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Sweeney’s Booknotes: Edwards on Prayer

bookBrian G. Najapfour, Jonathan Edwards: His Doctrine of & Devotion to Prayer (Caledonia, MI: Biblical Spirituality Press, 2013).

This booklet featuring Edwards’ best-known statements on Christian prayer will surely be cherished by many Reformed evangelicals. It is published by the author’s own ministry in Michigan. A Philippino native, Najapfour came to the United States in 2006 for graduate work at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is currently the pastor of United Reformed Church in Caledonia, MI, an avid blogger (biblicalspirituality.wordpress.com) and spiritual writer.

This work has five brief chapters on Edwards’ view and practice of prayer; an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources on Edwards and prayer; an appendix of excerpts from Edwards’ correspondence on prayer (which also includes a snippet on prayer from Edwards’ eulogy for the short-lived missionary, David Brainerd); another appendix on the prayerful friendship of Edwards’ daughter Esther Edwards Burr and Sarah Prince; and a concluding prayer by Trevin Wax (another avid blogger and spiritual writer) adapted from many of Edwards’ famous “Resolutions.”

Those who want a comprehensive treatment of Edwards’ approach to prayer should consult Peter Beck, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards’s Theology of Prayer (Joshua Press, 2010). But Christians looking for a brief, inspiring booklet on the subject can do no better than this work by Pastor Najapfour.