Gordon J. Keddie
Reviewed by: William Shishko, Candyce D. Magee
Prayers of the Bible: 366 Devotionals to Encourage Your Prayer Life, by Gordon J. Keddie. Crown & Covenant, 2017. Paperback, 764 pages, $18.00. Reviewed by OP minister William Shishko.
Those who have benefited from the many popular studies of Bible books produced by Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America minister (now retired) Gordon J. Keddie are well aware of the solid content coupled with rich devotional matter that mark his works. This volume is not only no exception; it is in many ways a compendium of the author’s finest theological insights developed over his more than four decades of pastoral ministry, and channeled through lessons from biblical prayers and the Bible’s specific teaching on prayer.
This massive book offers far more than most traditional Christian devotionals. For each day of the year, we meet a text, a passage of Scripture to read, a study related to the text (with the helpful bold highlighting of the pithy main points), a psalm to sing as a prayer that is an outgrowth of the study (use this alongside your new Trinity Psalter Hymnal !), and a section to write things that you wish to pray for in that day. And all that on two pages for each day of the year! The book breathes the spirit of the weekly church prayer meetings in which Dr. Keddie originally gave these presentations.
The devotional study titles alone are inviting: “Praying for Children,” “Big Problem: Brief Prayer” (text: Matt. 14:30, “Lord, save me!”), “Wrong Prayer: Right Answer,” “Praying for Unsolved Murder,” “Praying Against Our Enemies.” And these are just a few from the January readings. Imagine topics like this for every day of every month of the year!
Keddie mines hundreds of quotations and citations from the Reformers, the Puritans, Christian hymnody, and modern sources—both secular and Christian. That alone makes this volume worth its very reasonable price. I was particularly impressed with how these studies—reflecting the Scriptures themselves—span the breadth of prayers we are meant to offer: for ourselves, for our families, for our neighbors and friends, for the church, and (so often neglected) for our nation and the nations. We are stretched to pray as the whole Bible calls us to pray.
While these daily spiritual exercises are eminently suitable for personal devotions, they would also be ideal for family worship with older family members. Pastors would profit by committing themselves to work through this pastoral treasure over a year. Keddie, as a pastor, provides a superb model of opening up a text, applying it, and showing how it grows out of and is related to Jesus Christ and the gospel. Prayers of the Bible is an aid to help its readers pray according to the will of God given in Holy Scripture. It is also a valuable tool to help us foster that true heavenly mindedness that is of the most earthly good.
Click here for a second review of this book by Candyce D. Magee.
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