Proverbs has always been a challenging read for me.
My brain wants to make outlines, and it searches in vain for a tidy way to summarize the truth of a chapter. Proverbs 1 and 2 cooperate nicely: wisdom. However, the following chapters veer off into multiple topics, and my takeaway from reading this valuable wisdom literature is that the message of Proverbs is pure and simple — except that even at its purest, it’s seldom that simple.
In Proverbs Prayers, John Mason has examined the wisdom of the Proverbs with an eye towards prayer, something we’re used to doing with the Psalms. In fact, his thinking has opened my eyes to the promises as well as the principles that run through every chapter. The book keeps readers grounded in the text by including all thirty-one proverbs, with each one followed by a written prayer. Since there is hardly an area of life that is NOT addressed by the Proverbs, praying through them opens the heart to an entire cosmos of issues:
Petition – “Lord, help me to love those around me by sharing your wisdom and love today.”
Declaration of intent – “I’ll not foolishly reject understanding . . .”
Statements of belief, dear to the heart of God – “I believe that you are a fortress, a strong tower . . .”
Verbal application of principles – “If a conflict arises, help me to be patient with others by taking time to hear both sides of any problem.”
Gratitude – “I thank you . . . that a real friend like you always sticks closer than a brother.”
Affirmation of critical doctrines – “It is your purpose that always prevails.”
Dealing with sin – “Lord, I know that I can never make my own heart clean and pure by myself. Only you can do that, so I ask . . .”
I’m looking forward to working my way through Proverbs Prayers again, only this time, more slowly. And rather than analyzing the message of the Proverbs, this time my focus will be to ask for Divine Help in living out their message.
This book was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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