Book Review: A Call to Prayer

J.C. Ryle’s booklet, A Call to Prayer, provides a heart-stirring and straightforward look at the believer’s need to pray. These 33 pages ask over and over again one very simple question: “Do you pray?

A Call to Prayer

In the first part of the book, Ryle outlines seven reasons to ask that question:

  1. Because prayer is absolutely needful to a man’s salvation
  2. Because a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian
  3. Because there is no duty in religion so neglected as private prayer
  4. Because prayer is an act in religion to which there is great encouragement
  5. Because diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness
  6. Because neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding
  7. Because prayer is one of the best means of happiness and contentment

He follows that section with injunctions to those who do not pray, to those who have a real desire for salvation, and to those who do pray. For the latter group (those who do pray) he spends six pages outlining necessary attitudes or attributes regarding our prayers – such as humility, spirituality, regularity, earnestness, etc.

A Call to Prayer is an essential read for all believers! I personally have consistent, regular conversations with God – and yet I was convicted by several of Ryle’s points. The booklet emphasizes and brings home to the believer the command of Luke 18:1, “Men ought always to pray.”

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