I admit I do have an affinity for the Puritans. If people are looking for me in heaven, I ‘ll probably have slipped into some Puritan family reunion somewhere. I used to try to write entire seminary papers, citing only the Puritan writers, which might be why my contemporary worship paper didn’t make any sense…
I’ve been devouring this book on prayer! Brooks basically writes on one verse Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
He argues meticulously that secret prayer (or closet prayer) is one of the most important habits a Christian can cultivate. I’ve been greatly challenged and thankful that Thomas Brooks could walk me through how and why to increase in this “duty”.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“…nothing glorifies Christ more, nor exalts him more, than secret prayer”
“there is not a great hindrance to closet prayer than sloth and idleness”
“If there be any way or means on earth to bring us upon our knees before God in secret, it is the serious and solemn thoughts of eternity.”
“In all the ages of the world, the saints have kept up secret prayer. In spite of all opposers and persecutors, in prisons, in dungeons, in dens, in chains, on racks, in banishments, and in the very flames – the saints have still kept up this secret prayer. A Christian can as well…hear without ears, and live without food, and fight without hands, and walk without feet – as he is able to live without secret prayer!”
I highly recommend this Puritan classic. Like most Puritan works, it’s hours of chewing that leads to years and years of growth.