Seems kind of funny to say that a book on prayer is a great read, but “A Diary of Private Prayer” by John Baillie is that and a whole lot more. I received the book as a gift just over 2 months ago. It has become a treasured tool to guide my prayer life, and even more to grow in my prayer life.
Dr. John Baillie from what I can tell was a Scottish theology professor, preacher, and author who had a heart for prayer and a desire to help others grow.
In the past 2 months, I’ve prayed through the book twice. It has morning and evening prayers for 31 days plus one special Sunday morning and evening page.
Here’s why I like this book:
1) It affirms God as the one we come to in prayer, and His agenda trumps my agenda. Praying to God seems obvious, praying God’s agenda for most people, not so obvious.
2) It recognizes the need to pray for others, not just myself. Not just the people I know, but the people I need to know to pray for — unnamed faces, but critical issues in the eyes of God — the poor, the lost, those in need.
3) It builds a pattern of prayer day and night that can be built into one’s life. I”m more morning person, but because it’s just a page to pray. I have time. I make time to pray morning and evening.
4) It improves my prayer life. I find myself praying these prayers, and saying God that’s who I want to be — one who follows Your will, one who builds his life on Your word.
The one potential downside, it is in more of a King James English. Not my cup of tea in prayer, but that too has led me to appreciate the use of language in prayer. In this case, to provide a prayer time that slowly looks at the words and even more learns to listen for Your spirit.
So what book has helped you grow in the practice of prayer? What do you find yourself praying about today?