B.M Palmer begins chapter 2 of his great Theology of Prayer by suggesting that the parts of prayer are like the colours of the spectrum: they have a basic unity and merge into each other. [Unfortunately, the link is currently dead, and I haven’t been able to find an alternative working link]
Adoration and praise are scarcely distinguishable. Adoration has more to do with God’s nature; praise with his works. In adoration we view God in himself, as revealed to us in the glorious proportions of his own nature and being; in praise we view him in the operation of his will, displayed piece by piece in what he does.…
Some time ago, I introduced B.M. Palmer’s book Theology of Prayer. I now begin a series of posts summarising this ‘neglected masterpiece’ chapter by chapter.
Chapter 1 is entitled, Prayer: Its Nature.
Combining the wording of the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms gives the following definition of prayer:-
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for all things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, bu the help of his Spirit, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.
I was on holiday in Lochgilphead, Scotland, in May 1981, and called in to the Christian Bookshop to have a browse. A book caught my eye which I had never heard of, and yet I knew just from the title that I must buy it and read it.
That book was Theology of Prayer, by B.M Palmer (1818-1902). I was not disappointed with my purchase. It has remained a special favourite of mine. Most books on prayer are either a bit vague, or too pragmatic, to give the reader much insight into the theology of prayer. …