Paper Prayer Partners

Paper prayer partners aren’t really paper partners. They are people who have become my partners in prayer through their instructive writings. I can share in the life of Christ and Christ’s people through the written legacy that God-lovers have left. Their words have brought richness to my life. I would like to share with you some of my favorite books on or of prayer.

My Paper Prayer Partners

My Paper Prayer Partners

Drawing Near by Kenneth Boa and Max Anders is a daily Bible reading, memorization, and Scripture prayer book I bought for my husband in 1987, and he still uses it today, although he uses a newer copy. I love his original copy because it contains small pencil scribblings that our second daughter made on a number of pages when she was about three years old. (While it is out of print, you can find some used copies on Scriptures are organized by topic and put in first person so they are ready to pray back to God.  Example: “May my faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I Pet. 1:7

Paul's original copy.

Paul’s original copy.










Face to Face by Kenneth Boa is strictly a prayer book. It is laid out for a three month cycle of praying the Scriptures. It’s subtitle is “Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship.” (You can find inexpensive paperback copies online.)

Simple Prayers by Kenneth and Karen Boa is easier to use than Boa’s other prayer books. It’s subtitle is “A Daybook of Conversations with God.” I love the hardback version. The muted colored, cover picture presents a wooden table with a cream colored water pitcher and towel, inviting one to worship and serve quietly through prayer. Simple Prayers refreshingly brings my mind into fellowship with God through the Scriptures under daily organized topics. Because I sometimes combine prayer books in a day, the simplicity is perfect. For the sake of focus and meditation, the simplicity is also perfect. Here are some of my favorite prayer sentences that are placed before given Scriptures:

A Delightful Prayer Partner.

A Delightful Prayer Partner.

   “Lord, I give thanks for Your greatness, Your goodness, and Your love, and I now draw near to enjoy Your presence.”

   “I praise You, Lord, that You are intimately acquainted with my ways and that You always love me and have my best interests at heart.”

    “Lord, You have invited me to pray for the needs of others, and since You desire what is best for them, I take this opportunity to bring these requests to You.”

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers and Warren Myers is subtitled, Enjoying God Anew.  (I wrote about this prayer guide on April 10, 2012.)

31 Days of Prayer is a follow-up to the above by the Myers couple. It’s subtitle is “Moving God’s Mighty Hand.” What an amazing thought. The Myers books will lead you into a whole new depth of God-honoring prayer as they articulate so much of what you need to pray and didn’t know how to word, or were too immature to even think such depths of biblical thought and honest admission.

The Power of a Praying Parent, The Power of a Praying Woman, The Power of a Praying Husband, and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children are the Stormie Omartian books that we have, but she has even more versions of her prayer books! We wish we would have used these books more years ago. Stormie has written very organized, Bible-based, and pointed prayers, about one month’s worth of daily prayers per book. She precedes her written out prayers with a chapter of explanation, building the theme and issues around which you will pray. Then, when you read her prayers, it makes sense, and you can pray it as you read, adjusting it according to your biblical understanding, your family and friends, and your prayer desires.


Prayer has been a big part of my Christian life, but not big enough. Over thirty years ago, I began organizing prayer notebooks and picture prayer notebooks (for my visual bent) and teaching other ladies these ideas. But if I could live life over, I would be much more systematic, consistent, and specific in my praying, whether it be praise, confession, worship, request, intercession, or quietness. We know that prayer develops our relationship with God. This is Christianity 101. We know that we hear God’s voice in His word, and our prayer confesses that voice back to God (praying Scripture in affirmation) and prayer is our heart’s conversation with God inviting Him into our daily experiences. We thank and appreciate God for who He is and what He does. We tell Him what we’re experiencing. We ask and ask. We intercede for those we love, for those we don’t love, for those we know, and people around the world we don’t know. We are still and listen. We sigh, we thank, we bow down.

Knowing God is a dynamic experience. A growing experience. Spirit with spirit (Romans 8:16). So, it is only a good sign that in looking back over my life, I wish I prayed more and more specifically. Knowing God — is it not amazing just to say?! Knowing God. Do you know God? What? He seems so far away. Yet He is so close, much closer than we realize. Read and meditate on Psalm 46, Acts 17:28, and Psalm 90.

