For Students of Prayer

 One way to grow in our Christian sighs and prayers is to assume our life long position as students – by learning from wise teachers.  Here are a few resources I’ve found helpful when studying the Lord’s Prayer or prayer in general.  (Note: these are not in any special order; I also realize there are other great books on prayer – these are some I’ve read.  Feel free to comment on your favorites).

John Bunyan, Prayer (Puritan Paperbacks).  This is a classic.

Matthew Henry, A Method for Prayer.  There are also three sermons/lectures about prayer as an appendix.  I enjoy this book, though I do wish it were in modern language.

William Willimon and Stanley Hauerwas, Lord, Teach us: The Lord’s Prayer and the Christian Life.  This is a creative (sometimes too creative!) and helpful commentary on the Lord’s Prayer, with some decent application.

Wilhelmus a Brakel has a big section on the Lord’s Prayer in volume three of his magnum opus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service.   This will give you tons upon which you can meditate.

N.T. Wright wrote one on the Lord’s prayer in the later 90’s that is worth reading, even if (like me) you don’t buy into his portentous revisions of justification and covenant(s).

Thomas Watson wrote a great book on the Lord’s Prayer.  Of course, if you’ve read this blog even a few times before, you know I’m quite partial to Watson.

R. C. Sproul has a relatively new commentary on the prayer of our Lord.  One usually can’t go wrong with Sproul.

Don’t forget Calvin’s section on the Lord’s Prayer in The Institutes.  This is quite personal for me – I didn’t know much about prayer until Calvin taught me.

I also have benefited from Charles’ Spurgeon’s collection of sermons on prayer called (at least my edition), The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life.

The last section of Abraham Kuyper’s excellent work on the Holy Spirit also deals with Christian prayer.  This is Kuyper at his poetic best.

We can’t forget the patristics!  Cyprian wrote a treatise (number IV in the Ante-Nicene Fathers) on the Lord’s Prayer.  Furthermore, in volume III of the ANF Tertullian has a brief commentary on the Lord’s Prayer (III.iii).  These are downright fun to read (and I mean that in a good way).

Of course, most Reformation confessions have a section on the Lord’s Prayer: the Westminster Catechisms, the Heidelberg Catechism, and Luther’s Large Catechism all have commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer.  This also means that commentaries on these catechisms will have commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer.  (And don’t neglect the different Christian traditions’ prayer books like the Book of Common Prayer in the Anglican tradition or Starck’s Prayer-Book in the Lutheran tradition.)

Finally, I don’t have time/space to list all the good commentaries on Matthew 6.5-13 & Luke 11.1-4 (along with other scriptures about prayer). 

Studying these will help one at least begin to pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5.17).

shane lems

sunnyside wa

5 thoughts on “For Students of Prayer”

  1. Great recommendations, guys, thanks. Next time I preach through the Lord’s Prayer I’ll know which other books to get.
    Thanks again,


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