Editor Susanna Wright offers this updated edition of a Christian devotional classic—invoking the daily prayers and timeless imagery of the original text through modern, accessible language.
In this wonderful collection, famed theologian Dr. John Baillie shares personal prayers for people who are seeking a better understanding of God and themselves. Organized by morning and evening—with special prayers for Sundays—A Diary of Private Prayer is written with eloquence, piety, and directness. Blending praise and meditative thoughts about God with a concern for the social and individual good, these daily invocations help and inspire us to search our inner selves and find the deep religious beliefs that lie within.
First published in 1936, A Diary of Private Prayer remains a seminal Christian devotional with more than a million copies in print. This modern edition—completely redesigned into a gift package—admirably preserves all the qualities of the original, ensuring that the wisdom of God and the wonder of Baillie’s prayers remain accessible for many generations to come.
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.
"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."