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Title: Puritan concept and practice of prayer
Author: Williams, R. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 6640
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1983
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Significant to the history of Protestant spirituality is the Puritan contribution. In this study, covering William Perkins to Richard Baxter, a chronological approach is utilized so that development as well as unity and diversity will be observed. Prayer, although primarily petition, encompasses the whole worship of God and is the principal way of serving him. Puritans pra7ed'privately, as families, and in public worship. With a scholastic theology, Puritans maintained intimate communion with God. Mystical, they studied the psycho-spiritual activity of the Spirit upon the individual. Their conviction, the Spirit is manifest primarily in prayer, led to controversy over set forms of prayer because they are not given by the Spirit. Detailed instructions encouraged prayer, answered objections, and covered the preliminaries and process of prayer. The necessary state of mind, humble, sincere, and believing, was analysed theologically and psychologically. The Lord's Prayer was seen as a model and synecdoche; each part and petition was fully expounded. Conservative Puritans felt the Prayer set a precedent for set forms; Congregationalists denied this. God always answers prayer but not by granting -what we ask. Men have a responsibility to endeavour to secure answers to their prayers. The family's importance for society and the church was recognized; it was considered a mini-church. Heads of households were instructed for maintaining family worship. In public worship prayer was primary. Warship and ministry were regulated by Scripture. To lead in corporate prayer, the spiritual gift of prayer was essential. As the Common Prayer left no place for such a. gift, the Puritans objected to it. Conservative Puritans saw a place for liturgical guides; Congregationalists did not. One reason was, enforcement infringed upon the autonomy of local congregations. The Puritan concept and practice of prayer typifies their casuistry: ample, scriptural, practical and balanced, mystical yet realistic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available