19 books directly related to prayer 📚

All 19 prayer books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Devotion

By Dani Shapiro,

Book cover of Devotion

Why this book?

When I teach creative nonfiction writing, I tell my students that the more personal you can make your story, the more deeply readers will connect with it. Broad generalizations just won’t do. Devotion by Dani Shapiro is one of those intimate, inward-looking memoirs that opens the reader to her own journey, even if that journey is completely unlike Shapiro’s own quest. In Devotion, Shapiro is struggling to help her infant son who has a life-threatening illness, while simultaneously undertaking a search for what she believes, for her faith. Her prose is lyrical. Her insights wash over you like ancient truths. By the end of the book, you will feel entertained, but also enlightened.

Devotion

By Dani Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Devotion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Devotion’s biggest triumph is its voice: funny and unpretentious, concrete and earthy—appealing to skeptics and believers alike. This is a gripping, beautiful story.” — Jennifer Egan, author of The Keep

“I was immensely moved by this elegant book.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Dani Shapiro, the acclaimed author of the novel Black and White and the bestselling memoir Slow Motion, is back with Devotion: a searching and timeless new memoir that examines the fundamental questions that wake women in the middle of the night, and grapples with the ways faith, prayer, and devotion affect everyday life. Devotion…


Book cover of With Christ in the School of Prayer

Why this book?

If you’re looking for a well-loved prayer “classic,” you won’t find many books with more staying power than Andrew Murray’s With Christ in the School of Prayer. Murray doesn’t see prayer as one facet of the Christian life; rather, he says that it is the “root and strength” of all that we do. “Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach,” Murray writes, “only how to pray.” And the secret to a powerful prayer life is abiding in Christ—growing into his likeness—so that our lives (including our thoughts and desires) look more like his. As we enroll in Jesus’ “school of prayer", we will learn to pray in harmony with God, be equipped to impact our world, and discover the true purpose of prayer.

With Christ in the School of Prayer

By Andrew Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked With Christ in the School of Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally titled: 'With Christ In the School of Prayer: Thoughts on Our Training for the Ministry of Intercession,' to Include: Lord, Teach Us to Pray - In Spirit & Truth - Pray To Thy Father, Which Is In Secret - After This Manner Pray - Ask, & It Shall be Given You - How Much More? - How Much More the Holy Spirit - Because of His Importunity - Pray the Lord of the Harvest - What Wilt Thou? - Believe That Ye Have Received - Have Faith in God - Prayer & Fasting - When Ye Stand Praying, Forgive…

Book cover of Live a Praying Life!: Open Your Life to God's Power and Provision

Why this book?

Live a Praying Life is, hands-down, my top pick when it comes to making a study of prayer. Jennifer Kennedy Dean understands that we want to know the “why” and the “how” behind prayer, and she tackles the thorny questions to equip us to persevere when it doesn’t look like the needle is moving. In looking at the lives of folks who’ve gone through more than a few tricky places (guys like Joseph, who thought he was supposed to be a ruler but wound up being sold as a slave), Dean warns us not to mistake God’s will for his ways, or confuse what he is doing with how he is doing it. We only see part of the picture. And, she writes, “We cannot control God or tell him how to accomplish his plan.” We can, however, partner with him to accomplish his best purposes—and the way that we do that is through our prayers.

Live a Praying Life!: Open Your Life to God's Power and Provision

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live a Praying Life! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Practical yet powerful insights from Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s life’s work and best-selling Live a Praying Life®!
Now in a newly designed format, Live a Praying Life®! will… 
• Provide the biblical basics of prayer’s purpose, process, promise, and practice.  • Give easy-to-understand illustrations, stories, and details to answer complex theological questions.  • Clean out myths about prayer!   • Help you rev up a powerful, ongoing connection to God.

Book cover of What Every Child Should Know about Prayer

Why this book?

Prayer isn’t just for grown-ups, and Nancy Guthrie invites children to experience the joy and peace that come with talking to God in her book, What Every Child Should Know about Prayer. With child-friendly language and inviting illustrations, each page in this book helps kids (and adults!) know how and why we should pray, whether we’re asking God to do something, telling him how we feel, or giving thanks for all the ways God shows us his love. As a fan of Bible-based prayers, I love the fact that every one of the lessons Guthrie teaches is rooted in Scripture, and I appreciate the simple—but oh-so-powerful—prayers she provides. I can’t wait to share this treasure with my grandchildren!

