Two works on prayer are here brought together. In the first, Praying in the Spirit, Bunyan defines what it means to pray with the spirit and with the understanding, and deals with difficulties in prayer.
In the second portion, The Throne of Grace, Bunyan explains how to approach God’s throne in prayer and opens up the blessings God’s people receive from the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.
Table of Contents
Part One: Praying in the Spirit
- What True Prayer Is
- What it is to Pray with the Spirit
- To Pray with the Spirit and the Understanding
Part Two: The Throne of Grace
- God has more than one throne
- The godly can distinguish one throne from another
- The persons intended by the exhortation “Let us come:
- How we are to approach the throne of grace
- What it is to come boldly to the throne of grace
- Motives for coming boldly
About the Author
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was born at Elstow, England, about a mile from Bedford, and became one of the most influential authors of the seventeenth century. Few writers in history have left such a wealth of Christ-centered writings.
Bunyan’s moving conversion is recorded in his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. While walking the streets of Bedford, Bunyan heard “three or four poor women” sitting at a door, “talking about the new birth, the work of God in their hearts, and the way by which they were convinced of their miserable state by nature. They told how God had visited their souls with His love in Christ Jesus, and with what words and promises they had been refreshed, comforted, and supported against the temptations of the devil.” From these godly women Bunyan learned to despise sin and to hunger for the Savior. Later, while passing into the fields, he recounts, “This sentence fell upon my soul, ‘Thy righteousness is in heaven’…for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then “his chains fell off,” and he went home rejoicing.
In 1655, Bunyan was called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bunyan was arrested November 12, 1660, for preaching without the approval of the Anglican Church. He was charged with “teaching men to worship God contrary to the law” and was in jail more than twelve years.
Writing The Pilgrim’s Progress
His most well-known work, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was written while in the Bedford jail. During Bunyan’s lifetime there were 100,000 copies circulated in the British isles, besides several editions in North America. It has been continuously in print since its first printing. Bunyan’s remarkable imagery was firmly rooted in the Reformation doctrines of man’s fallen nature, grace, imputation, justification, and the atonement–all of which Bunyan seems to have derived directly from Scripture.