Note: Tips for Prayer is adapted from Richard Baxter’s Practical Religion, chapter 23. Richard Baxter was a prolific writer and a prominent pastor in the 1600s. The Practical Works of Richard Baxter is a treasure trove of almost 1,000 pages, covering many useful topics relating to Christian living.
- Labor above all to know the God to whom you pray. Know Him as your Maker, your Redeemer, your Regenerator, your Owner, your Ruler, your Father, your Happiness, your End. Know Him as all-sufficient for your relief in His power, His wisdom, and His goodness. And know your own dependence on Him.
- Seek to know yourself well, with your many desires, sins, and needs.
- Know well what sin is, what God’s wrath, and hell, and judgment are, and what sin you have committed. Know what duty you have omitted and failed in, what desires and corruptions are yet within you, and what mercy and grace you stand in need of.
All this will make you pray, and you will pray with purpose and with all your heart.
Some are willful strangers to themselves; they never seriously look backward or inward to see what is missing, nor forward to see the danger before them. It is no wonder then that their hearts are dead and dull, and they are as unfit to pray as a sleeping man is to work.
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