "cancer." I pondered this for awhile, reflecting that they also don't know much about "divorce," and they've never heard of "foreclosure" or "deployment."

You have blessed us, Lord. I'm sorry for my complaints about the absence of evergreens and rainbows.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simply Breakfast Blog

This week I stumbled across a brilliantly simple blog: Simply Breakfast. The author takes beautiful pictures of her breakfast--often with a pottery mug--and posts them with a comment about what exactly she was eating that day. On Thursday she had pumpkin pie. Mmm.

In a pitiful attempt to echo this idea, here is a photo of my own breakfast, taken with my inadequate camera phone. I had coffee (with milk and raw local honey), a Naked Juice Green Machine drink (yes! vegetables for breakfast!), and Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal with pecans and chocolate chips and milk. And I stayed near my Flat Belly Diet 400 calorie guideline. My coffee was not really this pale!
Coffee= 0 calories
1/4 cup milk in coffee= 20
1 tsp honey in coffee= 30
1/4 cup milk in cereal= 20
3/4 cup cereal= 100
15 chocolate chips= 38
2 TBS pecans= 90
3/4 cup greens drink= 105
Total calories= 403

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Avocado Bean Salad

This is so easy but so delicious.
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
2 avocadoes (or 1 large)
diced roma tomatoes (2 or 3)
diced green onions (1 or 2)
any italian herbs (basil, oregano, chives, etc)
salt & pepper

Toss these in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

Optional: serve with Italian herb croutons on top.

For a southwest variation, I use one can of black beans, and one can of cannellini. Sometimes I skip the green onions and use lots of chives instead.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Words of Praise on Wednesday

You are my rock and my fortress; You lead and guide me
because of Your name. (Psalm 31:3)
The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
and He reveals His covenant to them. (Psalm 25:14)
I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with My eye on you, I will give counsel. (Psalm 32:8)
You guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards
You will take me up in glory. (Psalm 73:24)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Olive Wrap

Marinate these ingredients for a few hours:
10 sliced green olives
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
a pinch of your favorite dried herb blend (I used Fines Herbes from Penzeys)

Spread on a whole wheat wrap and add a slice of provolone cheese.

Adapted from The Flat Belly Diet Pocket Guide.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: Fearless, by Max Lucado

I’m tired of fear. It’s on the news in reports of swine flu. It lands in my e-mail box with ill-researched warnings of harmful products. It’s in my mind since a minor traffic accident. Reading Max Lucado’s book Fearless was a refreshing change! Max discusses thirteen common fears and reminds us that Jesus said “Fear not.” He shows us stories from Jesus’ life that can boost our faith and give us courage. He talks about living forgiven, living peacefully and living focused on Jesus.

The chapter on fears for our children reminded me that “our kids were His kids first,” and I also appreciated the chapter about worst-case scenarios (“There’s a Dragon in My Closet”). Towards the end of the book, Max uses the story of the Transfiguration to discuss the fear of God—the only healthy fear.

Fearless is definitely a faith-feeding book. It will stay on my nightstand for awhile; the next time anxiety and worry show up, I’ll reread a bit.

I recommend this book to anyone who is worried, discouraged or anxious. Discussion questions give it small-group possibility, but I think its strength is personal encouragement.

I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program:


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Prayer Resources

Yesterday I gave a presentation on Prayer Resources at a Prayer Conference. I really enjoyed introducing my favorite books on one of my favorite subjects. As I gathered the resources over the last several weeks, I posted a series on Prayer Resources on this blog. If you scroll down the left hand side here, you'll see links to the posts. Please come back in a few days--I'll be adding a few more.

Do you have a favorite book about prayer? I'd like to hear about it. Please leave me a comment.


Today at the Prayer Conference we sang a song that included the phrase "I will follow hard after You." I knew that was a phrase from Psalms, so I looked it up when I came home. The King James Version says "My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me." (Psalm 63:8). The Holman Christian Standard Bible puts it this way: "I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me."

