I realize that there’s still a month left in 2009, but there are two good reasons for me to write these posts now: First, I hope that some of these books end up under the tree or in the stockings hung on your mantle and I know relatives are already starting to ask what you want (and most of them want better suggestions than your typical “Amazon.com and iTunes gift cards”), so now you can give them a few specifics.
Second, my current reading projects are The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation, by John Sailhamer (612 pgs.), An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach, by Bruce K. Waltke (1024 pgs.), and Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin (687 pgs.). I have just begun two of them, and will finish none of them by year’s end. In fact, the above three books may be the only three books I read in 2010.
So, I’m confident I’ll have no other books to add to the list before the new year. I thought about making another list of the top 5 most disappointing books I’ve read this year (#1 would certainly have been A Christianity Worth Believing, by Doug Pagitt, followed by Justification, by N.T. Wright, who also made the Top Ten list, interestingly enough), but I’ll leave that for another time.
So, here goes:
I wish I loved my wife enough to have written this book. The best I can do now is to love her enough to use this book. If you’re a husband and you don’t own this book, you’re wrong. Well, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you just didn’t know about it. But now you know about it, so if you don’t order it and use it you’re wrong.
Andrew Case, a student at Southern Seminary, has given husbands (and their wives) an enormous gift in this wonderful book. Case has assembled a book of approximately 200 prayers for husbands to pray for their wives that are not only deeply rooted in Scripture but use the very words of Scripture.
He writes in the introduction: “This book…consists of little else than the Word of God turned ‘more or less into prayer.’ And more specifically it is a means toward one part of prayer—prayer for the good wife God has given you. We would do well to heed the council of Thomas Manton: ‘plead the promise of God in prayer, show Him His handwriting; God is tender of His Word'” (9).
So, not only has Card given husbands an excellent means to soak their brides in prayer, but he has done a service to the church in teaching it how to pray. In other words, if you find your prayer life growing dull, and full of “bless him or her…, and just… just, please come and show us, and be to us… all that you are… blah, blah, blah…,” this book will give you two hundred examples of how to pray in the words of Scripture, which will necessarily align your prayer life with the thoughts and will of God Himself.
And, fellas, here’s the real kicker: Andrew Case is single. This book is the result of prayers that he prays for his future wife whom he has not met. I sleep next to my bride and am richly blessed by her daily and I do not pray for her like this guy prays for his anonymous bride. So be chastened, as I have been, and order this gem of a book, keep it next to your Bible, and pray one of the prayers every morning for the woman who condescended to marry you.
Here’s what I prayed for Leslie this morning:
Only by the Cross do I bring these prayers to You for my treasured wife. Do not let her adorning be merely external—the braiding or hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing—but let her adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in Your sight is very precious.
Give her unity of mind, sympathy, sisterly love, a tender heart, and humility. The end of all things is at hand; therefore let her be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of her prayers. Above all, keep her loving others earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
As she received a gift, may she use it to serve others, as a good steward of Your varied grace. When she speaks, let it be as one who speaks the oracles of God; when she serves, as one who serves by the strength that You supply—in order that in everything You may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To you belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 3 & 4).“