Baker Publishing Group sent me an advanced copy of their new book “Sheltering Mercy” by Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt, and asked me to review it. My personal devotions have been from the Psalms the last two years so I found it to be of potential interest.
This is a book of prayers that correspond with the Psalms. They have taken each of the first 75 Psalms and poetically written prayers that correspond to those Psalms. The authors make it clear in the introduction that “they are not translations or paraphrases.” In other words, they are not to be used in place of the Psalms, but in addition to them.
Over the last century, American evangelicals have shied away from written prayers. The initial reasons were so that their prayers would not be monotonous or heartfelt. While we must be wary of obligatorily praying rote prayers, the focus shouldn’t be on the prayer, but our hearts. Jesus Himself quotes the written prayers of the Psalms a multitude of times.
HOW TO USE THE BOOK
There are several ways you could use this book, personally or in a congregation. This might be something that after reading or studying a Psalm in your personal devotion, you could pray afterwards. It could also be used in a liturgical worship service as a prayer to God between songs, or during a time of congregational prayer.
IT CAN REFRESH YOUR SOUL
The book can refresh your soul just as the Psalms can be used for that. The Psalms remind us of how, even through suffering, loss, and trials, God is great – with us, and is always our refuge. If you were to take one Psalm a day and read it and then use these rote prayers for 75 days, I believe it would greatly refresh your soul. The poetic way this book is written will spur the heart and speak to your God-given emotions.
I recommend “Sheltering Mercy.” I think this book would be of personal value to individuals and the church at large. To buy the book click here:
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