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Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans

ISBN: 9781683593348
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Prayers of the Puritans

“That prayer is most likely to pierce heaven which first pierces one’s own heart.”

For the Puritans, prayer was neither casual nor dull. Their prayers were passionate affairs, from earnestly pleading for mercy to joyful praise. These rich expressions of deep Christian faith are a shining example of holy living.

The Puritan combination of warm piety and careful intellect have fueled a renaissance of interest in their movement. This combination is on display in Piercing Heaven, a collection of carefully selected prayers from leading Puritans. The language in these prayers has been slightly updated for a modern audience while retaining the elevated tone of the Puritans. With prayers from Richard Baxter, Thomas Brooks, John Owen, and many more, each entry reminds us that heartfelt prayer is central to the Christian life.


Praise for Piercing Heaven

If anything reflects the depth of spiritual knowledge and wisdom possessed by the Puritans it is their prayers. Never did they speak more profoundly, purely, humbly, richly, fearfully, lovingly and beautifully then when addressing God. This book is a collection of those profound prayers, providing much needed rich new and deep expressions for our prayers.

–John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California

It might be said that prayer is theology with wings to reach heaven. If anyone’s theology had wings, it was the Puritans. The prayers of this outstanding book, adapted from the writings of the Puritans and other highly esteemed devotional writers, will be a great help for those longing to seek God with all their heart and all their mind.

–Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and author of several books on the Puritans

Piercing Heaven is a gift to the church. Culled from prayers in the long puritan tradition, these petitions and praises are at once a call to reform our prayers and an aid to deepen our fellowship with the triune God. Organized after topic headings that will be intuitive for Christians, this collection makes a fine companion to other Puritan treasures.

–Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History and Director of the Craig Center for the Study of the Westminster Standards, Westminster Theological Seminary

Top Highlights

“Strengthen my soul as you help me grow in patience, in humility and zeal, and in a heavenly attitude. Give me a concern to be accepted by you (2 Corinthians 5:9).” (Page 38)

“Lord give me grace to let loose all things, and to leave all things with you. Lord, bear me up when I am falling, support me when weak, uphold me against all my enemies, carry me safe through a life of grace here. And, finally, bring me home to your glory, to behold you, and dwell with you forever, amen.” (Pages 104–105)

“to chill my affections to the world, and to warm them toward the Lord Jesus.” (Page 47)

“‘The Lord God has given me a well-taught tongue, so I may know how to sustain the weary with a word” (Page 28)

“In Puritan thinking, the Christian life was a heroic venture, requiring a full quota of energy,’” (Page 1)

Prayers of the Church

The Prayers of the Church series gathers the legacy of faith and wisdom from across the Christian tradition to help readers grow into godliness. Each volume focuses on a different tradition or historical era, bringing spiritual riches from across history and the global church to new readers today.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Introduction
  • Teach Me to Pray
  • Help Me Ask for Help!
  • Help Me Through My Doubts
  • Help Me Through My Time of Sadness and Suffering
  • Help Me Endure Temptation
  • Help Me Rest in God’s Love
  • I Believe—Help My Unbelief!
  • Prepare My Heart for the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Table
  • Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated
  • Help Me Give the Gospel to Others
  • Forgive My Sins
  • Help Me Praise and Thank the Lord
  • Help Me Begin the Day
  • Help Me Live the Day
  • Help Me Close the Day
  • Your Kingdom Come

List of Authors

  • Joseph Alleine
  • Richard Alleine
  • Isaac Ambrose
  • William Ames
  • Richard Baxter
  • Lewis Bayly
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • William Bridge
  • Thomas Brooks
  • John Bunyan
  • Anthony Burgess
  • Jeremiah Burroughs
  • Stephen Charnock
  • David Clarkson
  • Arthur Dent
  • Philip Doddridge
  • William Gurnall
  • William Guthrie
  • Robert Hawker
  • Matthew Henry
  • George Herbert
  • Ezekiel Hopkins
  • John Howe
  • John Owen
  • Robert Parker
  • Edward Reynolds
  • John Robinson
  • Richard Sibbes
  • Nathanael Vincent
  • George Whitefield
  • Octavius Winslow
  • Herman Witsius
  • Title: Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans
  • Editor: Robert Elmer
  • Series: Prayers of the Church
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Page Count: 336
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683593348

About the Editor

Robert Elmer is a former reporter and ad copywriter who writes part-time from his home in the Pacific Northwest. He is the author of over fifty books, including nine contemporary novels for the adult Christian audience, two nonfiction titles, and seven series for younger readers. He's also a contributor to kids’ versions of the popular “Case for...” books co-authored with Lee Strobel. Among kids, he is best known for his “Young Underground” and “Adventures Down Under” books. When he’s not at the keyboard, he enjoys sailing and hiking with his wife, and spending time with their three kids—plus a growing number of little grandchildren.

Sample Pages from Piercing Heaven


10 ratings

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  1. Aaron Sauer

    Aaron Sauer


  2. Michele Lewis
    I just bought this in hard copy. Be aware that the language has been modernized! It is a shame that they didn't keep the actual words of the Puritans. The content is excellent of course but there is a lot lost by modernizing the text.
  3. Forrest Cole

    Forrest Cole


  4. Dylan Michael Hayes
  5. Darren Bradley
  6. Stephen Demsich

    Stephen Demsich


    This collection of prayers connected with me in a way that the Valley of Vision (Banner) didn't. Would recommend.
  7. Jeromy Blomquist (Logos)
    This book can now be found stacked on my Bible when not in use. After meditating on God's Word, this is a great tool to help guide your prayers so that they pierce your heart and heaven! It is a treasure trove for the Christian who is looking to deepen his or her prayer life. I highly recommend it!
  8. J-P O

    J-P O


  9. Susonne



  10. Matt Quintana
    This amazing collection of Puritan prayers is beautiful, convicting, and edifying. The title takes its inspiration from a quote by Thomas Watson: "That prayer is most likely to pierce heaven which first pierces one's own heart." With the book itself, Lexham Press has done a great job in providing a splendid design, fitting for the contents within. The book comes in a gorgeous dark blue hardback, adorned with golden lettering and ornamentation on the outside. The typesetting is wonderful as well, with a readable font and each prayer containing nicely divided paragraphs and spacing. The result is a text that is a delight to read overall. When it comes to the contents, the prayers are helpfully divided into topics under certain subheadings. For example, some of the categories are: Help Me Through My Doubts; Help Me Endure Temptation; Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated. Along with the individual titles assigned to each entry, these are helpful for finding relevant prayers on a certain topic. Another great feature is that each prayer is followed by the name of the author. Unsurprisingly, the best parts of this book are the prayers themselves; each prayer is simply beautiful. It is impossible to walk away from this book without being moved, captivated by the wonders and glory of God. Whether rejoicing in the gospel, repenting of sin, exulting in God's glory, pleading for mercy, or petitioning for divine help, these Puritan prayers are passionate and rich expressions of total commitment to faith in the Triune God. One helpful feature of this collection is that the language has been updated for modern readers; this, however, does not at all take away from the experience of interacting with these several-century-old prayers. Another great touch is the short biographies of each author included at the end, as well as the author index. The only disappointment I had with this book was that the spread of sources used was rather lopsided for particular writers. For example, based off the index in the back, I would estimate that of the 32 Puritans included, 7 of them make up for about 80 percent of the prayers; famous Puritans such as John Owen, George Whitefield, John Bunyan, and others have only a handful of prayers included in this book. Ultimately, however, this fact is not a major issue, since every single prayer included is certainly worth reading. Overall, this work was a joy to read. Having gone through "Valley of Vision" regularly in the past, I am eager to revisit "Piercing Heaven" for many years to come. After working through this book devotionally, using several of its prayers each morning and evening in my own prayer time, I can truly say that the prayers within are "heart piercing," and I hope that, by God's grace, they become "heaven piercing." *Note: I received this book for free, courtesy of Lexham Press, but was not required to give a positive review.*


Print list price: $24.99
Save $8.00 (32%)