Grant Us Grace to Ask

Five and a half years ago our family piled into a mini-van and drove cross country — Maine to Seattle, south to Arizona, and then in a zig-zagging joy ride back to Maine.  Four boys, two parents, one tent, six sleeping bags, and five weeks of freedom on the road.  It becomes a better memory every year, and one of the sweetest recollections for me is the memory of falling asleep every night with the words of the Lord’s prayer as an outline for my quiet, day’s-end meeting with God.  Although I had feared that lack of solitude and our crazy schedule would wreak havoc with my prayer life, it led to the gift and surprise of a deeper experience.

Praying Scripture is only one of the twenty-one strategies Kathryn Shirey introduces in Pray Deep, but it’s definitely my favorite.  Many of her suggestions will be familiar to her readers:  praying a song, lectio divina, the ACTS template.  What makes this collection unique is Kathryn’s conviction that prayer is a priority and, since there is no scripturally specified “methodology” for prayer, we are free to view our communication with God as a living and fluid dialogue.  For some, journaling written prayers will serve as a means of recording requests and answers and of being intentional in meeting with God.  For others, drawing and doodling while praying is a way of remaining focused.

I appreciated Kathryn’s inclusion of an excerpt from The Book of Common Prayer in each chapter. I’m hooked, so I downloaded the free version onto my Kindle as a launch pad for deep and meaningful prayer.  Pray Deep encouraged me to try different approaches to prayer, and now they are in my arsenal, not only for myself, but also as a suggestion for people who are seeking advice for revitalizing their prayer life.

By emphasizing the importance of communication with God, Pray Deep has encouraged me in the discipline of making prayer a regular part of every day.  The point is to connect with God, to be intentional in building that most important relationship, and to enjoy the glory of God’s unwavering attention.

Subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews from Living Our Days delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I link-up with these communities on a regular basis:   Looking Up,   Soli Deo Gloria Connections, Inspire Me Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Live Free Thursdays, Faith-Filled Fridays, Grace and Truth, Fellowship Friday, Still Saturday, The Weekend Brew, Sunday Stillness, Faith and Fellowship, Blessing Counters, Women with Intention, Sharing His Beauty, Monday Musings, Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Small Wonder, A Little R & R, Beloved Brews, SusanBMead, Faith Along the Way, Cozy Reading Spot, Reflect, Literacy Musing Mondays, Purposeful Faith, The Loft, Words with Winter, Rich Faith Rising, Encourage Me Monday, Tuesday Talk, What to Read Wednesday, Booknificent Thursday, Give Me Grace, Three-Word Wednesday, Word-filled Wednesdays, Faith ‘n Friends

35 thoughts on “Grant Us Grace to Ask”

  1. Hi Michele, I was going to respond to this on your blog, but couldn’t find the post at all… I love the road trip reference. What a terrific investment in family memories. I love the way you tie tidbits from your life into your reviews ( : “a zig-zagging joy ride back to Maine” lovely. I have a cherished ideal of Maine as a place I want to get to know some day, ever since a family camping trip took us there from our home in NJ way back when and I climbed my fist mountain with my Dad and big brothers. Unforgettable.

    I always appreciate your reviews but had a sort of red flag concern about this book’s conclusion that: “since there is no scripturally specified approach to prayer, we are free to view our communication with God as a living and fluid dialogue.” This seems a false and dangerous assumption to me considering all the instructions and patterns re: prayer given in Scripture.. The current trend toward mystical practices including lectio divina and even coloring/doodling AS prayer, seems unscriptural to me. Mind you, I’m sure there are a multiplicity of ways to interpret and practice these ‘methods’, but not all are sound. I’m wary. I do really appreciate the articles/emphasis I’ve seen of late on praying from Scripture. This is surely a valuable corrective to some of the more rogue methods being promoted nowadays among Christians and non-Christians alike!

