By Elizabeth Prata
I enjoyed listening to GraceLife Pulpit’s Q&A with Phil Johnson and Mike Riccardi. They fielded a question about what they are reading now, and what they’d recommend. They got onto the topic of prayer. Pastor Johnson said he was busy editing a book on prayer by John MacArthur, which is different in format and gist than his several other previous books on prayer. Johnson also noted that of all Christian topics, sermons or talks on prayer usually yield the biggest conviction rate, lol. I know I could do a lot better at prayer. Would we all be found dead in our prayer closet, as Puritan Thomas Watson was. Watson wrote,
Prayer is the soul’s traffic with heaven. God comes down to us by his Spirit, and we go up to him by prayer. . . A godly man cannot live without prayer. A man cannot live unless he takes his breath, nor can the soul, unless it breathes forth its desires to God. As soon as the babe of grace is born, it cries; no sooner was Paul converted than ‘behold, he prayed’ (Acts 9:11).
If you’re not sure of what to pray, I’ve enjoyed the prayers in the fantastic devotional prayer book The Valley of Vision. These Puritan prayers are deep. They illustrate ways of thinking about God in prayer and to God in prayer.
This essay from Wycliffe Bible Translators has tips on how to pray scripture back to God. Praying scripture is one of the best things we can do in communion with God!
Here are the aforementioned recommended books on prayer:
Jesus’ Pattern of Prayer: On the Lord’s Prayer, by John F. MacArthur
Phil Johnson recommended any of EM Bounds’ books on prayer, so here they are-
Through Prayer, Prayer and Praying Men, The Essentials of Prayer, The Necessity of Prayer, The Possibilities in Prayer, Purpose in Prayer, The Weapon of Prayer
The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul
The Prayers of Jesus: Listening to and Learning from Our Savior, by Mark Jones
A Method for Prayer: With Scripture-Expressions, Proper to Be Used Under Each Head
by Matthew Henry
They can be purchased from your usual places. Meanwhile, here is a short devotional on prayer:
The Place of Prayer by R.C. Sproul