“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thess. 5:17

“…continuing instant in prayer…”

Rom. 12:12

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts…”

Phil. 4:6-7




Helps & Forms for Prayer
Prayer Before Meals
‘Amen’ After Prayers
Expositions of Lord’s Prayer
Praying Imprecatory Psalms
Critiques of Anglican Book of Common Prayer
Congregational Prayer: to be by Ministers



Order of Contents

Articles  80+
Books  20+
Quote  1
Latin  3

Unanswered Prayers  2
Priority of Public Prayer over Private Prayer  1
Prayer Meetings  5
Public Prayer should be in a Known Language  1
Silent, Private Prayer in Corporate Worship  3
Pray for King Jesus  2
Prayer to Saints & Angels Unlawful  3
Prayer for the Dead
Whether Dead Saints Pray for Us?  1
Women Prayer Meetings  1
On Forms & Stinted Forms of Prayer  8+
Prayer for Miracles?
Prayer Before Death  5





Church of England – An Exhortation unto Prayer thought mete by the King’s Maiesty, and his clergy, to be read to the people in every church afore processions. Also a letany with suffrages to be said or song in the time of the said processions  (London, 1544)

Bradford, John – ‘Prayer for the Presence of God’  on Rev. 7:9  in Writings, vol. 1

Musculus, Wolfgang – ‘Of Prayer’ being fol. 484-493 in Common Places of the Christian Religion  1560

Marbeck, John – ‘Prayer’  12 pp.  from his A Book of Notes & Common Places with their Expositions, Collected & Gathered out of the Works of diverse singular writers & brought alphabetically into order  (1581)



Bucanus, William – 35th Place, ‘Of Prayer’  in Institutions of Christian Religion Framed out of God’s Word…  (1606)

Ames, William – ch. 9, ‘Prayer’  in The Marrow of Theology  tr. John D. Eusden  (1623; Baker, 1997), bk. 2, pp. 258-67

Ames (1576-1633) was an English, puritan, congregationalist, minister, philosopher and controversialist.  He spent much time in the Netherlands, and is noted for his involvement in the controversy between the reformed and the Arminians.  Voet highly commended Ames’s Marrow for learning theology.

Gataker, Thomas – A Marriage Prayer, or Succinct Meditations: Delivered in a Sermon on the Prayer of Eleazer the servant of Abraham  Ref  (1624)  on Gen. 24:12-14

Walaeus, Anthony – 36. ‘On the Religious Practice of Invocation’  in Synopsis of a Purer Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  Buy  (1625; Brill, 2016), vol. 2, pp. 412-42

Valentine, Henry – Noah’s Dove: or A Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.  A Sermon  (London, 1627)

Valentine (-1643) was reformed.

Burton, Henry

A Trial of Private Devotions. Or, A Dial for the Hours of Prayer  (London, 1628)

A Most Godly Sermon…  showing the necessity of self-denial and humiliation by prayer and fasting before the Lord in regard of the present plague we now lie under: which God in his good time remove from amongst us (London, 1641)

Burton (bap. 1578-1648) was a reformed puritan.

Boys, John

The Gospel, John 16:23  in Works (1629), pp. 326-331
The Gospel, John 16:23  in Works, pp. 334-338

Taylor, Thomas – v. 25, ‘Brethren, pray for us’, pp. 396-409  in The Progress of Saints to Full Holiness described in sundry apostolical aphorisms, or short precepts tending to sanctification, with a sweet and divine prayer to attain the practice of those holy precepts  (London, 1630)  on 1 Thess. 5:19-25  References to prayer fill the whole work.

Heyrick, Richard – The First Sermon  on Ps. 122:6  in Three Sermons Preached  (London, 1641)

Matthew Griffith – A Pathetical Persuasion To pray for Public Peace, propounded in a Sermon…  (London, 1642)  on Ps. 122:6

Griffith (c.1599-1665) was a reformed, Anglican.

