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A Call to Prayer Paperback – July, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) was the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. Ryle was born at Macclesfield, and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was Craven Scholar in 1836. After holding a curacy at Exbury in Hampshire, he became rector of St Thomas's, Winchester (1843), rector of Helmingham, Suffolk (1844), vicar of Stradbroke (1861), honorary canon of Norwich (1872), and dean of Salisbury (1880). However before taking the latter office, he was advanced to the new see of Liverpool, where he remained until his resignation, which took place three months before his death at Lowestoft. His appointment to Liverpool was at the recommendation of the outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856–69), Principles for Churchmen (1884). Ryle was an athlete who rowed and played Cricket for Oxford, where he took a first class degree in Greats and was offered a college fellowship (teaching position) which he declined. The son of a wealthy banker, he was destined for a career in politics before choosing a path of ordained ministry. While hearing Ephesians 2 read in church in 1838, he felt a spiritual awakening and was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. For 38 years he was a parish vicar, first at Helmingham and later at Stradbrooke, in Suffolk. He became a leader of the evangelical party in the Church of England and was noted for his doctrinal essays and polemical writings. In 1880, at age 64, he became the first bishop of Liverpool, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year. He is buried in the All Saints' Church, Childwall, Liverpool. In his diocese, he formed a clergy pension fund for his diocese and built over forty churches. Controversially, he emphasized raising clergy salaries ahead of building a cathedral for his new diocese. Ryle was described as having a commanding presence and vigorous in advocating his principles albeit with a warm disposition. He was also credited with having success in evangelizing the blue collar community. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Audubon Press (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972237402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972237406
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900) was a prominent writer, preacher, and Anglican clergyman in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of the classic Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and retired as the bishop of Liverpool.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan Panetti VINE VOICE on February 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
A most outstanding book and excellent read. Ryle was the Bishop of Liverpool in the late 1700s and his writing is alive with the Word of God and the intensity of the Puritans. This little salvo is a challenge to all to pray - to those who don't know the Lord to cry out for God's mercy and redemption and for those who do to cry out for God's continued hand of protection and provision in their own lives as well as for His grace and mercy in the lives of others. Ryle is straightforward in his approach on this subject asking repeatedly and simply - Do You Pray?

Yet he goes beyond the question to the meat of the issue giving strong arguments for why prayer, the most neglected duty in religion according to Ryle, is so necessary for the spiritual well-being of an individual. Once he has made his point, and made it well, Ryle turns his attention to how a person should pray. This work of prayer, according to Ryle, is so often neglected because it is such an arduous task cutting against the flesh and standing (or kneeing in this case) in direct opposition and defiance of Satan himself. Ryle encourages the Christian to pray with reverence and humility, spiritually, as a regular part of their business of life, with all perseverance, in earnestness, in faith, with boldness, with fullness, on behalf of others, with thankfulness and with watchfulness over one's prayers. He writes this to state his position on the importance of prayer: "Tell me what a man's prayers are, and I will soon tell you the state of his soul. Prayer is the spiritual pulse."

I am gaining in my appreciation for the works of J.C. Ryle - wonderfully written, challenging, yet encouraging to the heart of a true follower of Christ. Here is a man that walked with the Lord in humility and with passion and reading his works must be Timothy getting a letter from Paul. I would highly recommend A Call to Prayer to anyone wanting to know why to pray or how to pray.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zecheriah on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this short booklet, Ryle charges the reader with the necessity of prayer. He cuts through the excuses and the pretense with the simple question: "Do you pray?" Ryle's style is concise and immanently readable. He argues that prayer or the lack of prayer is the single greatest barometer for a person's status before the Lord. For "[t]o be prayerless is to be without Christ, without God, without grace, without hope, and without heaven," (p.2).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Hoffman on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've ordered this book as gifts for my prayer team and friends. It's a short book, but very full of concrete encouragement for us to fulfill our call to prayer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Sanchez on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am very thankful for having read a call to prayer by J.C. Ryle. Ryle is Bold,encouraging, and affectionate in his earnest invitation for all children of God to come before Him in prayer. Prayer is crucial in the life of the believer and it is evidence that one has been born from above as Ryle mentioned. I agree completely with Ryle when he says that prayer is the most neglected duty in the church because I am evidence of this charge. I pray, but I don not really pray as Ryle would say.

To consider how we in the new covenant have direct access to God is overwhelming and humbling. Men of old could have only dreamed of such access but we have the privilege and we must take advantage of it. To be allowed to speak with the living God of the Universe is beyond comprehension and to recognize my negligence in my communing with Him is heartbreaking.

Ryle has greatly encouraged and challenged my prayer life and communion with my God. I know I do not pray like men in the Bible or great men in church history butit is my hearts desire to pray in this way. I want to know the Godhead intimately and prayer is the means to the throne of grace. It is necessary that I give more time to prayer knowing that prayer is one of the means of grace God has blessed those whom he has
adopted with. Ryle has encouraged me to pray with reverence, humility, perseverance and earnestness, in faith, in boldness, on behalf of others, with thankfulness, and watchfulness.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Boyd on December 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
This booklet is a quick read but Ryle is, as always, biblically compelling, spiritually challenging, and practical. His focus is the place of prayer in practical religion. Bible references are included in the back. This is a great booklet to read often and to give to others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jason R. Holborow on January 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is short but really packs a punch. I read it periodically to refocus and get my bearings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chris bowling on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are very few good books on prayer out there today. I consider this book to be one of them because J.C. Ryle questions are normal paradigms. He asks "Do you pray?" After asking if you pray he questions the motives and intent of the prayer. It is a very clear and concise book on how and why we should pray. It has changed the way I view prayer and by extension it has helped to give me an even higher view of God.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By genev on April 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous people who have commented on this e-book. But I want to point out that this topic is essentially covered in the more-encompassing e-book titled "Practical Religion" (which is a collection of several works of J. C. Ryle).
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