I would recommend Kurt Bjorklund’s “Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer.” I was fortunate enough to be provided a copy in a special pre-release directly from the publisher for review purposes. Moody Publishers has graciously offered to send one of my readers a complimentary copy of the book as well. Comment on this blog and/or retweet (tag me in the tweet/status update so that I am notified) for your chance to win (I will select the winner by random within the first 48 hours of this blog going live). You can pre-order a paperback copy for under $11 at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Prayers-Today-Yearlong-Journey-Contemplative/dp/0802463509/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1321949967&sr=8-2) or directly from the publisher at http://www.moodypublishers.com/pub_productDetail.aspx?id=41829&pid=70996.
As I have already mentioned in my recent review of Mark Batterson’s “The Circle Maker,” I really sense that God is calling me to make 2012 a year of prayer for me and my family (http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2011/11/circle.html). This book will be a helpful resource as it draws from the truths of Scripture and traditions of the church.
My favorite entry, thus far, happens to be Day 29 and is focused on being a prayer of intercession (specifically interceding for those trapped in injustice). The Bible reads, “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence” (Psalm 140:12-13, ESV).
Mother Teresa once prayed, “Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men through the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy” (47).
Winifred Holtby echoes those words when he wrote, “God give me work till my life shall end. And life till my work is done” (47).
The author suggests, “Take a few moments to pray for the poor and hungry in the world. The oppressed and persecuted. Those who have suffered from a natural disaster. Offer prayers for peace among the nations regarding current events. Pray for those on the front lines of work with the marginalized in our world. Lord, how can I better aid those in need? Lord, how can I better seek justice? Lord, is there an oppressor that you are calling me to oppose and remove?” (47).
Official Author Biography: Bjorklund was educated at Wheaton College, Trinity International University, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After serving two churches in the Chicago area, Kurt served as a Senior Pastor in a church in southeastern Michigan for a decade. He is currently the senior pastor of Orchard Hill Church, a large non-denominational church outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Faith live with their four sons in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
Official Book Description: A collection of classic and contemporary prayers, some derived from Scripture and others from the writings of Christian leaders throughout the centuries, this beautiful volume invites readers into a daily experience of closer intimacy with God. Each day’s entry focuses on one of ten traditional types of prayer:
* Prayers of Thanksgiving
* Prayers of Confession
* Prayers of Affirmation
* Prayers of Petition
* Prayers of Renewal
* Prayers of Praise and Adoration
* Prayers to Have Christ-like Character
* Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance
* Prayers of Intercession
* Prayers of Surrender
With 260 entries — enough for every weekday of an entire year — Prayers for Today guides readers through a unique kind of spiritual pilgrimage, a pilgrimage toward the very throne room of God.
For any reader who’s ever wanted more out of prayer or who’s ever hungered for a greater sense of God’s presence, Prayers for Today promises deepened communion with the One who treasures the words and longings of His people.