Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer

ISBN: 0060665122
ISBN 13: 9780060665128
By: Eugene H. Peterson

Check Price Now


Christian Christianity Currently Reading Non Fiction Prayer Psalms Spiritual Formation Spirituality Theology To Read

About this book

Eugene H. Peterson speaks to Christians who realize the necessity for prayer and yearn for it but who find their prayer unconvincing and unsatisfying. Addressing the causes of this dissatisfaction, Answering God offers guidelines for using the Psalms as dynamic tools for prayer.

Reader's Thoughts

Adam Johns

Many prayer meetings in churches across the globe all start or include a reading of a psalm or two, and I've always enjoyed being a part of those that do; but I've never understood the use of the psalms as Pastor Peterson describes in this short book. I recommend it to any and all who ever participated or desire to participate in corporate prayer as well as those who just want to go deeper in their prayer lives.

Luke Brown

Great insights into the treasure that are the Psalms. I have never been disappointed reading anything by Eugene Peterson and this is one more wonderful book.

Joshua Casey

This short book is a fantastic look at the Psalms as they were used in their original context: as communal prayer.In his signature hybrid style, Peterson combines immense learning, piercing pastoral insight, and charming wit to help bring these songs of faith to new light. The paradoxical balance of prayer's primarily communal nature and the Psalms' ability to speak into our individual experiences is held in perfect tension throughout. Just when the reader might think Peterson is swaying too far one way, he finishes developing a thought and shows the "other hand", but does so with a fluidity not normally apparent in works by scholastics. I used this book in a Psalms study as a counterbalance to books by Bruggemann and Bonhoeffer, and to that end it functioned perfectly. I would recommend it for those who are interested in the Psalms of their own accord as well. The "testimonies" in the appendix of people who took up the challenge to read the psalms as prayer are a fantastic ending piece. Great read!

Rinda Smith

Found this to be an excellent book on prayer.


Challenging, but well worth the read.

Jack Lam

Wonderful conversation from Eugene Peterson providing a context and origins of specific psalms and prayer.


Eugene Peterson always engages me. In this concise, rich look at the Psalms, he takes broad strokes at the themes, the regular features, the movements of the Psalms. I love the title "Answering God," for prayer is speaking to a God who has already spoken to us. The sections on metaphor, liturgy, enemies, and Memory are all exceptional thoughts. Now to actually pray the Psalms...


I've read this a couple of times.


A very tasty journey through the psalms in a classic Eugene Peterson style. I'd recommend this one as one of those books that's good to reread every couple years.

Bethel Library

I love this bit from the introduction - captures a happily practical attitude toward praying the Psalms:“People of faith take possession of the Psalms with the same attitude and for the same reason that gardeners hoe on their way to the vegetable patch... It is a simple matter of practicality - acquiring the tools for carrying out the human work at hand.”

David Carlson

My favorite book by E. Peterson. In short the Psalms are our school of prayer and have been for centuries - both in Jewish and Christain worship. They are guides, they gives us words, they express what needs to be said. He calls them a technology of prayer. Since reading this I have made a practice of reading the psalms.

Blake Chenoweth

A wonderful book about prayer, the Psalms, and spiritual growth. If you know me, you probably know I love the Psalms and this book shares all the reasons why. So much honesty and passion wrapped up in the Psalms and their prayers and Eugene shares that in this brief but challenging book. It was a great follow-up book to Hearing God by Dallas Willard because after God speaks this should be our answer to him.I recommend this book to anybody who wants a renewal of prayer in their life. A wonderful read.

Cheryl Nyquist

I am just beginning to read and am spellbound by Eugene Peterson's words....explaining prayer. He says...We would rather pray by exploring our own deep spiritual capacities, with God as background music. We would rather pray by having God all to ourselves, insulated from the irritating presence of other people, and savor (but only a little) a smug sense of superiority to the comman herd. But the text that teaches us to pray comes with conditions, and the conditions won't permit us to isolate ourselves. If we elect the Psalms to train us in prayer, these are the conditions in which we will be working.

Nancy Graham

Helpful counsel for incorporating the Psalms into one's spiritual plan


This is classic Peterson. Reflective and dynamic with his brush. He has a way of walking you through the gallery of scripture so that you leave having seen the Psalms in fresh light. Simply what makes it so engaging is that he puts the Psalms on the bottom shelf. He reminds us time and time again, at times a bit too repetitive, that this is the stuff of earthy and difficulty not lofty and laudatory. I will reference this book a lot.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *