From the Editor
From time to time it is valuable for us to step outside of our theological tradition to appreciate some of the good things we may find there, as well as to learn better critical skills in assessing our and other’s theology. Review articles provide a nice format for this kind of investigation. So in this issue Alan Strange is reviewing a book on prayer from a pietistic Norwegian Lutheran, and a book of theology by an Assembly of God pastor.
Prayer should be a high priority on every church officer’s agenda. But so often we think of prayer merely as a duty involving much repetition. This view of prayer, and the practice it implies, is sure to kill all inspiration to be faithful to this important duty.
Recently, Alan Strange was in our home on a Lord’s Day afternoon, and we were discussing prayer. Alan mentioned a book outside of the Reformed tradition that has been very helpful to him. I thought it sounded strangely familiar, so I went into my study and there it was in a nice hardcover edition from the mid-twentieth century: Ole Hallesby’s Prayer published by Augsburg Publishing House in 1953. This is the forty-fifth printing since 1931, and it’s still in print today. My wife, Robin, and I promptly read it and came to see why Alan Strange found it so refreshing. Hallesby combines the sagacity of an experienced Christian leader with the realism of one who has himself struggled with prayer, along with an infectious, childlike delight in his Lord. So I asked Alan if he would be willing to write a review article on this book, which he does in “The Joy and Work of Prayer.” Also, Cynthia Rowland, a member of our congregation who has taught a woman’s study on prayer, reviews a book by an author more familiar in our circles, Susan Hunt, Prayers of the Bible.
Let me offer a few recommendations. D.A. Carson has written a very stimulating treatment of Paul’s prayers, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers (IVP, 1992). Another book on prayer designed to steer us out of ruts is Richard L. Pratt Jr.’s Pray with Your Eyes Open (P&R, 1987). Finally, two nineteenth-century Presbyterians have authored excellent treatments, designed especially to help ministers: Samuel Miller, Thoughts on Public Prayer (1849; Sprinkle, 1985; Nabu, 2010), and B. M. Palmer, A Theology of Prayer (1894; Sprinkle, 1980; Hess, 1998).
And, don’t miss a poem on prayer by that consummate seventeenth-century poet George Herbert.
New as of last month is the presence of three new formats for OSO: PDF, ePub, and Mobi. This allows you to download the entire contents of OSO to a wide variety of portable devises such as Nook, Kindle, iPod Touch, and iPhone.
Blessings in the Lamb,
From the Archives "PRAYER"
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.