Prayer a Means of Grace or Not

Prayer is not strictly a means of grace but the fundamental expression of faith, in Spirit-enabled response to what God does through those means. Prayer is indispensable to our fellowship with God. Strictly speaking, it is not God’s means of grace toward us but their result: our Spirit-enabled response of believing and loving communication with him, whether in the form of joyous praise and thanksgiving or heartfelt lament. Prayer is also the link between God’s ministry to us, through the means of grace, and our ministry to others.

The goal of theology itself is a form of prayer—invocation, calling on the name of the Lord. And prayer is the original expression of true faith: coming boldly to the throne of grace without fear, through our gracious Mediator, who has given us the Spirit who moves us to cry, “Abba! Father!”


New Book on John Bunyan

The Very Heart of Prayer: Reclaiming the Spirituality of John Bunyan. By Brian G. Najapfour. Mountain Home: Ark.: BorderStone Press, 2012, pp. 102.  


“Najapfour advances a well-researched thesis that Bunyan was in fact a sectarian Puritan. While Bunyan was not a Puritan in the sense of a reformer within the Church of England, Najapfour demonstrates that Bunyan embraced a Reformed and Puritan spirituality—godliness empowered by biblical truth. Not only does Najapfour bridge the gap between scholarly and pious readings of Bunyan, but he also explores Bunyan’s view of prayer, the Holy Spirit, and godliness in a way that enriches our minds and souls.”

—Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 “This new study by Brian Najapfour opens up to us Puritan views on what it means to pray in the Spirit and how deeper godliness is to be sought. Here we have solid help from some of Bunyan’s lesser known devotional writings. Those who are seeking serious godliness in our own times will find a good deal to help them in this book.”

—Rev. Maurice Roberts, Minister of Greyfriars Congregation, Inverness, Scotland, and former editor of Banner of Truth magazine.

“A blend of history, biography, and practical theology, Najapfour’s book will be of profit to anyone who wants to learn more about either the life and times of the remarkable John Bunyan or about prayer.”

—Dr. Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

For more information about this book, click here.