The best thing about growing older (and I’m now officially “old,” what I classify as “early old”) is that my heart has grown to be more and more consciously aware that I’m living in God. Prayer doesn’t seem like a a separate activity, although I take separate time for prayer. Instead, prayer is more like breathing. My thoughts are normally in conversation with God, no matter what I’m doing. Now, I am sure I sound more spiritual or more mature than I am, but this is the way my mind/spirit works.

I recommend that you become more aware of your present tense presence with God. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” says Psalm 46:1. Very present means intensely present — beyond a spacial closeness. He is here. He is here — very present — in trouble. But He is also very present in joy — “God inhabits (is enthroned upon) the praises of His people,” says Psalm 22:3.  God is present with you always (Matt. 28:20).

There is so much in life that you can’t control, but you do have a constant choice of what you do with your mind. You can tandem-think: being consciously aware of sharing your moments with God while you do your specific daily tasks. Tandem-think de-stresses while injecting eternal meaning into passing moments. Secularists can’t imagine the life of the inner spirit — Spirit with spirit (Romans 8: 16). We not only image it; we live it from “glory to glory” (II Corinthians 3:18).

You may have a collection of prayer books to accompany your Scripture reading and studies. You may not. Either way, I’d encourage you to check out any of the above books, all of which you can procure on or probably through your local Christian bookstore. (The nice thing about Amazon is that you can get out of print copies and used copies usually cheaply. Then you can afford to give them as gifts and have them shipped right to family and friends!) Enjoy your own paper prayer partners and pass them on.

If you are born of the Spirit, then live in the Spirit via conversations with God in prayer.

 May He lift up His countenance upon you and bless you.





Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Paper Prayer Partners

  1. Tom

    This was very good; thank you, Karen. I appreciate the book suggestions (I have a book by Boa on “Thru the Bible,” but wasn’t aware he wrote books on prayer—I’ll have to check into them). And your descriptions of prayer is broader than I normally think (“Prayer is our heart’s conversation with God inviting Him into our daily experiences. We thank and appreciate God for who He is and what He does. We tell Him what we’re experiencing. We ask and ask. We intercede for those we love, for those we don’t love, for those we know, and people around the world we don’t know. We are still and listen. We sigh, we thank, we bow down.”). Very helpful; thanks.

    • kltolsen

      Thank you, Tom, for your reply. Hmm. There is a phrase I was going to add in one of the sentences you quote, but I forgot to do so. I had a check in my spirit when I wrote “We intercede for those we love, for those we don’t love….” I needed to revise that to say “for those we don’t naturally love but are called on to love,” or something like that. Since we are called to love one another and to love our enemies, there’s no one left out. We don’t have to create the love, but accept it through the Holy Spirit who pours it into our hearts (Rom. 5:5)! When we are praying for someone we don’t naturally like, then we are loving this person, because loving someone is doing what you can that is good for that person. Prayer is the best thing we can do for anyone.

      • Katie

        Hi Karen. This was just what I needed today. To put in my two cents, I liked the sentence of interceding for those we love, and those we don’t love. It stopped me for a moment because I suppose it didn’t sound like you, but it resounded with me. There are indeed those we don’t love, but in praying for them, it softens us toward them. Blessings!

      • kltolsen

        How interesting that you would comment on that very sentence that bothered me, but I forgot about it and didn’t change it. You will note that I’ve commented on this in response to Tom. I don’t know if you saw his comment and my response. Praying for someone is loving that person, so maybe we do love those we don’t think we love. Maybe, if we re-evaluated what love is, we’d see we can and do love some people who seem unlovable. Anyway, Romans 5:5 tells that the Holy Spirit pours His love into our hearts, so we don’t have to manufacture it. And “love” differs from “like”. Since you work with so many adults and children, I can see that finding creative ways to love some people would be a challenge. May God inspire and enable you!!

  2. AmandaO

    Quite lovely, Mom. 🙂

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