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A Diary of Private Prayer

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  732 ratings  ·  75 reviews
With over a million copies in print, John Baillie’s classic collection of scripture and prayers is a beautiful daily devotional, the perfect companion guide to any Christian seeking to enrich their life through growth in prayer.

In this book of personal devotions, noted theologian Dr. John Baillie offers personal prayers for people who are seeking a better understanding of
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 16th 1996 by Touchstone (first published 1936)
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John Dobbs I would check Ebay or Amazon used ... it's out of print.…moreI would check Ebay or Amazon used ... it's out of print.(less)

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Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not come from a tradition of written prayers, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this devotional classic. A Diary of Private Prayer, written by Scottish theologian John Baillie (1886-1960), contains a month of heartfelt prayers, one for each morning and evening. Frankly, the humble, submissive attitude of these prayers was a welcome change from much of modern Christian literature.

Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I've known about for a long time (Richard Foster lists it as one of his favorite devotional books) but never picked up (until I found it on the 50% off rack at the Fuller bookstore). What a rich book - it's very simple, with a month's worth of one-page prayers for morning and evening. What first struck me as I read is this is a man who has spent a lifetime in the presence of God - talking with him, wrestling with him, loving and being loved by him. It has great de ...more
This is a revised reprint edition of a 1936 devotional classic. It’s structured for 31 days plus Sundays, and divided into morning and evening. The prayers are a mixture of prose and verse, with liberal quotations from poets (Wordsworth, Tennyson, et al.) and the book of Psalms. Some also have fill-in-the-blank sections to allow for personalization. Susanna Wright’s updates are evident in mentions of atoms and molecules, HIV/AIDS, and computers and the Internet.

Some favorite passages:

“when this
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
In recent years, I've become very strict with myself regarding what books I will buy. Having worked at the public library for several years, I now instinctively borrow rather than buy.

But, there are certain books that I make exceptions for. My rule of thumb is to only purchase (or keep) a book if I can answer "Yes" to at least one of the following questions:

* Do I love this book so much that I intend to read it multiple times?
* Do I love this book so much that I intend to recommend/lend it to
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite devotional books. I use it over and over again. The prayers speak to my heart.
Esta Doutrich
I used this last year and loved its simplicity and it’s language of petition and humbleness. It was refreshing to be reminded of repentance and my wayward nature in such timeless sounding prayers.
Autumn Klepper
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is “an old way of praying that is still new to me” (to quote Andrew Peterson). It’s a book of liturgical prayers, full of depth and meaning.
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Excellent little book! It contains an evening prayer and a morning prayer for each day of the month. Very helpful in praying more earnestly and more widely.
Neil R. Coulter
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing

As an admitted logophile, I have long been assisted in my prayers by reading beautifully written prayers. The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer is, of course, one favorite. But recently I found John Baillie's magnificent A Diary of Private Prayer (first published in 1936). I first learned of it from Richard J. Foster's edited collection, Devotional Classics. Soon after this first discovery, I ordered a copy for myself, and soon after reading it myself I ordered more copies to give away to friends.

Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Diary of private prayer

There are many books available that are trying to be like this one. There are any number of books of prayers, books of days, themed collections, praying the scriptures, prayers of the saints or other celebrated personages.

In most cases these books fall short. They tend to be superficial in content and in depth of spiritual understanding.

This book is different.

The author was born in Scotland in 1886. A leading theologian he studied divinity at Edinburgh University, as wel
Michael Philliber
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A have used this little gem over the last 10 years. It is very user-friendly. It covers 31 days, both morning and evening. With each prayer there is a blank page for scribbling notes, prayer requests etc. Most of the time the prayers range from delightful, to beautiful, to rich. Only on rare occasions does the writer's liberalism seep through problematically (like the morning prayer on the fifth day, in which Ballie blows along with the winds of Evolution). I highly recommend it, but with a remi ...more
Andrew Canavan
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a great book of daily prayers (morning and evening) from an early-mid 20th century theologian and leader in the Church of Scotland. Some of the prayers verge on the wishy-washiness of theological liberalism, but most are incredibly helpful and biblical guides to daily prayer.
Debra Scott
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
God finds a way to talk to me every day. This book was no exception.
John Dobbs
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this little book of prayers by a Scottish theologian from 1949 - morning and evening prayers for 31 days plus a special morning/evening prayer for Sundays. I was taking a class and the teacher often started the class with the morning prayer from this book. I found each prayer to be beautiful - but also thoughtful. Modern readers will have to work with the style of writing that employs what we might call "King James Version" language ... Thee, Art, Thou, etc. ... but in some ways that len ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This has become a new favorite guide for my daily prayer times. Such depth and range of expression of emotions and such solid truths to cling to in prayer are gathered here. I can only share a favorite passage as a taste and a recommendation to others:

"Almighty God, who of Thine infinite wisdom hast ordained that I should live my life within these narrow bounds of time and circumstance, let me now go forth into the world with a brave and trustful heart. It has pleased Thee to withhold from me a
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though written a long time ago, this book is such a timely and profound guide into meaningful, intimate conversation with holy God. It is a written in a daily morning and evening format that provides weighty and often difficult reminders of what is truly important as we focus our hearts and minds to face the day with proper reverence and intention and then evaluate and close the day with sincere reflection and where needed, repentance. I was skeptical of the purpose of reading someone else's pra ...more
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful devotional assistance. There are prayers for morning and evening for all 31 days of the month, so I just go through them month by month, sometimes only once/day or sometimes even skipping a day.
I am challenged by the depth of the prayers and how much they pull me away from myself and towards a deeper sanctification in Christ. The author died in 1960 so these prayers were written about 50 years ago and reflect a different attitude in the church.
I recommend this to anyon
Andre Georges
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and inspirational work

Although Prayer is a deeply personal and individualistic endeavour, I couldn't help but keep returning to this wonderful book both morning and night.
It offers a glimpse into the heart and mind of a deeply spiritual person and it helped to illuminate my own path of spiritual nourishment. You will not be disappointed with this purchase, it's so eloquent and beautiful that I believe I'll be ordering a physical copy as well.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I’ve read it numerous times over the past 25 years. Sometimes I use his prayer prompts. Sometimes I repeat his words aloud and allow the Holy Spirit to convict of sins that I normally don’t take the time to consider in my life.

And I liked the morning and evening aspect of the book. One book I return to again and again.
Bud Russell
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I embarrassed to say that I have had the book for years... "intending" to read it. Finally... I used it each day during the month of March, and found it to be extraordinary. What a treasure! I'm now debating as to whether I should start over in April, or let it rest for a few months before a re-read. In any case, I found it to be an outstanding work, and added much to my own personal devotions. ...more
Mar 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a good devotional book to use to enhance your prayer life. I appreciate being able to read others written prayers from time to time, as I have a tendency to write my prayers often.

This book may be hard to follow for some, especially if you find the KJV difficult to read, as it is written similarly.
Barbara Campbell
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Beautiful & Thought Provoking

These prayers will draw you into an intimate time with the Lord, as well as a time of reflection. They not only enhanced my prayer life, they also caused me to stop and examine my words and see Alli take for granted and areas where I falter. I will definitely use this again in my personal worship.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very useful devotional book. If you are looking for assistance in developing a more disciplined prayer life. Bailey does not lecture you about prayer; he teaches you to pray by praying with you.
Kyle W. Heine
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book was a big help in improving my prayer life. I foresee reading it over and over again. Encourage any Christian who would like to be pointed toward more meaningful prayer, to read this.
Rebecca Hayes
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring and beautiful

A great book to incorporate into your daily prayer life. These heartfelt, personal, passionate prayers inspire deeper thoughts about God and prompt more prayer and meditation on things of God.
Aug 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book contains a prayer for morning and evening. It’s been super impactful on my prayer life. With this book, I’ve started praying for things that I wouldn’t have even thought to pray for! I would highly recommend it.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book of prayer! What an awesome way to start my daily quiet time with God!
Trevor Binkley
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good!!

This has been such an encouragement to read as I start my days and as I finish them. You should definitely read this!
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must for anyone who loves contemplative prayer.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This edition, revised and updated, is good. However, having read the unedited version I would recommend it to interested readers.
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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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