Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer
In Taking Hold of God, you will enter the treasury of the church of Jesus Christ and discover some of its most valuable gems on the subject of Christian prayer. The writings of the Reformers and Puritans shine with the glory of God in Christ, offering us much wisdom and insight today that can make our own prayer lives more informed, more extensive, more fervent, and more effectual. Six contemporary scholars explore the writings and prayer lives of several Reformers and Puritans—among them Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Perkins, Matthew Henry, and Jonathan Edwards—guiding us to growth in prayer and a more grateful communion with God.
Contributors: Peter Beck, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin, Brian G. Najapfour, Johnny C. Serafini, J. Stephen Yuille.
Read an article by Dr. Joel Beeke on the Best Puritan on Prayer at DesiringGod.org.
About the Editors
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Brian G. Najapfour, a pastor from the Philippines, is a recent graduate from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Th.M.) and is a Ph.D. student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN 13: 9781601781208
“Many of us feel either infants in the school of prayer or intimidated and beaten down by those who accuse us of being prayer–less but do not teach us how to be prayer–full. But here can be found nourishment, example, instruction, encouragement, and, yes, deep challenge, all in one volume. May these pages serve as a tonic for our weakness, a remedy for our sickness, and an inspiration to greater prayerfulness in our churches!”
– Sinclair B. Ferguson, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
“Taking Hold of God is a unique collection of nine biographies of Puritans and Reformers. We aren’t simply given names, dates, and interesting anecdotes about Luther, Calvin or Boston. Instead, attention is drawn explicitly and consistently to their teaching on prayer as well as their own prayer lives. The result is a book that avoids the pitfalls of hagiography, or the longing for a bygone era. If the examples of great men of prayer are not enough to induce you to pray more regularly and more fervently, you will not be discouraged by this book. Each figure is examined, not for how much they can inspire us to pray, but for how clearly they saw the gospel which holds prayer out to us as a gift to the sons and daughters of the triune God. Here you will not be discouraged for failing to measure up to the giants of yesteryear; rather, you will be given gospel-reasons to boldly approach the throne room of the King of Heaven. The men in this book truly understood the wonder of the King of the universe inviting rebels into his inner chamber. If you are looking for interesting historical anecdotes about those one-time rebels, look elsewhere. This book is about the King.”
– Benjamin Dahlvang, Westminster Bookstore Staff
“Taking Hold of God is a veritable gold mine on the subject of prayer. Beeke and Najapfour have brought together in one volume the teaching on prayer of the giants of the Reformation and Puritan eras: Luther, Calvin, Knox, Perkins, Bunyan, Henry, Edwards, and others. I was personally encouraged and stimulated to take my own prayer life to a higher and hopefully more productive level. All believers who have any desire to pray effectively will profit from this book.”
– Jerry Bridges, a longtime staff member of the Navigators and author of The Pursuit of Holiness
“The Protestant Reformation brought a revolution to the life of prayer. This book opens up the story of how the Reformers like Luther and Calvin, followed by the Puritans like William Perkins and Matthew Henry, teach us a surprisingly new approach to the life of prayer.”
– Hughes Oliphant Old, John H. Leith Professor of Reformed Theology and Worship, Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, South Carolina
“Together, Beeke and Najapfour have produced a marvelously helpful and instructive volume on prayer drawn from such giants as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry, and Jonathan Edwards. It is a veritable potpourri of spiritual insight and godly advice. Books on prayer often induce more guilt than help. Taking Hold of God, as the title itself suggests, aims at doing the latter. It beckons us, allures us, into the challenge of prayer itself: laying hold of a gracious Father who longs for our presence and delights to commune with His children. If you aim to read just one book on prayer this year, choose this one.”
– Derek W. H. Thomas, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi