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The Hidden Life of Prayer: The Lifeblood of the Christian

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Private or secret prayer is the life-blood of the Christian. The great men and women of God down through the ages have testified to the effectiveness of this in their lives. Some like Martin Luther, have said that they could not survive a busy day without spending 2-3 hours alone with God. Drawing on the experiences of people like Luther, Spurgeon, Muller, Whitefield and W Private or secret prayer is the life-blood of the Christian. The great men and women of God down through the ages have testified to the effectiveness of this in their lives. Some like Martin Luther, have said that they could not survive a busy day without spending 2-3 hours alone with God. Drawing on the experiences of people like Luther, Spurgeon, Muller, Whitefield and Wesley, the author presses the case for a greater commitment to prayer. His advice may not only transform your life, it could be a catalyst towards a change in the world around you.


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Private or secret prayer is the life-blood of the Christian. The great men and women of God down through the ages have testified to the effectiveness of this in their lives. Some like Martin Luther, have said that they could not survive a busy day without spending 2-3 hours alone with God. Drawing on the experiences of people like Luther, Spurgeon, Muller, Whitefield and W Private or secret prayer is the life-blood of the Christian. The great men and women of God down through the ages have testified to the effectiveness of this in their lives. Some like Martin Luther, have said that they could not survive a busy day without spending 2-3 hours alone with God. Drawing on the experiences of people like Luther, Spurgeon, Muller, Whitefield and Wesley, the author presses the case for a greater commitment to prayer. His advice may not only transform your life, it could be a catalyst towards a change in the world around you.

30 review for The Hidden Life of Prayer: The Lifeblood of the Christian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    I didn't want this book to end! It rekindled my passion for the Lord and communion with Him. It's packed full of quotes and references to saints who have gone before who excelled in the hidden life of prayer. It's a little thick in parts, but well worth the read and re-read to understand. I am convicted, built up, encouraged, and inspired to give more time to prayer. What a treasure. I didn't want this book to end! It rekindled my passion for the Lord and communion with Him. It's packed full of quotes and references to saints who have gone before who excelled in the hidden life of prayer. It's a little thick in parts, but well worth the read and re-read to understand. I am convicted, built up, encouraged, and inspired to give more time to prayer. What a treasure.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ladydusk

    I thought this was better about encouraging prayer than actually teaching *how* to pray. I both loved that he included quotes from many believers throughout history regarding prayer and wished that he had written more himself to smooth over the chunkiness of all the quotations. The last chapter was particularly challenging and encouraging by sharing those experiences that others had of the Lord answering prayer and the expectation that he will. It wasn't exactly as I expected. I liked it, but st I thought this was better about encouraging prayer than actually teaching *how* to pray. I both loved that he included quotes from many believers throughout history regarding prayer and wished that he had written more himself to smooth over the chunkiness of all the quotations. The last chapter was particularly challenging and encouraging by sharing those experiences that others had of the Lord answering prayer and the expectation that he will. It wasn't exactly as I expected. I liked it, but still think it could have had more.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike Knox

