Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
When the Spirit of a man is set about a work he will do it with purpose. When the heart is drawn out with vehement desires for the grace it prays for, it prays with fervency. The attributes of God call for fervency in worship. God is a great and glorious God, and when we approach his presence it becomes us to come with our affections in the best array. Are yawning prayers fit for such a great God? Should we speak to such a majesty before we are well awake? He that does not offer up his best, robs God of his due, for he is a great God. He is also a living God. Is a dead-hearted prayer a suitable sacrifice for a living God? How can God, who is all life, enjoy our lazy listless devotions? He is also a loving God and desires to receive love back in like coin. Fervency is to prayer what fire is to incense. If our hearts remain cold and formal in prayer they are not in a fir posture to receive his promises. When God intends mercy for his people, he stirs up the spirit of prayer in them. Fervency unites the soul and directs the thoughts to the work at hand. It will not allow diversions and denies all foreign thoughts seeking to intrude. Pray fervently or you do nothing. Cold praying is no more prayer than a painting of fire is fire. How can prayers that do not even warm your own heart move God? A fervent prayer will never find a cold reception with God. Elijah’s prayer called fire up to heaven. O how hot is the covetous man in his pursuit after the world’s goods! He pants after dust. After his getting, he is like the dog in pursuit of the hare that missed his game. At last he goes off without supper. Does not the living God and loving Father deserve all our zeal? O the shame of it! Let us not be cold in his worship, lagging behind the world’s zeal in pursuit of earthly mammon.
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.