This is the first post in a series of questions and answers with those who will be speaking at our 2011 Conference for Pastors. The questions will address a variety of topics, at times focusing more on prayer, which is the conference theme.
The following question was put to Joel Beeke.
You have written much on the lives and thoughts of the Puritans. Which Puritan do you think has the most to teach us about prayer? What would he teach us?
I’m sending a book to the printer this week, Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer, which should be available in time for the conference. Three chapters are devoted to the Reformers: Luther, Calvin, and Knox. Six chapters are devoted to individual Puritans.
William Perkins is the best at unfolding the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer, Anthony Burgess excels in expounding Christ’s mediatorial prayer for us, and John Bunyan is great on advocating praying in the Spirit. Thomas Boston is helpful in linking prayer to our adoption, and Jonathan Edwards taught prayer as an experience of the divine Trinity.
I think Matthew Henry probably has the most to teach us about prayer; he excels at offering methods for continual, growing prayer that are biblical, practical, and realistic.