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John Bunyan on Prayer


Today’s post is about one of history’s most well known and long renowned authors, John Bunyan.

John was born in 1628 in a small England village to his mother and father, who was a tinker. While his parents were poor, they managed to send John to school where he learned to read and write. John was not the good sort of boy that mother’s try to teach their sons to be, but made a name for himself by cursing, swearing and lying. Yet, already, at a young age he was tormented by thoughts and dreams of hell. John grew up and joined the army for a few years, only to later return and take up his father’s profession of tinkering. He left the army in 1647 and married shortly thereafter. While the couple was quite poor, having almost no furnishings for a house, his wife did have a copy of The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and The Practice of Piety. John relearned the long forgotten skill of reading, through these books and the help of his new wife.

The next four years were difficult ones for John Bunyan. He had no flaming fire or spectacular conversion story as some others do, but his was a long well fought battle to salvation. He knew that he was a great sinner and stood before a great and powerful God. It is from this experience that he wrote much of his book Grace Abounding. He corresponded with John Gifford, a pastor of an independent church not too far away. John later joined that congregation and a few years later became a deacon and began preaching. 

John was imprisoned at least three separate times for preaching without a license and spent over 12 years in jail. It was there he wrote many of his works and his most notable, Pilgrim’s Progress. John’s life, writings, and sermons have effected Christians for over 350 years and this most notable author and man had much to say on prayer. 

‘It is the opener of the heart of God, and a means by which the soul, though empty is filled.”

“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” 

“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.”

It’s always amazing that men and women of faith who have impacted history are often such warriors in prayer. It can hardly be a stretch of truth to say that those two must go hand in hand. Much prayer with closeness to God, and closeness to God with much prayer.


Answered Prayers Series: Hudson Taylor 


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