Book Reviews

Book Review: The One Year Pray for America Bible & The History of the National Day of Prayer

I’ve always said that parenting is about 99% prayer. Mothers pray. A lot. In honor of that, this month’s book review focuses on supporting a mother’s prayer life through daily Bible reading. But, I have to admit, I have not completed the book for this month’s book review. However, since tomorrow, Thursday, May 6 is the 2021 National Day of Prayer in the US, it seemed a good time to review this month’s book, The One Year Pray for America Bible (Tyndale).

First, a little bit of history on the National Day of Prayer. Prayer has a long and valued heritage in American history. Even before we became the nation we are today, the First Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer in 1775. In 1952, President Truman signed a joint resolution from Congress declaring an annual day of prayer. Reagan signed an amendment making the first Thursday of May a recognized day of prayer for the country. The president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Kathy Branzell, has penned the 2021 National Prayer for America, which can be read at the following link: https://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/national-prayer.

Last year, in October, I was approached by a student that I have discipled for several years to read The One Year Pray for America Bible as part of our devotional work. To be honest, I had not heard of the bible before. I responded, “Sure, our country definitely needs it!” Due to various reasons, my student and I have pursued other things in our time together, but I have continued to read daily in the Pray for America Bible.

My experience in reading this plan has been great. First, what I like about the book. The breakdown each day requires no more than about 15-20 minutes of reading for me. I’m a fast reader but would say it would take most people no more than 30 minutes. Each day has a short prayer, a section of the Old Testament, a section of the New Testament, a Psalm, and a Proverb. The prayer highlights the components of the text. Intermixed amongst the daily readings are informational pieces about the history of faith and prayer in the US.

Second, the limitations of the book. The biggest limitation of the book is that the book only comes in the New Living Translation (NLT), which has some limitations. I would hesitate to encourage someone to use this translation as a source for deep study, as it is more of a thought-for-thought, rather than a word-for-word translation. I would never recommend using this translation as an academic resource because it is not word-for-word. However, if you are looking for an easy-to-read translation to start your day with the Lord while praying for our country and leaders, this is a good option.

We would love to hear how you pray for America. What is on your heart?

Contributed by Liz Hunt

Sources:

National Day of Prayer: About Us (2021, April 15). Retrieved from https://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/about.

One Year Pray for America Bible (NLT) (2013). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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