    Anyway, just wanted to send along a note. Excuse the silly formatting of this note… Thank you for all the good words you share and process ( : I always appreciate your posts! Linda Skelton of Dawn Ponderings


    1. I hope what you’d find in this book is prayer very much rooted in scripture and the teachings of Jesus. Yet also that prayer is a conversation with God that is about opening our hearts to Him, not simply following a prescriptive formula. I have such a love for praying from scripture and seeking God more deeply through His word and finding ways to incorporate prayer throughout the day so it becomes interwoven in the fabric of my life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, Kathryn, your heartbeat came through in the book. While Jesus said the words, “Pray like this,” and then gave the disciples a pattern, He also spoke against the empty saying of words for words’ sake that we are sometimes prone to. Through reading Pray Deep, I was encouraged to work on my relationship with God through conversation with Him.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Linda, your comment DID find its way to this post . . . eventually! Someday I’ll figure out why the post went missing. I appreciate your concern for sound teaching on the subject of prayer. My expression regarding dialogue with God may have been what set off the alarm bells, but Kathryn’s thoughts are well-grounded in Scripture, and even the more non-traditional approaches to prayer that she recommends come on that basis.
      My takeaway: God wants to hear our words, and that is an overwhelming truth that gives my heart reason for thanksgiving!
      Always so good to hear from you, Linda!


  2. Michelle – thank you for such a beautiful review of this book. I’m so glad it found its way to you! I’ve grown so much in my own prayer life and relationship with God as I’ve studied and practiced different ways to pray – and I hope I can similarly inspire others to ignite a new spark in their own prayer lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prayer is always forgotten in the Christian walk. I think too many Christians feel like they’re prayers are only hitting the ceiling and give up. It definitely takes some self discipline to make it a priority in your life. This book looks like a great tool to help you do just that!


  4. I am blessed to settle close and read yet another grace-filled review, Michele. I love Kathryn’s words on prayer, I love her heart for Him and how that comes through… why prayer is our connection through the Son the One who teaches us to pray and who interceds for us in ways we can never truly know but have faith that He does because the WORD says so. But, if I am honest, I love the way the discussion in the comments were handled with grace. Thank you. Prayer is personal, it is deeply personal and I am grateful for the way we can share our journeys in prayer, by doing that we only find our way closer and closer to the throne of grace where we obtain mercy and help.
    Bless you!!


  5. Pray Deep sounds like another really good book to try, Michele!

    I’ve stopped by Kathryn’s blog several times and enjoy her writing style. I’ll have to look this one up!

    Thanks for sharing another great review~


  6. Right now, I’m focusing on writing my prayers to help me stay focused especially as the holidays draw near. It’s so fun to see what works for everyone else. As you rightly said, the key is to connect with God and I’m so glad He meets us where we’re at. Wishing you blessings for the holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds like a wonderful resource. I must say I’ve been yearning to make prayer a bigger part of my day than it is now. Thank you for sharing these ideas on how to become more intentional in our prayer life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It came along for me at a perfect time. I loved my 21 day journey with Kathryn and her book. I’ve got a looooong way to go, but am definitely more conscious of prayer in my relationship with God.


  8. Love the family adventure … what precious memories, Michele. : )
    I learned something today. : ) I had never heard the term “lecto divine.” Though I’ve kind of used this pattern to pray before and have prayed Scriptures too, I’m inspired to add these to my prayer arsenal too. Thank you, Michele, for the inspiration and for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This books sounds great! I just went on a retreat where we learned about different types of prayers. I also love the title “Grant Us Grace to Ask.” My last two kids are Grace and Grant. We have always loved that their names form the prayer “Grant us Grace.” Nothing is by accident!


  10. I am yet to read Kathryn’s book…It is still being shipped. I hope it gets here soon! I clicked over to read your review about it. Thanks for giving me a heads up on what to expect!
    Hugs and loads of Blessings to you


  11. This book looks so good! I always want to learn more about prayer, and I love the creative approaches. I think they add so much when the foundation is on the Word! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful review at Booknificent Thursday this week!


  12. Love that you have found some great resources to grow your confidence in prayer. I know I often get more confident in prayer after I hear a great prayer-er lead.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.