As pastors go, I’m a fairly casual guy.
I hardly ever robe. I’ll wear a jacket but seldom a tie.
I’ve been known to read the scripture straight off of my iPhone in worship.
Heck, I even play the drums in our praise band.
So it might surprise you to know where I go when I’m looking for devotional material.
Time and time again I turn to a book, written in 1936, by a Professor of Theology at the University of Edinburgh.
His name is John Baillie, and the book is “A Diary of Private Prayer”.
It’s organized into prayers for morning and evening of each day of the month. Let me give you a short sample from this morning’s prayer:
O God my Creator and Redeemer, I may not go forth to-day except Thou dost accompany me with Thy blessing. Let not the vigour and freshness of the morning, or the glow of good health, or the present prosperity of my own undertakings, deceive me into a false reliance upon my own strength. All these good gifts have come to me from Thee. They were Thine to give and they are Thine also to curtail. They are not mine to keep; I do but hold them in trust; and only in continued dependence upon Thee, the Giver, can they be worthily enjoyed.
I’m not the only one who seeks out this book filled with thees and thous. It’s been reprinted many times — I actually have three copies of it.
So what is it about this 80 year book, written in antiquated English, that stirs my soul?
The more formal language is beautiful, written at a time when a single sentence could be a work of art. It sounds like how I sometimes wish my plain prayers could sound, if only I could muster the words.
And the prayers that Baillie wrote seem to capture deep thoughts and simple ideas in a way that conveys the stirrings of my soul.
Here’s the Amazon link if you’d like to explore this book: https://www.amazon.com/Diary-Private-Prayer-John-Baillie/dp/0684824981
More importantly, I wonder if you have a special book you turn to in your spiritual reading, time and again?
It may be relatively new, like “Jesus Calling” or by an ancient writer like St. Augustine.
I encourage Thee to share in the comments!
Happy reading and have a good week,