Sibbes, Richard

‘The Spiritual Favorite at the Throne of Grace’  on Neh. 1:11  in Works, vol. 6.91-108

‘The Knot of Prayer Loosed’  on Mt. 7:7-10  in Works, vol. 7.229-52

‘The Bridegroom’s Promises and the Bride’s Prayer’  on Rev. 22:20  in Works, vol. 6

Carter, Thomas – Prayer’s Prevalency for Israel’s safety. Declared in a sermon preached in Saint Margarets Westminster, before the House of Commons, at the late solemn fast, June 28, 1643  on Gen. 32:9-10  ToC  Westminster divine, authorship uncertain

Caryl, Joseph – David’s Prayer for Solomon, containing the proper endowments and duty royal of a king, with the consequent blessings upon a kingdom. A sermon, March 27, 1643. Being the commemoration of his Majesty’s Inauguration.  on Ps. 72:1-3  (1643)  ToC  Westminster divine

Greene, John – Nehemiah’s Tears and Prayers for Judah’s Affliction, and the ruins and repair of Jerusalem: Delivered in a sermon before the House of Commons upon the day of their monthly humiliation, April 24, 1644  on Neh. 1:3-4  ToC  Buy

Marshall, Stephen – The Strong Helper or, The Interest, and Power of the Prayers of the Destitute, for the building up of Sion: Opened in a Sermon before the Honorable House of Commons assembled in Parliament, upon the solemn day of their monthly fast, April 30, 1645  (1645)  on Ps. 102:17

Fenner, William – ‘The Efficacy of Importunate Prayer’, Sermon 1 & 2  in Practical Divinity: or, Gospel-Light Shining forth in several choice sermons, on diverse texts of scripture, viz.: 1. The misery of earthly thoughts, on Isa. 55:7;  2. A sermon of self-denial, on Luke 9:23;  3. The efficacy of importunate prayer in two sermons on Col. 1:10;  5. A caveat against late repentance, on Luke 23:24;  6. The sovereign virtue of the Gospel, on Ps. 147:3;  7. A funeral sermon, on Isa. 57:1  (London, 1647)

Burges, Anthony – Sermon 25, ‘Of Presumptuous Sins that God’s People Should Chiefly Pray Against’  on Ps. 19:13  in Spiritual Refining, Part II, or a Treatise of Sin  Buy  Section VI, pp. 207-216

Herle, Charles – A Prayer of Compasses for Church and State  on Zech. 8:19  (1652)  Westminster divine

Lightfoot, John – Prayer, a Sermon  on Lk. 11:2  in Works, vol. 6

Burroughs, Jeremiah – Gospel Worship  (d. 1646; London, 1653)

Sermon 13, Section: ‘Sanctifying the Name of God in Prayer’

Sermon 14

Binning, Hugh – Sermons 20-22, ‘Sobriety, Vigilance & Prayer Recommended, from the Consummation of all Things’  in Several Sermons upon the Most Important Subjects of Practical Religion  (Glasgow, 1760), p. 295 ff.

Harris, Robert – A Sermon Touching Prayer and Mercy  on Acts 10:31  in Works (1654)  Westminster divine

Gray, Andrew

‘The All-Sufficiency and Seasonableness of Divine Grace Manifested in the Return of Prayer’, 2 Sermons  in Loving Christ and Fleeing Temptation  Buy  on 2 Cor. 12:9

Directions and Instigations to the Duty of Prayer, 4 Sermons  on 1 Thess. 5:17  in Works  (1839)

‘The Great Efficacy of the Grace and Duty of Prayer’  on Philemon 22  in Loving Christ and Fleeing Temptation  Buy

Harrison, Thomas – Case 16: ‘Fear that Prayer is not Heard’  in Topica Sacra: Spiritual Logic: some brief hints and helps to faith, meditation, and prayer, comfort and holiness  (London: 1658), pp. 106-112

Leighton, Robert – Sermon 26, ‘The Confession and Prayer of Faith’  on Jer. 14:7-9  in Works, vol. 3

Bridge, William – ‘The Woman of Canaan’  on Mt. 15:21-28  in Works, vol. 4  (1671), pp. 112-27

Manton, Thomas

‘A Fast Sermon’  on Isa. 43:22  in Several Sermons Preached on Public Occasions  in Works, vol. 15.297-314  On the danger of neglecting prayer.

Sermon upon 1 Thess. 5:17  in Works, vol. 17

‘The Life of Faith in Prayer’  on James 1:16  in Works, vol. 15.145-54

Sermon upon 2 Sam. 7:27  in Works, 18:62-73  On prayer first arising in the heart.

Charnock, Stephen – ‘A Discourse of Delight in Prayer’  on Ps. 37:4  (d. 1680)  19 pp.  being pp. 229-248 of his The Chief of Sinners: Objects of the Choicest Mercy, etc.