Two things really speak to me in this verse: first of all, the closeness. I shouldn't be following Jesus stealthily like a detective shadowing someone. Following Jesus is a lifelong relationship, clinging to Him and focusing on Him and obeying Him.

Secondly, I can only follow Him because He holds me tightly. Only the Lord can empower me to follow His will.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Finer Things Friday: Almond Butter Soup

Trying a new recipe--and liking the result--is always a Finer Thing! This week I'm following the Flat Belly Diet guidelines (and I lost two pounds in the first four days!) and trying a few new recipes. Yesterday I made almond butter soup, and we all enjoyed it.

Almond Butter Soup

Saute 1 chopped onion, 3 diced garlic cloves, and 4 stalks of celery in 1 tablespoon olive oil.

After they've cooked a few minutes, sprinkle with garam masala (or your favorite spice blend). When the edges of the veggies are beginning to brown, add 4 cups vegetable broth,
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and the juice of 2 limes. Cook til bubbly.

Blend in batches til the soup is your desired consistency. Return to pan and add
8 tablespoons almond butter (or peanut butter).

I served this with diced tomatoes and Kashi Fire Roasted Vegetable Crackers on top.

One cup of soup (not counting the tomatoes and crackers) is about 182 calories.

Finer Things Friday is hosted here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Irish Brown Soda Bread

adapted from

Makes one loaf
(I like to triple this, and freeze 2 loaves)

You'll need a piece of foil approx 12 in x 8 in
Preheat the oven to 425.
Spray your bread loaf pan with the Pam that has flour in it,
and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat bran flour or oat flour (if you don't have the spelt and oat flour,
use the equivalent amounts of whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 oz Butter, melted
1 Egg
12 ounces buttermilk
Sesame Seeds (optional)

Place flour in bowl and sift in Soda, Salt and Sugar. Mix to combine. (Don't want to sift? Put it in your stand mixer and swirl it around with the whisk attachment)

Beat egg with half of the buttermilk. Pour egg/milk and melted butter into flour. Mix thoroughly with stand mixer, then add the rest of the buttermilk.

Pour mixture into the lined baking pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Make a domed lid for the pan with the foil and press securely around the rim (Mine never "domes" very well but it still works) Bake 1 Hour.

Allow to cool completely before cutting or wrapping. This bread doesn't keep very long...if you won't eat it in 2 days, freeze it. It is a moist bread that will mildew if don't eat it within a couple days.

Serve slices toasted with butter and marmalade, or with chutney and cheese (brie is nice). This is especially nice with a cup of tea. Also lovely with bacon and a softly fried egg.

When I triple this recipe, it calls for 36 ounces of buttermilk. I buy buttermilk in 32 ounce containers. I just use the 32 ounces and add 4 ounces of milk.

Caloric information: if you cut each loaf into 15 pieces, each will be about 85 calories.

Words of Praise on Wednesday

Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. (Psalm 51:15)
For I will declare, "Faithful love is built up forever; You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens." (Psalm 89:2)
I will thank the Lord with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works. (Psalm 9:1)
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; see, I do not keep my mouth closed--as You know, Lord. (Psalm 40:9)
Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:3)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prayer Resources: Prayer Collections

I've found the best way to learn about prayer is to read other people's prayers. Here are my favorite collections:

Precious Thoughts from the Heart, by Ruth Harms Culkin
A collection of 6 previously-published titles, this book gives us a glimpse of the author’s prayer journals. Her prayer-poems sparkle with honesty and a deep love for Jesus. She talks to the Lord about her marriage, nature, trials, friends, and her desire for spiritual growth. The marriage poems make this an appropriate gift for a new bride, but the variety of other subjects makes it a welcome addition to any woman’s bookshelf. 319 pages, at Amazon.

Power Prayers for Women, by Jackie M. Johnson

This is a great book to use in your personal prayer time. It contains “prayer starters” for many different subjects (children, church, home, health, finances, etc.) with scriptures for each one. Read a page a day, or look for a subject to fit a particular need or situation. 23 chapters, 224 pages, at Amazon and Lifeway.

