Saturday, November 23, 2013

David McIntyre's The Hidden Life of Prayer: a jewel-strewn tapestry for the serious Christian

THE HIDDEN Life of Prayer by Scottish pastor David McIntyre is a masterpiece of Christian literature. Published in 1981, it deals with an important area of the Christian life where a lot of believers struggle with—prayer.

McIntyre writes, "Prayer is the most sublime energy of which the spirit of man is capable. It is in one aspect glory and blessedness; in another it is toil and travail, battle and energy."

So many books have been written about prayer—how to pray, why we must pray. Biographies of prayerful men and women also abound. The sheer number of published works on this subject shows that the struggle is great, and believers are looking for encouragement and instruction.

But The Hidden Life of Prayer stands out because, as pastor and teacher Dr. John Piper puts its, it is a "little jewel-strewn tapestry." It is a short book—48 pages—although I read the book in Kindle last night, inside the comforts of the Ward 9 call room, while I was on my four-hour rest period. Thankfully nobody else was around to see the tears streaming from my eyes.

And what a "jewel-strewn tapestry" McIntyre's work is indeed. The pages are filled with quotes from Luther, Spurgeon, Müller, Whitefield, and Wesley. McIntyre's goal is clear: he wants to press believers to have a greater commitment to prayer.

My favorite is Chapter 2, where McIntyre gives practical ways of cultivating a flourishing prayer life—"a quiet place, a quiet hour, and a quiet heart." He finally settles the debate my friends and I have long engaged in—of which is the better time to have daily devotions, in the morning or at night.

One could not read the book without saying, "Yes, I have neglected prayer. Oh, Lord, forgive me." It is a beautiful book, so Christ-centered, Scripture-saturated, with language that flows effortlessly. I highly, highly recommend it.

You can get a copy of the book through Amazon, but Chapel Library has shared it to us for free!



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