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A Diary of Private Prayer Paperback – July 16, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Practical help for prayer
Praying the Bible
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This new edition of John Baillie's classic is a wonderful resource for anyone wishing to go deeper in their prayer life. The beauty of language, depth of meaning and scope of subject is extraordinary. I recommend this new edition to all who wish to see their daily prayer life expanded and blessed." (Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker)

“When this book was first published almost one hundred years ago it was quickly recognised as a classic of devotional writing, and I’m delighted that Susanna Wright is now making it available and accessible to a new generation of readers seeking resources to help them grow in prayer.” (Pete Greig, author of God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer and The 24-7 Prayer Manual)

"The adjective "venerable" ought be reserved for those classics that have stood the test of generations. John Baillie's "A Diary of Private Prayer" has surely earned this title. This classic of Christian spirituality has been in constant use since its publication in 1949. Thousands of men and women have found comfort, wisdom and challenge in Baillie's prayers, rendered utterly without pretense. My own dog-eared copy of the "Diary" has been a companion since college days. But even the most ardent fan of this classic has longed for an edition that speaks with a fresh, contemporary voice, precisely the voice Baillie employed in his own time. We can be grateful to Susanna Wright for the respect with which she has handled Baillie's prayers, and the reverence with which she ushers us into the presence of God. If it is ever proper to speak of a new classic - and one surely should do so only with great care - it is possible to speak of Wright's new edition of John Baillie's "Diary."' (Michael Jinkins, President and Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary)

"Prayer is the language of faith. Like any other language, the best way to learn it is to listen to native speakers and practice. In this book, the beginner will find ideas, words and patterns that will help to guide and grow their own prayer life; and those who have been praying for longer will find fresh inspiration. But most importantly, all who use this book will draw closer to the God who came to speak to us in our language so that we may learn his." (Jane Williams, Theologian and wife of former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams)

"The Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie sold over a million copies and blessed many Christians over the last century. This contemporary version will open it up to a new generation and will be a great aid to prayer for those starting out on their prayer lives as well as to long standing Christians." (Nicky Gumbel, author, founder of Alpha International and Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, London)

“Susanna Wright has done contemporary Christians a great service by making John’s Baillie’s classic available and accessible to a new generation. The prayers in this book will deepen, enrich and transform anyone who prays them seriously.” (Rev. Dr. Graham Tomlin, Dean St Mellitus College and author of Provocative Church)

"Since its initial publication in 1936, The Diary of Private Prayer has become established as a modern spiritual classic. Now translated into several languages, it has become the best-selling work of any Scottish theologian. The Diary's breadth of subject matter, felicity of language, and simple piety have impressed its many readers at different times and in diverse circumstances. This updated edition admirably preserves all these qualities while ensuring that John Baillie's Diary will continue to be accessible to another generation." (David Fergusson, Professor of Divinity and Principal of New College, University of Edinburgh)

"A fresh and helpful answer to the perennial cry of humanity, 'Teach us to pray." (Morgan P. Hayes) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

John Baillie was a teacher, lecturer, preacher, and author of many books, including Christian Devotion, The Place of Jesus Christ in Modern Christianity, and A Diary of Readings. He held academic posts in the UK, the US, and Canada; was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; and President of the World Council of Churches. He died in 1960.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Fireside Ed edition (July 16, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780684824987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684824987
  • ASIN: 0684824981
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wyote VINE VOICE on August 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
John Baillie was an Anglican theologian (edit: I've been informed that he was actually a Scottish Presbyterian theologian), and evidently not a bad one. But his greatest work was this compilation of prayers. It is arranged into prayers for each morning and evening of 31 days, plus extra prayers for Sundays. The odd-numbered (right-side) pages have the prayers, while the even-numbered pages are empty for your own notes. The prayers are a combination of ancient prayers, various Christian liturgies, Scripture, and Baillie's own writing. It is written in elegant King James English, but it is certainly accessible to anyone who can read.

I can't recommend this highly enough for anyone, in any Christian tradition, wanting to grow in prayer. My God-mother gave it to me, and very quickly I was buying copies for my own good friends. Some of them were buying copies for their friends before long as well. I recommend it very enthusiastically. At least give it a try.
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This book is a new discovery for me, having received it as a birthday present. I am very moved by the reverent, poetic tone of the prayers. Some are almost liturgical in their grandeur and solemnity. But at the same time it is very accessible--not too lofty.
I wish there was a bibliography or footnotes, since some of the passages are Bible quotes, or from ancient Orthodox prayer books. I would like to know more about the author and see another book by his: A Diary of Readings.
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Format: Paperback
John Baillie's book is an exceptional work of spiritual literature. The prayers are beautiful and contain all the components necessary to help one praise, thank, confess, and supplicate for others. I use it quite often as a supplement to my prayer life and often give it as a gift, so that others can benefit from it as well.
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Format: Paperback
I've been enjoying ADOPP for over a year now. It is refreshing to repeat prayers that are humble, selfless, grace-filled. These prayers are becoming formative for me, and are also becoming close friends. They lead me to embrace Christian holiness and to humbly examine my own egocentricity, confessionally. After Shawchuck and Job's, "A Guide to Prayer", ADOPP is the book I've given away most. Sure, the language is a little archaic (I'm using old versions of the book. I'm not sure if recent printings have been updated) but it is well worth the investment. Of all the books I"ve given my father over the years, I'm sure this is his favorite, too.
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Format: Paperback
I am delighted to find this book in reprint, as I can now give it as a gift. An old copy had been given to me, and I have found it invaluable in transforming my prayer life.
The prayers are beautifully written, poetic and almost liturgical. As I read/pray them, I am sighing, "Oh yes!", as they put into words thoughts of my heart that I haven't been able to adequately express.
The prayers are very specific and challenging. They cause me to examine myself, to confessions which I might otherwise have glided over, to challenge myself in the service of God.
I am confident that this book will be a blessing to anyone who uses it.
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Format: Hardcover
John Baillie's Diary of Private Prayer has been a favorite classic of mine for over 30 years. His expressions of prayer touch the heart's needs and emotions with words I would use if I could have thought of them. It's an excellent guide and practice for prayer. I've given many copies as gifts over the years and am thankful it's being reprinted.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot stand "devotionals." Modern Christianity suffers from a plague of "devotionals." Collections of trite, poorly written, and misguided "devotions" are so prevalent that many Christian bookstores fail to carry many better (and less commercial) books. The weeds choke and finally kill of the lilies. Yet behold! What is this? A beautiful Lilly among the weeds and grass...A Diary of Private Prayer is not like other "devotionals." The prayers are honest, thoughtful, and wonderfully lacking in self-consciousness. I do not believe we should go to God with a script. I do believe however that these prayers distill many things which are not commonly considered into a useful form for meditation and for drawing one into a personal relationship with God. I recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Baillie has the rare ability to put into words the hopes and failings of Christian hearts and lives. I frequently give this book as a gift to friends,and most make it a part of their daily devotion. Even though Baillie uses the language of the King James Bible, he has a command of the language that is beautiful, compelling and inspirational. The thirty days of morning and evening prayers become more meaningful with repeated readings.
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