2000 Years of Prayer, edited by Michael Counsell
An extensive collection of Christian prayers through the centuries, arranged according to era and tradition. An excellent resource for study facilitators, writers and lovers of poetry. 644 pages, at Amazon.

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions,
edited by Arthur G. Bennett

Written in language similar to the King James Bible, these 400-year-old prayers are poetic expressions of a deep commitment to God. Perhaps a few of the authors didn’t grasp God’s grace fully, but their longings for holiness and desire to follow God whole-heartedly are admirable—and worth echoing. 223 pages, at Amazon and Lifeway.

Stormie Omartian’s Books of Prayers: Power of a Praying Woman Book of Prayers, The Power to Change Your Marriage Book of Prayers, The Prayer that Changes Everything Book of Prayers, Power of Praying for Your Adult Children Book of Prayers, The Power of a Praying Parent Book of Prayers, Power of a Praying Husband Book of Prayers, Power of a Praying Wife Book of Prayers.
These books are collections of the prayers found within the Power of Praying books. Printed in a small booklet to easily fit in a purse or pocket, these make great gifts. At Amazon.

Do you have a favorite collection of prayers? Please leave me a comment.


Prayer Resources: Practical Prayer

Sacred Chaos: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life You Have,
by Tricia McCary Rhodes
When you can't escape to the mountains or the ocean to pray alone, read this book for practical real-life advice on prayer and spiritual growth in the midst of your everyday life. This is an excellent book for a new Christian, or a refreshing and encouraging book for an experienced Christian. In addition to the ideas for prayer within your daily chaos, it includes ideas for an hour of solitary prayer and a 1 day prayer retreat. A few discussion questions, many application ideas. 22 chapters, 183 pages, at Amazon.

Busy Mom’s Guide to Prayer, by Lisa Whelchel
This is a “guided prayer journal” to keep on your nightstand, in your purse or near your bathtub. This 20 day collection of prayers and scriptures will focus your prayers for yourself, your husband, your children, and many other people in your life. You’ll pray for your in-laws, the President, your neighbors, your own roles and responsibilities, and much more. I used this book when I had an infant and a 3 year old--it was so helpful when I was tired to have this book giving me words to pray! 201 pages, at Amazon.

Do you have a favorite book that helped you make prayer a part of your everyday life? Please leave me a comment.


Prayer Resources: Studies of Specific Prayer Topics

Stormie Omartian’s Power of Praying books
Power of a Praying Woman, Power of a Praying Wife, Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Parent, Power of a Praying Teen, Power of Praying for Your Adult Children
These books are detailed guides to praying for yourself and the various people in your life. Solid practical advice and scriptures with lots of prayers to use as is or rephrase to fit your situation. Available at Amazon and Lifeway. Workbooks and Leader Guides for several of these studies are available at Lifeway.

Praying in Color, by Sybil MacBeth
If you are artistic, if you are easily distracted while praying or if you just find it helpful to journal or doodle while you pray, you’ll love this book: it’s a practical guide to making prayer visual and staying focused. It's a simple but powerful concept that you can easily personalize. After reading this book, I keep stencils by my prayer journal, my friend has colored pencils in her kitchen and another friend keeps crayons in the car. 110 pages, with suggestions for teaching this material to groups. At Amazon. You can see samples of how I use this book here.

Praying the Names of Jesus, by Ann Spangler
26 week daily devotional guide to using the Names of Jesus in your prayers, and becoming more acquainted with your Savior. Lots of Scripture, historical background and personal testimony. Study questions included. 374 pages. Available at Lifeway and Amazon.
Also available from Ann Spangler: Praying the Names of God and Immanuel, Praying the Names of God through the Christmas Season (Christmas-themed excerpts from her other books--a great gift).

