Resources

The Prayer Course

The team that produce Alpha have put together a very good 6 week course on prayer. It's based on the Lord's Prayer with a different subject for each of the six weeks:

  1. Adoration
  2. Petition
  3. Intercession
  4. Perseverance
  5. Listening
  6. Warfare

We will be teaching through this series in June/July this year and the small groups will be following up on the subject each week. If you would like to investigate further have a look at the website: it has a series of helpful videos and discussion suggestions for each subject. 

 

Try Praying

Trypraying is a prayer guide with a difference. It’s for friends, family, neighbours etc. who are asking questions about God and faith, or struggling and searching for answers, but who would avoid stepping into church. It’s for anyone you’ve ever spoken to, or prayed for, and had that feeling…this person wants to know more. The pocket-sized booklet features real-life stories, words of wisdom, and prayers that anyone can pray.

Trypraying is a seven-day exploration of faith, which doesn’t shy away from the tough questions about suffering or unanswered prayer. The day-by-day format introduces the idea of a relationship with God, explains who Jesus is, and why we all need him in our life. It allows everyone to bring the ‘Big Issue’ in their life to God, perhaps to receive an answer to prayer - or to discover that there is a loving Father who is with them in their struggles. Trypraying is dual purpose - it challenges Christians to share their faith. It challenges non-Christians to reach out to God. The booklet has seen many people come to faith in Jesus – first-time seekers, returners to faith, agnostics, atheists and even church goers.

You can order booklets and/or download a neat app to help your friends try praying.
In the Autumn we will be looking at this more thoroughly as a church but in the meantime why don't you try it out? Let us know how you get on!


Just Pray
A Church of England sponsored site on which people can post their prayer and which collects prayers from social media. It also has some introductory videos and guidance on how to pray.


Videos

The Ways People Pray by Ginghamsburg Church
An Amazingly Awkward Prayer by River Pointe Church



 

Books & Reading     

Here are some books and other reading materials which you may find helpful.
If you would like to add to this "library" please send your suggestion to hannah.green@leedsvineyard.org It will need to be accompanied by: 

  • when you read it;
  • why you think it is particularly helpful for us;
  • what changed in your prayer life as a result.

 

Andrew Murray, Waiting on God

Book | Audiobook 
Recommended by David Flowers
Read in November 2017

You could describe prayer as "waiting on God". Murray writes (in a rather old-fashioned way so you have to persist with the language) thirty one short reflections on the phrase, "My soul, wait thou only upon God" - based mainly on the Psalms. Reading these reflections is an exercise in mining for gold. I recommend taking a few minutes each day to read and meditate on one of his short chapters and as you get toward the end you'll find that profound and helpful truths settle in your mind.

As a result of reading this book I have persisted in "waiting" more and more, doing less and being more. Waiting is not my natural habitat so this was a really helpful way to develop that discipline.
 



Timothy Keller, Prayer


BookSoundCloud 
Recommended by David Flowers
Read in June 2017

Keller provides, as usual, a pretty thorough review of the history of thought and writing about prayer since the early church. He starts with a very helpful look at the broad spectrum of discussion about what prayer is and then narrows it down to a quite conservative (reformed) look at the practice of prayer. You will find this part a little weak on how God speaks to us today (prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit etc) but the the rest of the book is almost a must-read if you want to have any sort of grasp on the basics of what prayer is.

As a result of reading this book I re-structured my devotional prayer life to incorporate more then simply bible reading and shopping list prayer.
 


Charles Bello, Prayer as a Place

Recommended by David Flowers
Read in August 2010

Bello is a Vineyard Pastor who is really a monk! He has been on a difficult journey which forced him into assessing his own relationship with God and his prayer life in a radical way. He writes in a really helpful and candid way about many different places for prayer, different ways of praying in different situations, drawing on many ancient and modern resources. He challenges us to live differently, not just pray!

As a result of reading this book I began to use some ancient contemplative practices which have brought depth and richness to my prayerlife and changed me too.

 


Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer

Book
Recommended by David Flowers
Read in December 2017

Sheets is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Keller and will significantly fill out your understanding of prayer as an interactive experience with the Holy Spirit. He uses great anecdotes and stories to make his point. The teaching is good but it is not written in a particularly rigorous way - he has some favourite bible interprepations which he uses a lot, some of which may make a bible scholar wince! It feels like a series of talks but is quite entertaining.

As a result of reading this book my faith and expectation of how God wants to use our prayers has increased significantly.
 



Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does it make any difference?

BookAudiobook 

Recommended by Anne Buchan
Read in May 2018

Philip Yancey takes some of the most challenging questions about prayer and explores them in a way that is accessible, engrossing and refreshingly honest.  Questions such as: ‘Why should God care about me?’; ‘If God knows everything, what’s the point of prayer?’; ‘What do answers to prayer seem so inconsistent?’; ‘How can I make prayer more satisfying?’ His exploration of these questions welcomes you to join him on his journey, which has been one of learning to pray as a privilege and not a duty.

As a result of reading this book I have a greater understanding of why prayer matters; more peace regarding the problem of unanswered prayer and a stronger desire to grow to know God better through prayer.
 


Paul E Miller, A Praying Life

Book
Recommended by David Flowers
Read in June 2018

I found this a very helpful and practical book on prayer. Very challenging in parts but with some great ideas and tools. Paul addresses some of the difficult questions about prayer and presents some challenging suggestions. He writes out of deep experience and I learnt a lot from him although I think he misses out on the full experience of the prophetic component.
 

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