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James and Joel Beeke wrote Developing a Healthy Prayer Life in the hope that believers will be encouraged to pray more with “sincerity, urgency, and delight”. It’s small, just 100 pages long, and a great health-check and guide for those younger as well as for those older in the faith. In the authors' own words from chapter 11, “Is thanking and praising God your heart’s desire, whether in adversity or prosperity? There is no greater blessing than receiving a truly thankful heart from God, and no greater joy than pouring out your heart to Him in thankful prayer. Pray thankfully.”
For many, The Valley of Vision is a beloved collection of prayers and devotions from the Puritans. The richness and passion of these Puritan reflections are truly beautiful, deep, and thoughtful - with words that we ourselves today would struggle to vocalise, but which we would whole-heartedly respond with ‘amen’! Some words from page 160 on joy: “All thy ways of mercy tend to and end in my delight. Thou didst weep, sorrow, suffer that I might rejoice.”
These short on-the-go devotionals (A Godly Woman’s Adornment series) from Lydia Brownback cover the topics of contentment, joy, purity and trust over 4 books. Each has a passage from Scripture and devotional reading that follows to give godly insight to women who seek to lift their eyes up to the Lord. These books make light and blessed reading. From the book on contentment, Lydia writes, “Contentment does not lie around the next corner. It is not waiting for us on the other side of today’s difficulty, nor is it lost with yesterday. Contentment is where God is, and God is with us today.”
Paul Tripp is a Christian counsellor and author of many great books. New Morning Mercies is by far my favourite of his writings. This devotional book, with meditations for each day of the year, are challenging, encouraging, rebuking, inspiring... a great mix of everything really! Whether for your quiet-time reading or reading with others, this is a welcome addition to your bookshelf... and then to your bedside table or desk for daily reading. From April 27, Paul Tripp writes, “Your hope in life and death is never to be found in the degree of your love for God. It is only ever found in the magnitude of his love for you. This love is yours as a gift of grace even on those days where your heart has run after other lovers. That’s just how beautiful and faithful his love for you really is.”
By 'the Spurge' himself (Charles Spurgeon), the classic devotional Morning and Evening has been revised and updated by Alistair Begg for the modern reader. This devotional book is a wonderful way to both start and finish each day, where Spurgeon takes readers to God and His word with Scripture and meditation. If this book isn’t already a part of your collection, we think it is a worthy addition! In his reflection on 1 Peter 5:7, Spurgeon writes, “Can you trust Him for your soul and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens; He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! Say good-bye to anxiety and leave all your concerns in the hand of a gracious God.”
With 12 weeks of 10 minute family devotions exploring Proverbs through a gospel lens, Wise Up by Marty Machowski guides families to read, reflect, talk and pray. You’ll be glad to know, parents, that Marty, in his questions during the talk time, also has the answers for you! If you have children in school years 1-6, this book is a great aid in your family devotions. On day 5 in the first week you will read this: “Jesus came to earth to succeed where Solomon failed - living a perfect life and obeying God in everything. He also came to die, to take the punishment Solomon deserved for turning away from God. If we place our trust in Jesus and believe in him, we too will have our sins forgiven.”
Nick Needham compiled Daily Readings from The Early Church Fathers with the desire for us to love the early church fathers in the same way the protestant reformers did, as the early church fathers so influenced the reformers' beliefs. Each month takes readers through portions of writings from a church father, and their words are nourishing to the soul! Regarding redemption, here are words from St Irenaeus of Lyons: “He used no violence, by which the devil had originally obtained lordship over us, greedily stealing what wasn’t his own. Rather He has reclaimed us through persuasion, as befits a God of wisdom, who doesn’t use violence to satisfy His wishes.”
We hope this selection of books in Part 1 is a good guide to what is great and beneficial for your soul. To see more books for prayer and devotion, be sure to check out our prayer and devotional section!