Praying with the Puritans
Posted by Andrew Cinnamond, 9 Nov 2017
Following his post on Praying with the Reformers, Andrew Cinnamond has further suggestions for devotional resources from the Puritans.
While the Puritans are not strictly Reformers in the chronological sense, they are the true spiritual successors in the sense of fixing their lives around the five solas and being willing to suffer for the glory of God. The depth of their meditations and prayers offer a great feast for the hungry Christian.
In 1975 the Banner of Truth published ‘The Valley of Vision’ a collection of ‘Puritan’ prayers and devotions edited by the Anglican minister (and member of Church Society) Arthur Bennett. Despite its awful cover [Ed. It’s now also available in a lovely leather bound version] it has now sold more than 336,000 copies, has been made into an audio book and has even inspired an album by Sovereign Grace Music. Don Carson says, of the collection: ‘The prayers in The Valley of Vision are steeped in Scripture, yet never succumb to mere formula. They are theologically fresh and vibrant, yet they are rooted in confessionalism. They range over a huge sweep of Christian experience and devotion, but they are never merely esoteric or cute. They brim with deep emotion and transparent passion, but they carefully avoid mere sentimentalism. This is a book that teaches readers to pray by example.’
For more insight into this bestseller of puritan devotion, see this article by Justin Taylor. You might also like to read this short biography of Arthur Bennett by Tony Reinke.
There are plenty of other books of Puritan devotion and prayers. Banner of Truth are to be congratulated in producing several new volumes with a wealth of spiritually edifying and God-honouring content. Try the 2 volumes of ‘Voices from the Past’ or ‘The Puritans Day by Day’.
Other helpful works on Puritan spirituality include:
‘Puritan Reformed Spirituality’, Joel Beeke, (Reformation Heritage, 2004).
‘A Golden Treasury of Puritan Devotion’, ed. Mariano Di Gangi (P&R, 1999).
‘The Puritans on Prayer’, ed. Don Kistler (Soli Deo Gloria, 1995).
‘The Devoted Life’, ed. Kelly Kapic & Randall Gleason (IVP, 2004).
Andrew Cinnamond is Vicar of St Lawrence, Lechlade, and the author of What Matters in Reforming the Church?
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