    This book will help you to pray. It strings together what some of the great prayer warriors of the past have had to say about prayer (p.20). You’ll hear from hall-of-famers like Andrew Bonar, Robert Murray McCheynne, and Richard Baxter. Unfortunately, this wisdom from the ages also comes with the original packing, and some readers will struggle a little with the older styles of writing. Our equipment for prayer is a quiet place, a quiet hour, and a quiet heart. Of course, in our noisy world, it’s This book will help you to pray. It strings together what some of the great prayer warriors of the past have had to say about prayer (p.20). You’ll hear from hall-of-famers like Andrew Bonar, Robert Murray McCheynne, and Richard Baxter. Unfortunately, this wisdom from the ages also comes with the original packing, and some readers will struggle a little with the older styles of writing. Our equipment for prayer is a quiet place, a quiet hour, and a quiet heart. Of course, in our noisy world, it’s hard to find anything that’s quiet. Yet, as George Bowen says, “it will never be altogether well with us till we convert the universe into a prayer room, and continue in the Spirit as we go from place to place” (36). Of the three tools, the most important is a quiet heart. We can quiet our hearts for prayer by directing our hearts to - our acceptance with God through Christ’s offering - the Spirit’s grace - the Holy Scriptures. What about our posture in prayer? Kneel? Sit? Lie down—surely not! When it comes to prayer, it’s not so much the posture of our bodies that counts, but the posture of our minds. Our minds need to open to God’s presence, honest before him, and full of faith in him who as God is all-powerful and as Father is all-gracious. Here is the posture the author extols: Lord, here I hold within my trembling hand, This will of mine—a thing which seemeth small; And only thou, O Christ, canst understand How, when I yield thee this, I yield mine all. It hath been wet with tears, and stained with sighs, Clenched in my grasp till beauty hath it none; Now, from thy footstool where it prostrate lies Thy prayer ascendeth, Let thy will be done. (p.58) After devoting a chapter to each of the forms of prayer (worship, confession, and request), the book concludes with two chapters on the rewards of prayer. Prayer’s rewards are both “hidden” (changing you) and “open” (blessing others). Prayer changes you! One of its “hidden” riches is the knowledge of God’s will: In prayer we present ourselves to God, holding our motives in his clear light, and estimating them after the counsel of his will. Thus our thoughts and feelings stratify themselves: those that rise towards the honour of God taking precedence of those that drift downward towards the gratification of self. And so the great decisions of life are prepared. In prayer, Jacob became Israel; in prayer, Daniel saw Christ’s day, and was glad; in prayer, Saul of Tarsus received his commission to go ‘far hence’ among the Gentiles; in prayer, the Son of Man accomplished his obedience, and embraced the cross. (107) Prayer changes others! One of its “open” rewards is the spread of the kingdom by prayer: By prayer, the tentmaker of Tarsus won the dissolute Corinthians to purity and faith, laid the enduring foundations of Western Christianity, and raised the name of Jesus high in the very palace of Nero. (121-2) Robert Roberts preached a sermon that led to an awakening in Wales. A friend asked the preacher a few days later where he got “that wonderful sermon.” Roberts led him to a small parlour and said “It was here I found that sermon you speak of—on the floor here, all night long, turning backward and forward, with my face sometimes on the earth” (122). “In a word, every gracious work which has been accomplished within the kingdom of God has been begun, fostered and consummated by prayer” (123). There is no secret to revival; it is only “ask and receive.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    This took awhile for me to get into it but I am happy that I read thru it. It is a goldmine of a heart towards prayer. Not a list, but a heart felt cry for prayer that gets lost in our busyiness and lists of things to do. I appreciate the simplicity of prayer and the reminder of what prayer is.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    I listened to this on audiobook. It’s a short work, but it is definitely a book to be read rather than listened to. And in the future, I’ll definitely do so. As for the content, it was a typical prayer-stirring spiritual book. Like Torrey and Bounds, but not as deep nor good in my opinion (but again, I’ve only listened to it). What makes this different is the references and quotes. There are many great quotes, particularly in the first chapter. One might even say that the book revolves around quo I listened to this on audiobook. It’s a short work, but it is definitely a book to be read rather than listened to. And in the future, I’ll definitely do so. As for the content, it was a typical prayer-stirring spiritual book. Like Torrey and Bounds, but not as deep nor good in my opinion (but again, I’ve only listened to it). What makes this different is the references and quotes. There are many great quotes, particularly in the first chapter. One might even say that the book revolves around quotes about. It’s worth getting in print and reading again for these quotes. On another note, I also enjoyed his chapter about seeing a quiet place, quiet hour, and quiet place. An easy listen, but should be read instead. Will do so in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Very good. Love all the quotes from random PRAYER WARRIORS. Might read this in the future for a quick refresher. Short and sweet read. I recommend if you're looking for reasons to dig into INTENSE forms of prayer. MacIntyre argues for what prayer SHOULD be. Kind of INSANE. Very good. Love all the quotes from random PRAYER WARRIORS. Might read this in the future for a quick refresher. Short and sweet read. I recommend if you're looking for reasons to dig into INTENSE forms of prayer. MacIntyre argues for what prayer SHOULD be. Kind of INSANE.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tori Samar

    A short but solid book to spur readers on in private prayer. I appreciate that this book draws heavily from the words and experience of other believers. Where prayer is concerned, I often learn best by example.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bob Bloor

    Very good, challenging book on prayer. Full of quotes from other, earlier writers. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to become more serious about their prayer life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LeAnn

    A tough read but very worthwhile.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Wow. What an excellent book! I learned so much about prayer and how much richer it can be. It's really helped me think differently. I had such a small view of prayer before; it's so much bigger and more powerful than I realized. Wow. What an excellent book! I learned so much about prayer and how much richer it can be. It's really helped me think differently. I had such a small view of prayer before; it's so much bigger and more powerful than I realized.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Lemieux

    4.5 ⭐️ Really enjoyable, it gives you a longing for prayer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rie

    I wrote this book down to read after seeing The War Room. If you are looking to rejuvenate, or start, your prayer life, this book tells you how.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Book Club book for February 2019. Powerful (and painful--in a good way) book. All my thoughts on each chapter are here: https://www.stonesoupforfive.com/sear... Book Club book for February 2019. Powerful (and painful--in a good way) book. All my thoughts on each chapter are here: https://www.stonesoupforfive.com/sear...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Straight to the point, and very helpful. I will definitely read this again!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Al

    This is a very good addition to works on prayer such as those from Beeke, as well as classic authors such as Luther. It serves to reinforce the necessary commitment we must all have to a life of private, contemplative prayer. This work also reminds us that God wants us to pray, and through that prayer, we draw closer to him and receive the spiritual nourishment we all need as Christians. Well worth the time to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Moore

