Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

In his book, A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards, published in 2007, the noted church historian Michael Haykin observes, “In the past forty years the books, essays, and doctoral theses on Jonathan Edwards’ theology have become a veritable flood. Yet there still remains much to be done regarding various details of his piety. For example, there still needs to be written a major study on Edwards’ theology of prayer.”[1] The purpose of this booklet then is to contribute to that need.[2] In the following pages, I will sketch Edwards’ prayer life, his description of and devotion to prayer, his doctrine of prayer, and his distinct emphasis on the Holy Spirit in prayer. In conclusion, some practical lessons will be derived from Edwards’ prayer life.


To continue reading the article, see my book–Jonathan Edwards: His Doctrine of & Devotion to Prayer.

      [1] Michael A.G. Haykin, A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 167.

      [2] Some scholars have begun exploring this topic. For instance, see Robert Oscar Bakke’s “The Concert of Prayer: Back to the Future?” (D.Min. diss., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1993). However, while Bakke discusses Edwards’ teachings on prayer, he only focuses on Edwards’ treatise known as An Humble Attempt. Likewise, Glenn R. Kreider’s article, “Jonathan Edwards’s Theology of Prayer,” Bibliotheca Sacra 160 (2003), examines Edwards’ theology of prayer, but only in conjunction with his sermon, The Most High, A Prayer-Hearing God. Most recently Peter Beck wrote “The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards’s Theology of Prayer” (Ph.D. diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2007), a study published in 2010 by Joshua Press. In my opinion, Beck’s work meets the need that Haykin has mentioned.



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