Pray the Bible?


It is made our duty and prescribed as a remedy against disquieting care, that in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should make our requests known to God. And it is part of the Parrhsia, the boldness, the liberty of speech (so the word signifies), which is allowed us in our access to God, that we may be particular in opening our case and seeking to him for relief; that, according as the sore and the grief is, accordingly the prayer and the supplication may be by any man. Not that God needs to be particularly informed of our condition, he knows it better than we ourselves do, and our souls too in our adversity; but it is his will that we should thus acknowledge him in all our ways and wait upon him for the direction of every step, not prescribing, but subscribing to infinite wisdom, humbly showing him our wants, burdens, and desires, and then referring ourselves to him, to do for us as he knows fit.

Matthew Henry, Method for Prayer

Publisher Description:

Resorting to a more scriptural pattern of prayer may be a simple (but profound) answer to many problems in our practice of prayer. There are a number of reasons that could be given as to why Christians should “Pray the Bible,” but the ones below combine to make a rather convincing argument:

  • Praying scripturally will teach us what prayer is, even while we do it.
  • It will correct “shopping list” views of prayer which abound in the Christian community.
  • It will begin to solve in our own minds the question of “unanswered prayer.”
  • It will remind us of just how much there is to pray about day by day.
  • It will teach us of the extreme urgency of prayer.
  • It will return proportion to prayers long on petition, but short on adoration, confession, and thanksgiving.
  • It will instruct us how best to pray for ministers, missionaries, and one another.
  • It will show us the proper way to approach God in prayer.
  • It will remind us of the good things that God does for us (which we, more often than not, take for granted).
  • It will remind us to always give thanks to God (which, paradoxically, is so important for our own assurance of His faithfulness in answering prayer).
  • It will begin to engrave in our minds biblical patterns of thought which can help immunize us from the enticing folly of the world’s view of life.
  • It will force us to rehearse the solemn warnings and precious promises of God (which will do eternal good to our souls).
  • It will move us from our inherent man-centeredness in prayer to a biblical, God-centered way of praying.

The aim of the online publication of this “old-made-new” monograph is to assist and encourage modern Christians in both public and private prayer. Surely we all recognize that the Church of our day, at least in the West, is weak in the way of prayer. Few of us, perhaps, understand what prayer really is. We do not pray often. We do not pray with scriptural proportion, nor does our prayer much reflect the language and thought of the Bible. We do not pray fervently. Although we claim otherwise, maybe we really do not believe in prayer!

For those who are called upon to lead the Church in public prayer, or who simply desire to be more faithful and competent in their own private petitions, a scriptural manner of praying provides the order, proportion, and variety which should characterize all our prayers. We have aimed to provide users with a number of helps to assist in achieving this end. The core of the website is the entire text of Matthew Henry’s A Method for Prayer. Reading and re-reading through it will train the Christian in the use of biblical truth and language in prayer.

 

ORDINARY


Publisher’s Description

Radical. Crazy. Transformative and restless. Every word we read these days seems to suggest there s a next-best-thing, if only we would change our comfortable, compromising lives. In fact, the greatest fear most Christians have is boredom the sense that they are missing out on the radical life Jesus promised. One thing is certain. No one wants to be ordinary.

Yet pastor and author Michael Horton believes that our attempts to measure our spiritual growth by our experiences, constantly seeking after the next big breakthrough, have left many Christians disillusioned and disappointed. There s nothing wrong with an energetic faith; the danger is that we can burn ourselves out on restless anxieties and unrealistic expectations. What s needed is not another program or a fresh approach to spiritual growth; it s a renewed appreciation for the commonplace.

Far from a call to low expectations and passivity, Horton invites readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary. He provides a guide to a sustainable discipleship that happens over the long haul not a quick fix that leaves readers empty with unfulfilled promises. Convicting and ultimately empowering, Ordinary is not a call to do less; it s an invitation to experience the elusive joy of the ordinary Christian life.”

The Ordinary Christian Life by Michael Horton

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST


Endorsements

‘I am thrilled to see this classic work on Presbyterian polity being reissued. And if you think “thrilled” and “Presbyterian polity” don’t belong in the same sentence, that’s just one more reason we need Bannerman’s book. In a day where the doctrine of the church is often thought obscure, irrelevant, and even divisive, Bannerman reminds us just how much our forefathers thought about this topic and just how much the Bible has to say on these issues. This big book on the nature and order of the church is more helpful, more contemporary, and more important than you might think.’– KEVIN DEYOUNG

‘The great thing about Bannerman’s The Church of Christ is that it will stimulate the reader to reflect on the nature of the church in a profoundly biblical and historically sensitive way. At a point in history when the church in the West is finding herself for the first time in 1,500 years to be marginal and often unwelcome, clear thinking on the nature and purpose of the church is vital. I do not think there is a better way to sharpen one’s thinking on these matters than thoughtful and deep refection upon this work of James Bannerman.’– CARL R. TRUEMAN

Book Description

The New Testament places the church at the centre of its practical vision of the Christian life and at the heart of the Great Commission. A church-less Christianity is no real Christianity at all.

As we head into a world very similar to Paul’s own context, in which pluralism dominates and Christianity is regarded with intellectual and moral suspicion, it is vital that Christians have a clear understanding of what the church actually is.

James Bannerman’s The Church of Christ is one of the key historic texts of the doctrine of the church. Few will agree with everything the author has to say, but as Carl Trueman states in his foreword, ‘the great thing about the book is that it will stimulate the reader to reflect on the nature of the church in a profoundly biblical and historically sensitive way’.

After dealing with basic principles and distinctions, such as the contrast between the visible and invisible church, and between the local and universal church, Bannerman takes up the important and far-reaching question of the relation between church and state. But the body of the work is really a treatise on church power—the nature, limits and exercise of Christ’s power in the church in its connexional and local aspects. In what does the ordained ministry consist? Should the church micro-manage the lives of her members? To what extent should the church campaign for wider political or social causes? Is the church to be an agent for the transformation of society as a whole? What tools does the church have for making disciples and, if necessary, disciplining them? Answers to these questions can only come from a correct understanding of the nature of the church’s power.

Although Presbyterian in conviction, the author has undertaken a ‘comparative’ study of the various classic positions on each issue under consideration as these are expressed in the confessional symbols and standard authors. It is this method which makes the book so useful for all serious-minded readers. The appendix also contains valuable bibliographical material.

This is classic Scottish theology at its best, and those who take the time to digest it will be richly rewarded.

 

A HEART FOR GOD


There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to his Word and will. The person who wants to know God but who has no heart to obey him will never enter the sacred courts where God reveals himself to the soul of man. God does not give divine knowledge to those who have no desire to glorify him.

Sinclair Ferguson

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Sinclair Ferguson’s book A Heart For God is written out of the conviction that the world’s greatest need, and the contemporary church’s greatest lack is the knowledge of God. In a popular, readable style it draws us to an awareness of the character of God and the nature of his relationship to his people.

In these pages, Sinclair B. Ferguson guides us, step-by-step, to see the greatness of God in his majesty and creating power; to sense the tenderness of his care and the marvel of his love. A Heart For God is ‘practical, pastoral and profound’. It unfolds the grace of God with a simple clarity which should lead each reader to pray (with John Calvin, the reformer): ‘I offer my heart to you, Lord, eagerly and earnestly’.