I have been using this book of prayers in our morning family devotions since receiving it a couple weeks ago. Not only have I been pleasantly surprised by what I have found and experienced in Prayers for Today, I am genuinely impressed by the breadth, depth, and diversity of prayer contained in its pages.
I have quite a few prayer books and devotional studies in my library; I mention this to say that I haven't found anything in this compilation that is extraordinarily unique, at least not in a standalone sense. There are; however, a few minor twists in form and flow of these prayers that are particularly endearing. I found, after spending some time alone with these prayers that I wanted to share them as a form of group prayers and have been using these prayers in our family's morning prayer and devotional time. We are presently reading The Rule of St. Benedict: A Contemporary Paraphrase by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and closing our reading time with a selection from Prayers for Today.
One of the things I am enjoying is the "cycle of themes" of prayer types. Kurt Bjorklund has compiled the prayers in groupings of themes cycling through Thanksgiving, Confession Affirmation, Petition, Renewal, Praise/Adoration, Christlike Character, Wisdom/Guidance, Intercession, and Surrender. Using these themes, Bjorklund constructs the prayers into three sections beginning with Scripture, then moving to written or recited prayers spanning the traditions and history of Christendom, and ending with a "Prayer for Today" that personalizes the prayer time with a moment of inner reflection and application.
As mentioned earlier, this prayer book calls on a number of great resources, traditions, and writers for this collection. A few of the sources used are The Book of Common Prayer, Celtic Daily Prayer, Catholic Prayer Book, A Church Hymnary, and there are many, many more! Some of the writers and teachers quoted include Max Lucado, John Piper, Tim Keller, John Stott, Oswald Chambers, John Ballie, A.W. Tozer, Andrew Murray, N.T. Wright, and dozens more. There are numerous other sources cited and included that contribute to the robust flavor of this collection of prayers, I truly look forward to the blessing of immersing myself and my family in these soulful reflections during the coming weeks.
From the Publisher
Summary---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.
Author---KURT 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.
[I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.]