Congratulations to last week’s winner of the trio of historical novels by Jennifer Valent:
Glenda Alexander Chilton of Superior, AZ!
Today we’re returning to nonfiction as I’m excited about a brand new book published last week in time for Clergy Appreciation Month: A Pastor Prays for His People by Dr. Wendell C. Hawley.
This collection of wise and loving prayers has a lot of uses: deepening your own personal prayer life, gifting your pastor as an encouragement to his or her ministry, or even congregational worship.
I had the privilege of assisting with leading worship during the first service at my home church this past Sunday. We were focusing on the God of grace, and I found the perfect resource in A Pastor Prays for His People to project on the screen for our congregation to pray in unison.
Church leader and former Christian publishing executive Wendell Hawley used to share the widespread conviction of many fellow evangelicals that spontaneous prayers are somehow more spiritual than written prayers, but he now believes that the body of Christ can benefit greatly from the use of prayers articulated by others, much as the Psalms themselves were Jesus’ prayer-book.
“I grew up in a church that only believed in extemporaneous prayers; indeed, spontaneity was considered more spiritual than carefully prepared prayers,” writes Hawley. “But as I matured in my faith and studied the prayers preserved throughout Christian history, I discovered the richness and depth of prayer that teaches and elevates the hearers. I gravitated to the words of Puritan pastors who combined the teaching of God’s Word with presenting the needs of their people to God.”
As Pastor Hawley visited his parishioners month after month, it became clear that many were privately struggling with life’s common issues: unemployment, deteriorating health, financial crisis, family disruption, wrenching loss, seemingly unanswered prayer.
“The list included every kind of human frailty,” he comments. “The hearts of our people cried out to me and to God. When I sat down to write my pastoral prayer each week, I tried to express their feelings, voice their concerns, and ask their questions. The prayers in this book are the result.”
If you’d like to win a copy of A Pastor Prays for His People for your own use or as a gift for your pastor, simply leave a comment after this post.
And if you don’t win this time, you can easily order a copy online: http://www.amazon.com/Pastor-Prays-His-People-Collection/dp/1414339089/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1286555210&sr=1-1