Goodwin, Thomas – Part 2, Book 3, chs. 1-5, ‘Of the Actings of Faith in Prayer’  in The Object & Acts of Justifying Faith  in Works, vol. 8.420-57

Baxter, Richard – Last 8 pages of The Invaluable Price of an Immortal Soul…  with large admonition to prayer as a duty most incumbant upon all who desire to obtain everlasting life through Christ Jesus  (London : J. Clark, 1681)  The pages are unnumbered.

Alleine, Richard – A Companion for Prayer, or, Directions for Improvement in Grace and Practical Godliness  (d. 1681)  13 pp.  being p. 327 ff. of his Instructions about Heart Work

Clarkson, David

What Advantage may we expect from Christ’s Prayer for Union with Himself, and the Blessings relating to it?  on Jn. 17:20-21  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 3.611-24

‘Pray for Everything’  on Phil. 4:6  in Practical Works, vol. 2.172-84

‘Faith in Prayer’  on James 1:16  in Practical Works, vol. 1.197-237

‘Of Coming Boldly unto the Throne of Grace’  on Heb. 4:16  in Works, vol. 3.110-42

Hurst, Henry – How may we Inquire after News, not as Athenians, but as Christians, for the better managing of our Prayers and praises for the Church of God?  on Acts 17:21  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 4

Lee, Samuel – How to Manage Secret Prayer, that it may be Prevalent with God to the Comfort and Satisfaction of the Soul  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 2 and The Bible and the Closet

White, Thomas – What Faith is that, which Except we have in Prayer, we must not think to Obtain Anything of God?  on James 1:16  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 1

Alsop, Vincent – ‘What is the fullness of God, which every true Christian ought to pray and strive to be filled with?’  on Eph. 3:19  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 4

Watson, Thomas

‘Of Prayer’  7 pp.  on Ps. 109:4

Of the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, 3 Sermons  on Lk. 11:4  53 pp.

Woodcock, Thomas – Whether it be Expedient, & How the Congregation May say ‘Amen’ in Public Worship  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 4, Sermon 31, p. 155

Bunyan, John

‘Praying In the Spirit’  on Rom. 8:26  in Works, vol. 1

‘The Saints’ Privilege & Profit, or the Throne of Grace’  on Heb. 4:16  in Works, vol. 1.641-84

Howe, John – The Right Use of that Argument in Prayer from the Name of God, on behalf of a People that Profess it  on Jer. 14:21  (London, 1682) also in Works, vol. 4 of 6



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – ch. 68, ‘Prayer’  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 3  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), pp. 443-83

Howe, John – David’s Prayer, that the Way of God may be Known Upon Earth  on Ps. 67:2-3  15 pp.

Sterry, Peter – ‘A Discourse of Prayer’  on Rom. 8:26-27  in The Appearance of God to Man in the Gospel  (1710), p. 77 ff.

Sterry was a Westminster divine and Independent.

Atterbury, Francis – ‘The Duty of Prayer for Princes’  on 1 Tim. 2:1-3  in Tracts of the Anglican Fathers, no. 4, Practical

Atterbury (1663-1732) was an English man of letters, politician and Anglican bishop.

Boston, Thomas

‘Of God’s Hearing of Prayer’  on Ps. 65:2  in Works, vol. 11.97-123

‘The Church’s Prayer Against the Antichristian Beast, and her other enemies, Explained and Enforced’  on Ps. 74:19  (1714)  on a fast day, in Works, vol. 2

‘On the Duty of Praying for the Peace of the Church’  on Ps. 122:6  in Works, vol. 4.448-53

‘Man’s Iniquities Testifying Against Him’  on Jer. 14:7  in Works, vol. 4.195-202  When our sins plead against us, plead with God for his own name’s sake.

Encouragement to Pray for the Conversion of the Jews  on Zech. 12:12  in Works, vol. 3

‘Saints Wrestling for the Blessing and Obtaining it’  on Gen. 32:26  in Works, vol. 3.150-65  On importunity and prevailing in prayer with God.