What Every Child Should Know about Prayer

By Nancy Guthrie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Every Child Should Know about Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

Why this book?

People have called Henri Nouwen many things: a priest, an author, a spiritual guide, a natural mystic. His books have sold millions of copies and continue to resonate deeply with people from all walks of life. In 2000, when asked to share the book that had most influenced her life, Hillary Clinton chose Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son. The following sentence, in particular, she said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, hit her “like a lightning bolt”: "The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a "gift to be celebrated with joy." 

“I had never thought of gratitude as a habit or discipline before,” she explained, “and I discovered that it was immensely helpful to do so.” I first discovered Henri when I was eighteen years old and gifted with a 365-day flip calendar with Henri’s quotes and reflections. The longer I journey with Henri, the better I understand his near-universal appeal. He sought a kind of language of the heart that each generation has to create anew. He was also a wounded healer who, in so many words and ways, presented an inviting vision of life—one grounded in place, with a people, fully present, and alive to wonder.

It’s all I want. Maybe it’s all any of us wants. In the breathless race of the digital era, many of us feel driven by restlessness, overwhelm, and fear of never enoughness. Through his writing, speaking, and mentorship, Henri had an uncanny ability to shed light on our false selves—the parts of us seeking power, success, and approval at all costs—and in the process, revealing the true desires of our hearts: to be disarmed, to be known, and to come close enough to love to let it touch us.

The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

By Henri J. M. Nouwen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Only Necessary Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout the forty-some books that Henri Nouwen wrote and the hundreds of talks that he gave, the subject of Prayer runs through them all and unites them. For him a life of faith is a life of prayer. Drawn from many decades of his life, the compilation of Henri's thoughts, feelings, and the struggle with prayer, reveal the core of the man and his belief that prayer is the only necessary thing.

Book cover of Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World

Why this book?

When I’m looking for an Earth-centered devotional for a multi-faith or interfaith gathering, this is where I turn. There are eleven parts with headings such as “A Sacred Place,” “Healing the Whole,” and “Cycles of Life,” that contain readings from nearly every religion, including Indigenous spiritualities. You can also use this as a personal devotional by reading one entry each day for a whole year’s worth of centering on Creation.

Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World

By Elizabeth Roberts, Elias Amidon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earth Prayers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In forest clearings, beneath star-filled skies, in cathedrals, and before the hearth...women and men have always given voice to the impulse to celebrate the world that surrounds and sustains them. Now, as we face a diminished present and an uncertain future, the need to honour the interconnection between people and the planet is heightened. Here is a collection of poems, prayers and writing from bestselling authors, leaders in spiritual thought and traditional offerings from people around the world.

Book cover of Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

Why this book?

Mark Batterson writes, “If you press into God’s presence like never before, you will experience God like never before.” This small book has led me back to a richer prayer life again and again. I’ve prayed through it many times and have given away countless copies to others. Each day Batterson invites a new way to look at prayer and a practical way to start a morning devotion time all grounded in scripture. As a writer I love the focus on creativity and honoring ideas. He writes, “I don’t type on a keyboard, I pray on one.” 

Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

By Mark Batterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Draw the Circle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your 40-day guide to experiencing more passionate, persistent, intimate communication with God.

Do you pray as often and as bravely as you want to? Are you looking to strengthen your relationship with God and experience a deeper, more intentional prayer life? Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker, is here to teach you all about a new, life-changing way to pray.

After the release of The Circle Maker, thousands of readers quickly became many tens of thousands, and soon enough, true stories of miraculous and inspiring answers to prayer began to pour in. Draw the Circle…


Book cover of Don't Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going

Why this book?

It’s far too tempting when we go through rough patches in our lives to want to give up. When we long for something and pray for years and still wait, quitting sounds like the best option. I nearly quit writing after twenty years of trying to break into publishing because I didn’t think I could take any more rejection. 

In this book, Idleman points out that some people come to Jesus expecting Him to make life easier. But life is hard. Idleman says, “One way we know we’re running the race marked out for us is the presence of regular, unexpected challenges.” 

Joseph could relate to that all his life. I can too.

Don't Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going

By Kyle Idleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Give Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The parent with the wayward child. The couple whose marriage is in jeopardy. The man who is out of work. The woman stuck in crushing debt. The patient with a bad diagnosis. The student who can't get a fair shake. People hanging by a thread, losing faith and short on strength. What do they all need to hear?

Don't give up.

Our lives are minefields of challenges that take their toll on our courage, our conviction, and even our faith. But God whispers to the weary, Don't give up. Drawing from inspiring biblical stories and first-person testimonies of perseverance, bestselling…

Book cover of I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life's Essential Daily Habit

Why this book?

If all the other books I’ve recommended are like going on a good spiritual retreat, I Heard God Laugh is like hanging out at a backyard barbecue with your favorite neighbor. That’s not to say that Matthew Kelly isn’t a spiritual master (he is), but he writes in a colloquial, friendly style, preferring personal anecdotes and homey little parables over explicit callbacks to Scripture and other Christian mystics. That’s not to say his approach isn’t solidly rooted in the Christian tradition; it is, but here his aim is to encourage the reluctant pray-er by stripping away anything that might get in the way and offering lots of encouragement. Kelly’s approach is most similar to my own; we both have a heart for helping people to begin their conversation with God. As he says, “Once the conversation has begun, it can lead anywhere.”

I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life's Essential Daily Habit

By Matthew Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Heard God Laugh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is Your Life Working?

Most of us are trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle we call life without a very important piece. Over time this becomes incredibly frustrating. In this extraordinary book, Matthew Kelly powerfully demonstrates that we cannot live the life we have imagined, or experience the joy we yearn for, unless we learn to tend the soul. From there, with his classic style of practical wisdom, he teaches us how to remedy this problem.

When our bodies are hungry, our stomachs growl. When our souls are hungry, we become irritable, restless, confused, overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, discontent, and…

How to Pray

By Pete Greig,

Book cover of How to Pray

Why this book?

With Pete Greig’s How to Pray, the subtitle says it all: A Simple Guide for Normal People. Greig is a worldwide authority on prayer, but as a self-described “scruffy Brit,” he writes in a way that makes prayer both appealing and accessible. With disarming humor and candor, Greig addresses questions we’ve all asked, from why God heals some people but not others (Greig’s wife, for example, suffers severe epilepsy) to whether or not it’s okay to pray for a parking space. (Spoiler alert:  Greig says yes to parking place prayers, since doing so equips us to live life with greater gratitude. Love that.) I have more than two dozen well-loved books about prayer on my shelf, but How to Pray might be my favorite. It is, to borrow a word from the Brits, “brilliant.”

How to Pray

By Pete Greig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Pray as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2021 ECPA Award Finalist in the Christian Living Category

“An instant spiritual classic.” ―Christianity Today

Is prayer the most challenging area of your Christian journey? It doesn’t have to be. Pete Greig, one of the founders of 24-7 Prayer International, is passionate about introducing people to simple, honest, relevant conversations with God.

How to Pray is a raw, real, and relevant look at prayer for everyone―from the committed follower of Jesus to the skeptic and the scared. Full of biblically sound wisdom, How to Pray will offer honest encouragement and real-life methods to refresh your spirit and help you practice…

Book cover of Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

Why this book?

Prayer is like breath to me. I am a writer who prays best when I’m writing my prayers in a journal or on the computer. 

In every book I write, my characters pray. They are people from the pages of Scripture, so they knew the God of the Bible. To know God is to communicate with Him. Joseph probably did a lot of praying. Judah…not so much. But eventually, I think both wanted to communicate with their Creator.

In praying, the book says, the Spirit of God “assures you that you are a child of the only One whose opinion and power matters. He loves you to the stars and will never let you go.” Prayer is a connection I can’t live without because it touches God’s heart and mine.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

By Timothy Keller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renowned pastor and New York Times bestselling author of The Prodigal Prophet Timothy Keller explores the power of prayer.

Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act.

With his trademark insights and energy, Keller offers biblical guidance as well as specific prayers for certain situations, such as dealing with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness. He discusses ways to make prayers more personal…

Book cover of Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture (Crossroad Book)

Why this book?

This is one of the first books I read about Ignatian meditation and contemplation, and my copy is well worn; in fact, I used it as a primary source for my own book on imaginative prayer. (Ignatian meditation is a way of prayerfully reflecting on the meaning of Scripture, while Ignatian contemplation is a way of entering the world of a Scripture passage through the imagination.) Gallagher closely follows the methods and terminology used by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, but he “translates” that material for modern readers in a clear, simple way. I found it especially helpful that Gallagher includes lots of first-hand accounts from the experiences of ordinary people; these offer practical models for what each step looks like, and make the whole book more interesting, too.

Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture (Crossroad Book)

By Timothy M. OMV Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meditation and Contemplation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The cornerstones of Ignatius of Loyola's spiritual practice--meditation and contemplation--are clearly explained in this simple guide to the Ignatian method with examples from the experience of practitioners and quotations from Catholic spiritual teachers. In the process, the deeper structure of the spiritual practice is illuminated, and advice about adapting it to individual needs is offered. Topics include methods of praying, struggles and growth, and the importance and role of grace. Individuals who desire to pray with scripture, spiritual directors, and all who teach prayer with scripture will benefit from the counsel in this resource.

How to Use the Power of Prayer

By Dr. Joseph Murphy,

Book cover of How to Use the Power of Prayer

Why this book?

This book is a “granddaddy” of the New Thought movement. Murphy writes clearly and concisely, with principles in easy-to-follow steps for many issues. Examples: self-healing, fulfilling one’s desires, and happy marriage. I love this book and return to it repeatedly because of its clarity and many pertinent examples with “regular” people Murphy helped. The anecdotes help encourage the reader to do the steps Murphy recommends. The book teaches me that often the simplest prayer or affirmation is enough and the immense value of constancy. Most recently, this book helped me strengthen my prayer practice in healing a leg injury and gave me renewed confidence in spiritual healing. 

How to Use the Power of Prayer

By Dr. Joseph Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Use the Power of Prayer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To believe is to accept something as true. To make alive the truths of God by feeling the reality of them in your heart. Belief makes the difference between success and failure, riches and poverty, health and sickness. Through the study and application of prayer and believing, you can find the way to health, harmony, peace, and prosperity; scientific prayer is the practice of the Presence of God.

Book cover of Celtic Devotions: A Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer

Why this book?

This beautiful book includes thirty morning and evening readings of Celtic prayers, poetry, and quotations. I love the fresh look at nature and God through the eyes of the Celts. Readings are from Psalm 119 and from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of traditional Gaelic Songs.  A lovely and inspirational way to start and end your day. 

Celtic Devotions: A Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer

By Calvin Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Celtic Devotions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunrise and sunset. Morning and evening. Waking and resting. Your days are busy and unknown: each contains unexpected moments of joy and pain, struggle and hope. The time between your rising and sleeping is new each day. The same was true for the Celts, though their lives looked different from yours. And in the midst of the uncertainty of days, they chose to meditate on truth, to draw near to the One who holds the sun and moon in his hands. Calvin Miller invites you to do the same in Celtic Devotions. This thirty-day guide provides morning and evening readings…

Book cover of While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military

Why this book?

These heartfelt prayers for the military loved ones who serve and the reader provides a faith connection and hope for those at home. It also helps the member serving to know they someone at home cares and prays for them. As a mother of a son who served, Edie wrote these first for herself and then shared them for readers who also have a family member serving. Her authenticity in the prayers reveals the emotions of one who knows she has someone in harm’s way and also shares the joy of their homecoming from each tour. I met Edie after one of her sons served and see her great compassion for those who have a friend or family member currently serving.

While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military

By Edie Melson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked While My Soldier Serves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With over 2.3 million active and reserve military personnel, there are many families who are waiting at home and praying for their well being. While My Soldier Serves Hardcover Journal is the perfect place to record your thoughtful prayers and meditations. Whether you are praying for the needs of your soldier such as for wisdom, faith, and protection, or for the challenges you face on the homefront, including fear, loneliness, and patience, these lightly lined pages with inspirational quotes throughout invite and encourage you to keep your soldier close to your heart.

