Designed to Pray {Book Review and Giveaway}

You might already know this about me… I'm a journal person.

I have several journals I use for notes when I'm doing a book study and I have one where I keep an ongoing list of blessings and things for which I'm thankful. I even wrote a short series on Scripture journaling last fall.

But my personal journal is where I write everythingScripture verses, prayers, conversations with God (what I would say if speaking out loud, and what I feel He wants me to know), and anything else I’m feeling while spending time with God.

I have a system, a way I like to use my journals, but still, there are times I need a little creative inspiration. (Like when I open my personal journal and realize it’s been awhile since I last wrote anything!)

That's why I was intrigued when given the opportunity to review Designed to Pray: Creative Ways to Engage with God by Kelly O'Dell Stanley.

Designed to Pray isn't a how-to book on prayer, but rather a book of creative inspiration for your prayer life. Whether you consider yourself a prayer warrior or you're just starting to discover what prayer is all about, this eight-week interactive workbook is designed to spark creativity.

Each chapter is broken into seven days, with a short reading and activity for each day. But don't think of it as daily assignments. This book is not rigid with each day building on the previous day. It's made to be flexible. 
In fact, the author writes, 
“First rule: There are no rules. This book follows a consistent structure, but you don’t have to. It’s okay if you miss a day or two. Or if it takes you a month to finish Week 1. Feel free to cross out my directions and write your own. Or repeat the same exercise multiple times before moving on.” – Kelly O’Dell Stanley, Designed to Pray
I found some suggestions and activities more to my liking than others. You will too. Take the ones you like and use them over and over again (in the book or in your own journal.)

The goal is to spend time with God, and a brief activity may have you talking to Him throughout the rest of the day. You may feel more in touch with Him while writing out a Scripture verse than drawing, or vice versa. But either way, you’re connecting with Him and that's what matters.

Ready to give it a try?

You can also leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a free copy of the book! (Thank you to Tyndale Momentum for their generosity in offering this giveaway!)

How would you describe your prayer life? 

Answer this question in your comment and please remember to include your email address so I can contact you if you win!

I will randomly choose and contact one winner at the end of the week. (Sorry, only U.S. residents are eligible.)

In Christ,

[Photo credits: Kelly O’Dell Stanley]
(Note: I received a free copy of Designed to Pray by Tyndale Momentum in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)


  1. I try to talk to God throughout the day and pray about things He brings to my heart/mind. It's been hard for me to have a structured morning time with God, but that is my desire. Thank you for offering the giveaway.

  2. Informally disciplined :) Such opposites. But I do my devotional and pray each morning as I rise early. But throughout my day, it is a constant ongoing conversation. I have several journals going at a time as well - one for Bible Study and one for prayers. This would be interesting to read :) Thanks for sharing about this book!

  3. I love Kelly's thoughts on prayer. I read her Praying Upsidedown and was really challenged. As a fellow journaler, I'm sure I'd be inspired by this new one.

  4. OK, I would LOVE to win this. I have such a STRONG desire to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of my prayer life, but if I am to be honest I feel STUCK and I have no clue why really....outside pressure to be perfect at it? I do not know.... I know this is a struggle for me though!

    Nicci Ramirez

    1. Congratulations Nicci! You're the winner! I just sent you an email.

    2. WaHooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

  5. Thank you, Laura, for the review! I have a giant stack of different journals, too :-).

  6. This looks fantastic! I'm all for books (or journals) that give you permission to be less than perfect. Life doesn't always fit in calendar squares, but God sees so much beyond those squares!

  7. Hi Laura, I have Kelly's book, and I agree it's a wonderful resource. I hope your readers visit her site and sign up for her free prayer calendars. They are gorgeous and so inspiring. If I win the drawing, I will give it away on my blog too. Thanks for hosting a giveaway!

  8. Thinking about my prayer life I would describe it as continuous but lacking creativity. These books look like something to help me get over my fears of "doing it wrong" LOL

  9. I've never been satisfied with my prayer life and I think many Christians feel the same. I'm trying to make a more conscious effort this year to learn to pray without ceasing. There are so many resources on prayer. This one looks different, and interesting. Thanks for the review!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!