Sacred Sorrow: Reaching out to God in the Lost Language of Lament,
by Michael Card
A beautiful reminder that prayer is not always joyful, this book shows us the prayers of lament in Job, Psalms and the Prophets, and tells us how to pray through the dark times of our lives. 23 chapters, 207 pages, at Amazon. A thoughtful gift or a resource for study leaders. No study questions, but an additional book Sacred Sorrow Experience Guide provides them.

A Prayer Journey with the Apostle Paul, by Michael Green
This 60 day devotional shows us “the essence of Paul’s prayers in meditation, petition, and praise—earnestly seeking God’s guidance, confident in the Spirit, unremitting in requests for the spiritual growth of others and overflowing with thankfulness.” This book is meant for personal study and it would enhance any other study on prayer. No study questions, 144 pages, at Amazon.

The Prayer of Jesus: The Promise and Power of Living in the Lord’s Prayer,
by Ken Hemphill
This book shows us the Lord’s Prayer and how we can use it as a pattern for our own prayers. It's a fascinating look at the commitments we are making to the Lord when we pray this prayer. 6 chapters, no study questions. 104 pages, at Amazon and Lifeway.

Do you have a favorite book about prayer? Please leave me a comment.


Prayer Resources: Prayer and Listening to God

Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks,
by Priscilla Shirer Lifeway says this study will “help participants know the voice of God: His language, character, and tone of voice. By growing closer to God through His Word, participants will be able to discern God's voice from the voice of strangers.” 185 page book (at Amazon or Lifeway) or 127 page workbook to accompany 6 session DVD series (at Lifeway).

He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer
This study of Samuel describes his godly characteristics and how we can apply them to our own lives. 201 page book or 128 page workbook and 6 session DVD (at Lifeway).

Can We Talk? Soul-Stirring Conversations with God, by Priscilla Shirer
This book gives modern women tools to develop a conversation with God. 149 page workbook to accompany 6 session DVD from Lifeway.

The Sacred Echo, by Margaret Feinberg
Similar in subject to Priscilla Shirer’s studies, this book is a personal testimony of hearing and obeying God’s voice and an encouragement to listen and follow when He speaks to you. 235 pages, 10 chapters, at Amazon. No study questions. A curriculum with 6 session DVD and workbooks is available at

Do you have a favorite book about hearing God's voice? Please leave me a comment.


Prayer Resources: Praying Scripture

Living Free: Learning to Pray God’s Word, by Beth Moore
A review at Lifeway says this study is based on Beth Moore’s books Breaking Free and Praying God’s Word, teaching readers how to “pray God’s Word back to Him.” 111 page workbook, 6 study sessions. Available at Lifeway and Amazon.

31 Day Studies from Ruth and Warren Myers:
31 Days of Prayer: Moving God’s Mighty Hand
31 Days of Praise: Enjoying God Anew
31 Days of Power: Learning to Live in Spiritual Victory
The Satisfied Heart: 31 Days of Experiencing God’s Love

Each of these books is full of Scripture-based prayers and thoughtful advice on deeper relationships with God through prayer. They make beautiful gift books as well as personal or group devotional studies. No study questions, but with a little preparation, a facilitator could lead a small group through these books, using the included scripture references for discussion. The facilitator could use a cross-reference Bible to create a more extensive discussion. The Satisfied Heart does not have quite as many prayers as the other books, but I include it here because it's my favorite gift to give to graduates. It's also very appropriate for singles and people who have recently moved or anyone seeking contentment in God. Available at Amazon.

Sacred Signposts, by Ruth J. Leamy
A practical study on the Apostle Paul’s prayers with a unique memory tool: an ancient prayer by St. Patrick. Short daily Scripture-filled segments discuss the relevance of Paul's prayer topics for our own prayers. Readers are encouraged to use the book to make their own collection of scripture prayers. Study questions and a suggested soundtrack included. All the Scripture verses are printed in the book, making it easy to study at home or on-the-go. 141 pages, 10 chapters, spiral bound. Available here.

Do you have a favorite book about praying Scripture? Please leave me a comment.

With the exception of my own book, I have no material connection to these books. DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: