Prayers for Today by Dr. Kurt Bjorklund

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A collection of classic and contemporary prayers, some derived from Scripture and others from the writings of Christian leaders throughout the centuries, this beautiful volume invites readers into a daily experience of closer intimacy with God. Each day's entry focuses on one of ten traditional types of prayer:

  • Prayers of Thanksgiving
  • Prayers of Confession
  • Prayers of Affirmation
  • Prayers of Petition
  • Prayers of Renewal
  • Prayers of Praise and Adoration
  • Prayers to Have Christ-like Character
  • Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance
  • Prayers of Intercession
  • Prayers of Surrender

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.

 

Book Resources

These books will give you a basic Christian library and provide a foundation for your personal growth and learning. Each section is categorical and includes several suggestions for books within that category.

1. Bible

Every person of faith needs a Bible to call his or her own.
There are many translations and specialty Bibles in existence today.

  • NIV (New International Version) - this is the most common translation and is an excellent combination of a literal and readable translation. The NIV Study Bible also contains many useful notes. This translation is most frequently taught at Orchard Hill Church.
  • ESV (English Standard Version)
  • Message - this is a paraphrase that uses an approach with modern language.

2. Bible Commentary

A Bible commentary provides the basic insights and views of various authors on the Bible to supplement reading and aid personal study.

  • The New Bible Commentary - 21st Century Edition (Edited by G. J. Wenham, J. A. Motyer, D. A. Carson, R. T. France) - This one volume commentary provides section by section commentary on the entire Bible, historical data, background and careful up-to-date scholarship.
  • Nelson's Compact Bible Commentary (Edited by Earl Radmacher, Ron Allen, H. Wayne House) - This is a small commentary that gives helpful comments in limited space.
  • Halley's Bible Handbook (Henry H. Halley) - Although this is technically a Bible handbook, it is an excellent small commentary on the whole Bible.
  • With the Word (Warren Wiersbe) - A devotional commentary that gives spiritual insights into every chapter of the bible.
  • The Bible Speaks Today Commentary Series (Edited by John Stott) - This extensive commentary provides an excellent place to start with individual commentaries on every book of the Bible.

3. Bible Dictionary and other Reference Works

A Bible dictionary will provide background information that addresses a single topic that applies to the whole of the Bible. A Bible handbook will provide an overview as you read individual sections of the bible.

  • The New Bible Dictionary - 3rd Edition (Edited by I. Howard Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, D. J. Wiseman) - This is one of the best single volume works that gives all the important information that should be found in a Bible dictionary.
  • Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible - 2 Volumes (Edited by Walter Elwell) - This too is an excellent work that contains more information than the single volume work noted above.
  • Rose Book of Bible Charts (Rose Publishers) - A source of information about the Bible
  • Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary (W. E. Vine) - A helpful resource to uncover the meaning of Greek and Hebrew words for those without knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. 
  • A Concordance - Any basic concordance listing the uses of words throughout the Bible.

4. Apologetic Resource

Every Christian should be able to give an apt defense for his or her faith. Apologetics is a defense of the faith.

  • Mere Christianity (C. S. Lewis) - A classic book that invites the reader to consider the reality of Christian faith.
  • The Case for Faith (Lee Strobel) - A narrative that deals with the issues of faith
  • Know Why You Believe (Paul E. Little) - A more systematic treatment of the issues of faith. Small and readable.
  • Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Josh McDowell) - A little dated, but still an excellent treatment of issues surrounding faith. 
  • More than a Carpenter (Josh McDowell) - A concise book that outlines the basic reasons to believe in Jesus Christ.
  • The Reason for God (Tim Keller) - Written with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics in mind, this book provides an intelligent platform on which true believers can defend their faith.

5. Theological Resource

Knowing the basic content of the Christian message is important. Books on Systematic Theology help us understand what the whole Bible teaches.

  • Systematic Theology (Wayne Grudem) - The best single volume treatment of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. It is fair, readable and full of helpful content.
  • Bible Doctrines (Wayne Grudem) - A condensed version of Systematic Theology.
  • Christian Beliefs (Wayne Grudem) - A condensed version of Bible Doctrines.
  • Basic Christianity (John Stott) - A concise description of the basic beliefs of the Christian faith.
  • Know What You Believe (Paul E. Little) - Similar to Basic Christianity, but even easier to read and process.

6. Spiritual Life and Devotional Books

There are books that aid us in learning to live the Christian life.

  • Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer (Dr. Kurt Bjorklund) - See above
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Donald S. Whitney) - An overview of the disciplines that it takes to live a spiritually disciplined life.
  • The Life You've Always Wanted (John Ortberg) - A treatment of the same basic disciplines as Donald Whitney
  • Orthodoxy (G. K. Chesterton) -  A classic book exploring the romance of faith.
  • The Purpose Driven Life (Rick Warren) - A book that gives an overview of the purpose of the Christian life.
  • The Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight) - A look at Jesus' standard of living.
  • What's so Amazing about Grace (Philip Yancey) - This book explores God's grace, receiving it and giving it.
  • My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers) - A classic devotional for every day of the year. Has been read by millions of Christians with great benefit.
  • Face to Face (Kenneth Boa) - A prayer guide to help you pray the Scriptures.

7. Living Out  Your Faith

There are books that will help us become more effective in fulfilling our God-given calling to make a difference.

  • Center Church (Tim Keller) - A theological vision for ministry based on classic doctrines but rethinking assumptions about church for our time and place.
  • Maximizing your Effectiveness (Aubrey Malphurs) - This book defines spiritual gifts and helps the reader discover his or her own passions for ministry.
  • Spiritual Leadership (Henry Blackaby) - This book outlines the leadership qualities of a spiritual leader.
  • Transforming Leadership (Leighton Ford) - A wonderful treatment of the leadership of Jesus and how people are called to lead like Jesus.