I first heard of “praying the Scriptures” from a man who was comforting a woman in pain with very little hope. He showed her how to pray through Psalm 23. I then practiced praying the Psalms. I had not thought of praying the rest of the Bible, until I read Kevin Johnson’s book, Pray the Scriptures when life hurts: Experience hope and healing through the power of God’s Word.
Johnson walks readers through nine key Scriptures as he teaches the reader to pray the Scriptures to regain hope and healing. Along the path, he pauses to reveal the agony of his depression and the pain of his neurological challenges. Like David in the Psalms, he describes his pain and depression, and then he turns his eyes on the greatness of God, and he finds hope.
I appreciate his candor in sharing his thoughts and his emotions during his suffering. I have experienced similar thoughts and pain.
“Scripture teaches us to offer up not only our agony and questioning but also our surrender … When we allow Scripture to lead us to a breadth of prayers, we begin to be filled with God’s fresh life.”
Johnson begins the book with nightmares and agony and closes with peace and hope.
Scripture heads the brief chapters; reflections follow; Johnson’s challenges unfold, leading to God’s all-sufficiency and Johnson’s perseverance. The reader is then prompted to read one or two verses and pray using prompts. The reader repeats the process until the entire passage of Scripture is prayed through. The last section of the chapter includes questions to reflect upon, pray about, and discuss with others.
This book is a great tool for a reader to use alone, and it would be an even greater resource in a small group Bible Study.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for my honest review.
Father, thank You for Kevin Johnson’s courage in writing this book. Bless his readers with the knowledge of Your presence in their lives as You lead them by the hand through their pain and suffering. I pray for Kevin Johnson, Father, You know the great and precious promises You have in store for him. Pour them out on him abundantly. Thank You.