    This is a very good little book on prayer. If it was any other subject I'd probably be inclined to give only 4/5 stars but since there seems to be such a shortage of good books on prayer I'm feeling generous. This book is really a collection of high quality quotes and devotional thoughts on the subject and lacks a thorough biblical treatment on prayer. Nonetheless I found it very helpful and encouraging. This is a very good little book on prayer. If it was any other subject I'd probably be inclined to give only 4/5 stars but since there seems to be such a shortage of good books on prayer I'm feeling generous. This book is really a collection of high quality quotes and devotional thoughts on the subject and lacks a thorough biblical treatment on prayer. Nonetheless I found it very helpful and encouraging.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    This is the second time I am going through this book -with Tim Challies and his readers- (June 2012) Good book, but personally I don't like that at times it seems to be more a collection of quotes, than a narrative. This is the second time I am going through this book -with Tim Challies and his readers- (June 2012) Good book, but personally I don't like that at times it seems to be more a collection of quotes, than a narrative.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike Wazowski

    An excellent book on private prayer. Well worth reading and re-reading from year to year.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Drake Johnston

    Truths, beautifully written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    An excellent book on Prayer. McIntyre does a wonderful job of grounding the book in scripture and compiling the experiences and thoughts of great theologians, preachers, and missionaries from throughout Church history. Throughout the book you’ll hear from heroes of the faith such as Polycarp, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, Richard Sibbes, John Patton, and so many more. I would liken the book to a shot of espresso. At first glance, the book appears short, and one may be tempted to t An excellent book on Prayer. McIntyre does a wonderful job of grounding the book in scripture and compiling the experiences and thoughts of great theologians, preachers, and missionaries from throughout Church history. Throughout the book you’ll hear from heroes of the faith such as Polycarp, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, Richard Sibbes, John Patton, and so many more. I would liken the book to a shot of espresso. At first glance, the book appears short, and one may be tempted to think that it will therefore be lacking in content. But for what it seems to be missing in length, it more than makes up for in the quality and intensity of content. The book packs a punch, and will be one that I plan to come back to in the future. It is written in an older style, but don’t let that deter you from gleaning such great insight to something so pivotal to the Christian life as prayer. If you decide to read this book be sure you give yourself time to thoroughly read through and digest it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    If there is one lesson to be learned about prayer, it is this: do it, do it, do. Don't talk about it. Do it. “Communion with God is the condition of spiritual growth. It is the soil in which all the graces of the divine life root themselves. Communion with God discovers the excellence of His character, and by beholding Him the soul is transformed. Holiness is conformity to Christ, and this is secured by a growing intimacy with Him.” -David MacIntyre If there is one lesson to be learned about prayer, it is this: do it, do it, do. Don't talk about it. Do it. “Communion with God is the condition of spiritual growth. It is the soil in which all the graces of the divine life root themselves. Communion with God discovers the excellence of His character, and by beholding Him the soul is transformed. Holiness is conformity to Christ, and this is secured by a growing intimacy with Him.” -David MacIntyre

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A short and easy to read book on prayer. MacIntyre brings to bear scripture and teachings from saints throughout church history to encourage and admonish the Christian to pray, and pray fervently. The middle chapters follow the ACTS process. The best chapter is the last one, on Open Recompense. There he writes on praying with expectation of an answer and what it means to pray God's will. A short and easy to read book on prayer. MacIntyre brings to bear scripture and teachings from saints throughout church history to encourage and admonish the Christian to pray, and pray fervently. The middle chapters follow the ACTS process. The best chapter is the last one, on Open Recompense. There he writes on praying with expectation of an answer and what it means to pray God's will.

  23. 4 out of 5

    L Power

    Not what I expected. The book is a summary of all the "presumed great men of prayer" This was so annoying 🙄 to read,because the book could not follow one person prayer thoroughly,instead they had multiple person's prayer lives in all the chapters. It could've been a book on prayer quotes..not on how to live a hidden life of prayer. Not what I expected. The book is a summary of all the "presumed great men of prayer" This was so annoying 🙄 to read,because the book could not follow one person prayer thoroughly,instead they had multiple person's prayer lives in all the chapters. It could've been a book on prayer quotes..not on how to live a hidden life of prayer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg Helms

    If you are in the market for a book on prayer, you should buy this book, read it and mark it up, then read it again. Practice praying as you read, before and after reading—all throughout your day, yet also at a specified, dedicated time. The author aims in his own words, and the words of many in history, to describe the indescribable privilege and beauty and communion of prayer.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lionel B. Dyck

    An excellent book that will astonish and encourage you Prayer, simple, easy to do, yet challenging. This book will encourage and challenge you while being a great blessing to the reader.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel and Rebekah Eikum

    Written with old language. Helpful yet dense. Kind of like eating kale, and only kale for a long time. Good but hard to fully appreciate and apply. Hoping I can remember something I read here!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bambi Moore

    Very helpful teaching in learning how to pray. Marked up, notes made and now quite ugly! :) Deducted a star only because one chapter was a little dry.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stanley Jebb

    This book is a little gem. I do not know how many times I have read it, but it is worth reading again and again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    It led me to pray more than before I read it. I intend to read it again and hope that it leads me to pray even more than I do now.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Listened to this book on audio, which was probably a mistake. The narrator was very good, but the content had such depth that it needs to be pondered and digested which is difficult with audio.

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