A Memorial Concerning Personal and Family Fasting  on Zech. 12:12  in Works, vol. 11

‘A Discourse on Secret Prayer’  on Mt. 6:6  in Works, vol. 2

‘The Case of Petitioners at the Court of Heaven Considered, or the Necessity of Praying Always, and Not Fainting’  on Lk. 18:1  in Works, vol. 6.340-53

Petitioners at the Court of Heaven Encouraged, or the Happy Issue of Praying Always, and Not Fainting, pt. 1 & 2  on Lk. 18:8  in Works, vol. 6

‘Of Praying in the Name of Jesus Christ’  on Jn. 16:23  in Works, vol. 11

‘Praying in the Name of Christ’  on Jn. 16:26

‘Of the Spirit’s Help in Prayer’  on Rom. 8:26  in Works, vol. 11.19-81

‘The Nature of Prayer’  in Works, vol. 2

‘On the Nature of Prayer in General, with the Import of Praying without Ceasing’  on 1 Thess. 5:17  in Works, vol. 11

Edwards, Jonathan

‘The Terms of Prayer’  on Ps. 21:4  in Sermons and Discourses, 1734-1738  WJE Online, Vol. 19

Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer  on Job 27:10  in his 2 vol. Works, vol. 2, in Fifteen Sermons

The Most High a Prayer-Hearing God  on Ps. 65:2  in his 2 vol. Works, vol. 2, in Seven Sermons, pp. 113-18

‘Importunate Prayer for Millennial Glory’  on Isa. 62:6-7  in Sermons and Discourses, 1734-1738  being WJE Online, Vol. 19

‘Praying for the Spirit’  on Lk. 11:13  in Sermons and Discourses, 1734-1738  being WJE Online, Vol. 19

‘Watch and Pray Always’  on Lk. 21:36  in Sermons and Discourses, 1743-1758  being WJE Online, Vol. 25  A farewell sermon to Indians.

Erskine, Ralph – Prayer for Mercy a Seasonable Duty in Times of Sin and Wrath, 2 Sermons  on Habakkuk 2:13  in Works, vol. 2

Leechman, William – The Nature, Reasonableness, and Advantages of Prayer: with an attempt to answer the objections against it. A Sermon  (Edinburgh, 1743)

Leechman (1706-1785) was reformed.

Hawker, Robert – ‘An Unusual House of Prayer’  on Acts 16:13

Miller, Samuel – A Sermon Observing a Day of Thanksgiving, Humiliation and Prayer, on Account of the Removal of a Malignant and Mortal Disease, Which has Prevailed in the City of New York Some Time Before  on Ps. 2:11  (1799)



Fuller, Andrew

13. ‘The Prayer of Faith, Exemplified in the Woman of Canaan’  in Works, 1.236-43

‘Difference in the Frame of Mind when Engaged in Social and Secret Prayer’  in Works, vol. 3.789-80  On cultivating private prayer.

‘The Prayer of the Wicked: Ought a Wicked Man to Pray?’  in Works, 3.772-3

Witherspoon, John

Fervency and Importunity in Prayer, 2 Sermons  on Gen. 32:26  in Redemption the Subject of Admiration to the Angels  in Practical Discourses on the Leading Truths of the Gospel  in Works, vol. 2  (1815)  Signer of the Declaration of Independence, presbyterian, president of Princeton College

‘Prayer for National Prosperity, and for the Revival of Religion, Inseparably Connected’  on Isa. 51:9  (1758)  in Sermons on Interesting Subjects  in Works, vol. 5  (1815)

Alexander, Archibald

‘Prayer a Privilege’  no date or source info, 6 paragraphs

‘A Short Conversation on Fasting and Prayer’  in Practical Truths

Jay, William

‘The Prayer of Nehemiah’  on Neh. 1:11  in Short Discourses, vol. 2

‘The Union of Prayer and Watchfulness’  on Neh. 4:9  in Short Discourses, vol. 1

Prayer for the Success of the Gospel: a Sermon  on Ps. 72:19-20  in Standard Works of William Jay, vol. 3, p. 158 ff.

‘The Christian, in the Closet’  on Mt. 6:6  in The Christian Contemplated, in a Course of Lectures  (1830)

‘Saul of Tarsus Praying’  on Acts 9:10-11  in Standard Works of William Jay, vol. 2, p. 226 ff

‘Counsels Concerning Prayer’  on 2 Cor. 8:10  in Sunday Evening Sermons

Payson, Edward

Sermon 86, ‘Prayer for Rulers’  in Complete Works, vol. 3 (d. 1827; Philadelphia, 1851), pp. 462-70

Sermon 27, ‘Prayer for the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom’  on Mt. 6:10  in Memoir, Select Thoughts and Sermons of the Late Rev. Edward Payson, vol. 2  ed. Asa Cummings  (Philadelphia, 1858)  in The Complete Works of Edward Payson

M’Crie the Elder, Thomas – Sermon 5, ‘The Prayer of the Thief on the Cross’  on Lk. 23:42  in Sermons  (1836), p. 87 ff.

