Donald Whitney gives us a book that can restructure our prayer lives into a more biblically focused spiritual discipline. While not a theological treatise on prayer, it does provide a practical guide for instituting this discipline in our lives.
Whitney posits that prayer can be shaped and guided by the Word of God to be more effectual, both in practice and in changing our hearts. He writes, "and without the Scripture to shape our prayers, we are far more likely to pray in biblical ways than if we pray the thoughts that occur to us as we read the Scripture" (37). God has given us a means by which we can know His character, will, and purpose and that knowledge is useful as we pray. Whitney provides instruction for Christians to speak God's Words back to Him in our prayer lives. This book is a practical tool for adjusting prayers to conform with Scripture.
Whitney's theological concept is fairly straightforward; "Since God invites--indeed, if by his Spirit he enables-- all his children to pray, then prayer must be essentially simple" (23). He describes prayer as an activity that all Christians can do well. He argues that Scripture is the best way to accomplish the task of prayer. This book gives us the method and the means to vary our prayers while praying for the things that impact us. Instead of praying the same words and phrases repeatedly, we can pray differently for the same issues. Whitney writes, "one prayer does not a prayer life make. Prayer without variety eventually become words without meaning" (17). Variety helps to refocus us on the very things we need to be praying for.
Our pastor mentioned in his sermon on Sunday that Anna in Luke Chapter 2 would have prayed the Psalms while waiting for the revelation of Jesus. This book would be a helpful read for the modern Christian who has not been taught this discipline. Chapter five directly addresses how to pray the Psalms.
For the person who wants a more fulfilling prayer life, this book will be helpful. Whitney does not provide gimmicks, he just focuses on the Bible. Praying The Bible would be useful in a small group or Sunday school class.