Tuesday, December 6, 2011

At The Throne Of Grace : A Review

Seminary has a bad reputation, at times. I enjoyed it. Having said that, there is one thing that it did not teach me - it did not teach me how to pray. Oh, I know, prayer is speaking to God. But when a pastor is in the pulpit prayer can feel very uncomfortable - not only is God listening to the prayer, but so is the congregation. One would hope that we are only praying for God, but most pastors are aware that there is that second audience present as well.

John MacArthur’s At The Throne of Grace proves that point. His prayers, if truely said from the Sunday pulpit as the book claims, is as much about teaching as it is about speaking to God.

Each prayer begins with a brief scripture reading and a devotional - then comes the sample prayer. The prayers are well-written - a pleasure to read; though, as a pastor, I would feel uncomfortable using them in a worship service. Here is a portion of a prayer following a devotional on I John 2:1-19:

Dear Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow,

we confess that You alone are the giver of every good and perfect gift,1

and You have given us so many things,

richly supplying us with things to enjoy.2

And we are reminded by the passage we have just read that

the greatest gift of all is Your Son, Jesus Christ,

who sacrificed His very life in order that

we might be freed from sin’s bondage.

Fill our hearts with gratitude, and may our lives

reflect overflowing thankfulness

so that all who see may honor You.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.


1.James 1:17 2.I Timothy 6:17

The most helpful part of the book is how it has directed my attention to other books on prayer:

Alexander MacLaren, Pulpit Prayers

C H Spurgeon, The Pastor In Prayer

Richard Foster, Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer

Stormie Omartian, Powerful Prayers For Troubled Times

Richard Kriegbaum, Leadership Prayers

Those of the ones that I added to my reading list as a result of starting MacArthur’s book of prayers. Each reader will want to add their own selection as they continue to think about the role prayer will play in their own life.

Do you want to learn to pray? Begin by praying. Then read the prayers of those who have gone before - let them teach us.

This review is based on a free, electronic copy of the book provided by publisher prior to publication.

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