Friday, July 17, 2009

O the Strength of Prayer!

A selection from a letter by the Puritan preacher, Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), to his congregation from prison. He was ejected from the Church of England for nonconformity in 1662 and was arrested and imprisoned because he continued to preach. While in prison he wrote his congregation numerous letters. He expresses thanks to his beloved people in this letter for their intercessions on his behalf. He had been sick but felt the strength of their prayers. No date is given for the letter.

You have wrestled with the Lord for me, you have wrestled me out of the very jaws of death itself. O the strength of prayer! Surely it is stronger than death. See that you even honour the power and prevalency of prayer. Oh be in love with prayer, and have high and venerable thoughts of it. What distresses, diseases, deaths, can stand before it? Surely I live by prayer. Prayer hath given a resurrection to this body of mine, when physicians and friends had given up their hopes.

Life and Letters of Joseph Alleine, by Rev. Richard Baxter, Theodosia Alleine, and others, with a new introduction by Joel R. Beeke and Herb Samworth, Reformation Heritage Books, reprinted in 2003, p. 227.

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