How do you keep your faith consistent? How do you avoid complacency that comes to us all and can make us feel like a failure? Ezra and the people of Israel have an idea: taking the reading of scripture seriously through prayer and physical acts and gestures.
What does a “life of prayer” mean? What does Paul mean when he wrote “pray continually”? Nehemiah’s story presents an excellent example of one way to use prayer in our lives.
This prayer is offered by Miriam and the women of Israel, after God delivered them from the Egyptians through the Red Sea. Prayers are often set to music—the entire book of Psalms is a hymnbook of lyrics for which we no longer have the music. Miriam’s prayer-hymn, and the one by Moses and the men before it, offer us some ideas as to how we can use music in our prayer practice, too.
Based on the original introductions in the full Praying Through the Bible volumes 1, 2, and 3, this book expands on that material, offering more details and more examples, as well as a longer section on McDowell’s approach to studying the prayers of the Bible.
As the book of Ezra focused on rebuilding the Temple and learning to be faithful, so the book of Nehemiah focuses on rebuilding the walls of the city and learning to be faithful. These themes are also found in the prayers, and provide an excellent study for our own prayers when we seek renewal of our faith.