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?“
In the first part of the book, Ryle outlines seven reasons to ask that question:
- Because prayer is absolutely needful to a man’s salvation
- Because a habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian
- Because there is no duty in religion so neglected as private prayer
- Because prayer is an act in religion to which there is great encouragement
- Because diligence in prayer is the secret of eminent holiness
- Because neglect of prayer is one great cause of backsliding
- 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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