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- Publisher: Forgotten Books
- ISBN: 978-1440072413
- Pages: 578
- Price: £16.38
This book was first published in 1712. ‘The aim of the republication of this old work’, writes the editor Ligon Duncan, ‘is to assist and encourage modern Christians in both public and private prayer’. I’m sure that no one reading this review would doubt that we are in urgent need of such help.
Matthew Henry sets out a specific plan for prayer – a reminder that prayer should be ordered and not haphazard and the Lord’s prayer is a pattern to which we ought to pay more attention.
He says that prayer should consist of adoration, confession, petition, thanksgiving, intercession and conclusion. Appropriate Bible texts are given under each heading. For example, under ‘adoration’ he gives in full 239 scriptures that can be used in a worshipful approach to God.
The book ends with three of Henry’s sermons – ‘How to begin, spend and close the day with God’. There are also three excellent appendices by Ligon Duncan, which are largely distilled Matthew Henry.
The book is a reminder that our prayers would be richer if they followed the scriptural pattern and were shaped by scriptural language and thought.
This is not a ‘thrilling’ read, and there is no quick fix for a fading prayer life. But here is good biblical teaching which, if followed and worked at, would enrich both private and public prayer.