At least in theory, the act of prayer should be easy.

You talk to God, you speak from the heart and share your devotion and most heartfelt thoughts. But in practice, prayer can be hard. You don’t know what to say, you struggle with the right words or worry that your words won’t have the meaning and passion that you are aiming for.

That’s why a book such as Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer is such an important gift.

Bible study author and teacher Beth Moore has written a book that lays out a structure for daily devotionals that helps demystify the act of prayer. She provides some guidelines to help anyone become a more thoughtful and devoted Christian and has created a step-by-step method which many people will find to be inspirational.

Moore uses the acronym P.R.A.I.S.E. to show readers an effective method of prayer and it looks like this:

P– Praise the Lord. Tell Him how great He is!
R– Repentance. Confess and seek forgiveness
A– Acknowledgment. Submit to the Lord and acknowledge his authority in your life.
I– Intercession. Pray for others.
S– Supplication for self. Pray for yourself.
E– Equipping. Ask the Lord to give you the tools you need to get through the day.

Each section is broken down for the reader and provides concrete examples of prayers that can become starting parts for any daily prayer plan. The book also includes 70 daily devotionals that are meant to be both examples and inspirations for your own prayers.

Moore’s hope is that by providing a structure, readers can then build on that spiritual scaffolding and find the thoughts that best reflect their hearts and minds.

Moore also encourages readers to write daily in a journal and includes some journal pages in the book that can be used by readers.

And if there’s a flaw in the book, it’s that most readers would have been better served by receiving more examples of daily devotionals instead of blank journal pages. It’s easy enough to suggest that readers simply buy a separate journal and some readers might not like the idea of writing in a hardcover book, but that’s a minor complaint and it’s offset by the immense amount of useful information in the book. 

Moore does a great job of providing the spiritual foundations for a healthy prayer life and she makes the process seem easy and heartfelt. She illustrates the moral importance of a Scripture-rich prayer life and shows that while prayer is improved with some planning and thoughtful contemplation, the most important quality in any prayer is its sincerity.

Whispers of Hope takes a subject that can be difficult to define and makes it accessible and a joy to add to anyone’s daily life. A connection with God is a beautiful and spiritually fulfilling thing and it’s a bit easier to accomplish after reading this book.

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