Book cover of Forgiving What You Can't Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That's Beautiful Again

Why this book?

In The Prince and the Prodigal, Joseph has suffered a huge injustice from the people who should have loved him the most. Lysa’s book deals with the subject of familial hurt and pain, and though Joseph’s situation was not exactly the same, the principles of forgiving those who have wronged us even when we can’t forget what they did is the same.

Everyone experiences hurt or pain from another person. Unfortunately, the ones who hurt us the most tend to be the ones we love the most. I’ve read other books on forgiveness because it’s a subject I’ve had to deal with most of my adult life. When I picked up Lysa’s book on forgiving what you can’t forget, I did a lot of underlining because her words resonated with deep places in my own heart. 

One underlined place says, “Destructive choices always affect more people than just the one who makes them.” 

Joseph lived with the destructive choices his brothers, particularly Judah, made against him. Judah suffered his own consequences for those choices, but Joseph had the most to forgive. 

Forgiving What You Can't Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That's Beautiful Again

By Lysa TerKeurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forgiving What You Can't Forget as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*#1 New York Times Bestseller*

You deserve to stop suffering because of what other people have done to you.

Have you ever felt stuck in a cycle of unresolved pain, playing offenses over and over in your mind? You know you can't go on like this, but you don't know what to do next. Lysa TerKeurst has wrestled through this journey. But in surprising ways, she’s discovered how to let go of bound-up resentment and overcome the resistance to forgiving people who aren’t willing to make things right.

With deep empathy, therapeutic insight, and rich Bible teaching coming out of…


Book cover of Prayers and Promises for Worried Parents: Hope for Your Prodigal. Help for You

Why this book?

This is an encouraging book for parents whose adult children have not only left home but left behind their relationships with family and faith. Those who watch them leave either angrily or in a slow fade, the result is the same. They are devastated. And there is nothing they can do about it.

In this book, Robert Morgan offers sample prayers and encouraging stories for anyone who is longing for a loved one’s return. He quotes Ruth Bell Graham when she said, “God loves to be reminded of His promises. He never rebukes us for asking too much.”

I don’t know if Jacob prayed for his prodigal’s (Judah’s) return, but I know that this book would encourage any parent who does.

Prayers and Promises for Worried Parents: Hope for Your Prodigal. Help for You

By Robert J. Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prayers and Promises for Worried Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you waiting for God to work his plan in your child's life? This inspirational collection of powerful stories and prayers offers comforting advice to concerned moms and dads.

HOPE FOR YOUR PRODIGAL . HELP FOR YOU

Worrying about our loved ones is the worst kind of worry in the world, espe cially when it's our children for whom we're concerned. From the moment they're born, our youngsters have an unrivaled place in our hearts, and we feel an unending burden for their welfare. We do our best to provide for them and to protect them. But sometimes, like the…

Island Magic

By Elizabeth Goudge,

Book cover of Island Magic

Why this book?

I read this book as a teenager, and it was the writing rather than the story itself which made a huge impression on me. It made me feel afraid in parts, not because the book is a scary story, but the location is so real, I can feel the presence of spirits in the paths that Rachell walks! The island itself is as much a character as Rachell, the kick-ass heroine. It is about pain and loss and love and passion and, magic. 

Island Magic

By Elizabeth Goudge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Island Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amidst the beauty of the Channel Islands in 1888, Rachell and Andre du Frocq and their five rambunctious children struggle to keep their rundown farm. Their hope is revived when they take in Ranulph, a shipwreck survivor. Is he an answer to prayer? A heartwarming story of commitment, perseverance, and family devotion!

Book cover of Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David

Why this book?

Eugene Peterson writes, “Morning prayer anticipates the day in hope.” This gentle book of Psalms and prayers is a gem. Each day has just a few sentences from Eugene Peterson to take me deeper into the Psalm or scripture passage. The thoughts are reassuring and peaceful, helping me start the day with a focus on God. 

Praying with the Psalms: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of David

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Praying with the Psalms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A devotional prayer book focusing on one year with the Psalms, the most sensitive and honest words written about daily stress and daily blessings.