Griffin, Edward – The Heart of God Affected by Prayer  on Gen. 32:38  in Sermons by the Late Rev. Edward Griffin, vol. 2  (1838), pp. 393-406  American congregationalist, Boston, opposed to the New Divinity

Smyth, Thomas – ‘The Prayers and Efforts of Believers Essential to the Promised Triumph of the Church’  on Ps. 2:8  in Works, vol. 10  American, southern presbyterian in Charleston, SC.

Chalmers, Thomas – ‘On the Consistency Between the Efficacy of Prayer and the Uniformity of Nature’  on 2 Pet. 3:3-4  in Sermons and Discourses, vol. 1  Leader in the Free Church of Scotland

Guthrie, Thomas

‘The Nature, Necessity and Power of Prayer’  on Eze. 36:37  in The Gospel of Ezekiel  (1856)  Free Church of Scotland, ‘the pictorial preacher of the age’

‘The Christian’s Prayers’  in The Way to Life  1873  Free Church of Scotland, ‘the pictorial preacher of the age’

Power, P.B. – chs. 7-15  of ‘I Will’ being the Determinations of the Man of God, as found in some of the ‘I Wills’ of the Psalms  1st ed.  (1858), pp. 127-295

Philip Bennett Power (1822-99) served as a pastor in the Church of England from 1846 to 1865.  The last 34 years of his life he was an invalid, being made strong in his weakness.

Winslow, Octavius – ‘The Preciousness of Prayer’  in The Precious Things of God  (1867), pp. 296-355

Buchanan, James

The Efficacy of Prayer in the Context of Apologetics, p. 283, 18 pages, from his Modern Atheism, vol 2

The Spirit’s Work as the Spirit of Prayer, p. 489, 15 pp.  from his The Office & Work of the Holy Spirit

Goulburn, Edward Meyrick

Thoughts on Personal Religion: being a Treatise on the Christian Life in its Two Chief Elements, Devotion and Practice  (New York, 1870)

Part II: the Contemplative Life

Ch. 1, ‘Of the Magnificence of Prayer, & the Practical Deductions from that Doctrine’  Heb. 11:6

Ch. 2, ‘Of the Twofold Aspect of Prayer, & the Necessity of Practicing it in Both Aspects’  Ps. 141:2

Ch. 3, ‘The Secret of Success in Prayer’  Mk. 11:20-23

Ch. 5, ‘Of Intercessory Prayer’  Ex. 39:9-10,14

Ch. 11, ‘On Self-Recollectedness & Ejaculatory Prayer’  1 Thess. 5:13

Goulburn (1818-1897) was an Anglican churchman.  Wikipedia: “A strong Conservative and a churchman of traditional orthodoxy, he was a keen antagonist of higher criticism and of all forms of rationalism…  he wrote the Life (1892) of his friend Dean Burgon, with whose doctrinal views he was substantially in agreement.”

Brown, Charles – ‘The Crowning Petition of the Intercessory Prayer’  on Jn. 17:24  in The Word of Life  (1874), p. 318 ff.  Free Church of Scotland

‘Rabbi’ Duncan, John – ‘Prayer’  on Eph. 3:20-21  1844  in Pulpit and Communion Table  Buy  (1874), p. 184 ff.  Free Church of Scotland

Cunningham, William – The Agency of the Spirit, Prayer  (1878), p. 558, 10 pp.  being ch. 46 of his Theological Lectures

Shedd, William G.T.

Sermon 22, ‘Watchfulness & Prayerfulness’  in Sermons to the Spiritual Man (New York, 1884), p. 329-45

Sermon 23, ‘Unceasing Prayer’  in Sermons to the Spiritual Man (New York, 1884), p. 346-70

Hodge, A.A. – Lecture 5, ‘Prayer and the Prayer Cure’  in Popular Lectures on Theological Themes  (Philadelphia, 1887), pp. 94-116

Candlish, Robert

The Prayer of Watchfulness and Faith  on Ps. 19:12-14  in The Gospel of Forgiveness  Leader in the Free Church of Scotland

The Prayer of a Broken Heart: Confession of Sin  on Ps. 51:1-6  in The Gospel of Forgiveness

Dabney, R.L.

‘Christians, Pray for your Country’  in Discussions, vol. 2.393-400

‘Prayer Reasonable’  in Discussions, vol. 1.670-75

Philpot, J.C. – ‘The Sick Man’s Prayer and the Sinner’s Cry’  on Jer. 17:14

Ryle, J.C.

‘Prayer’  on Lk. 18:1 & 1 Tim. 2:8

Ch. 21, ‘For Kings’  on 1 Tim. 2:1-2  in The Upper Room (1888), p. 233 ff.

Spurgeon, Charles

‘Prayer Found in the Heart’  on 2 Sam. 7:27
‘Essential Points in Prayer’  on 1 Kings 9:2-3
‘Young Man! A Prayer for You’  on 2 Kings 6:17
‘The Prayer of Jabez’  on 1 Chron. 4:10
‘The Two Guards, Praying and Watching’  on Neh. 4:9
‘Order and Arguments in Prayer’  on Job 23:3-4
‘The Touchstone of Godly Sincerity’  on Job 27:10
‘Intercessory Prayer’  on Job 42:10
‘David’s Dying Prayer’  on Ps. 72:9
‘Let Us Pray’  on Ps. 73:28
‘Prayer Answered, Love Nourished’  on Ps. 116:1
‘A Call to Prayer and Testimony’  on Isa. 62:6
‘Prayer–the Forerunner of Mercy’  on Eze. 36:37
‘A Definite Challenge for Definite Prayer’  on Mk. 10:51
‘The True Prayer–True Power!’  on Mk. 11:24
‘Peter’s Prayer’  on Lk. 5:8
‘Prayer–Guaranteed to Succeed’  on Lk. 11:9-10
‘The Secret Power in Prayer’  on Jn. 15:7
‘Pray, Always Pray’  on Jn. 16:27
‘Christ’s Pastoral Prayer for His People’  on Jn. 17:9-10
‘Christ’s Prayer for His People’  on Jn. 17:15
‘Our Lord’s Prayer for His People’s Sanctification’  on Jn. 17:17
‘Paul’s First Prayer’  on Acts 9:11
‘Prayer Perfumed with Praise’  on Phil. 4:6

Murray, James O. – ‘Christ as a Man of Prayer’  on Lk. 6:12  in Princeton Sermons  (1893)



Girardeau, John

‘The Nature of Prayer’  on Lk. 18:1  in Sermons ed. Blackburn  (Columbia, S.C., 1907), p. 254 ff.

‘The Grounds of Prayer’  on Heb. 10:19-21  in Sermons  ed. Blackburn  (1907), p. 283 ff.

‘The Spirit of Prayer: or the Manner in which it Ought to be Performed’  on Heb. 10:22  in Sermons  ed. Blackburn  (1907), p. 268 ff.

‘The Efficacy of Prayer’  on James 5:16  in Sermons  ed. Blackburn  (1907), p. 297 ff.

‘The Consistency of Prayer with Natural Law’  on James 5:16  in Sermons  ed. Blackburn  (1907), p. 312 ff.

Murray, Andrew

The Power of United Prayer  on Mt. 18:19-20

Andrew Murray was not reformed; and Mt. 18:19-20 is speaking of church-rulers binding with Church authority and not simply lay-persons praying.

‘The Power of Preserving Prayer’

Warfield, B.B.

‘Christ’s Prayer for his People’  in Faith and Life: ‘Conferences’ in the Oratory of Princeton Seminary  (1916)

‘Prayer as a Means of Grace’  in Faith and Life: ‘Conferences’ in the Oratory of Princeton Seminary  (1916)

‘The Spirit’s Help in our Praying’  on Rom. 8:26-27  in Faith and Life: ‘Conferences’ in the Oratory of Princeton Seminary  (1916), pp. 193-201

‘Prayer as a Practice’  in Faith and Life: ‘Conferences’ in the Oratory of Princeton Seminary  (1916), pp. 428-39

‘The Importunate Widow and the Alleged Failure of Faith’  in Selected Shorter Writings  (P&R, 1970/73), 2.698-710

Murray, John – ‘Prayer’  in Collected Writings, 3.168-71

Bakker, Frans – ‘Effectual Prayer’  from Praying Always  Buy  (Banner, 1987)

Bakker (1919-1965) was a Dutch minister.

Clowney, Edmund – ‘John Murray: Man of Prayer’, part 1, 2  1998





Preston, John – The Saints Daily Exercise. A Treatise Concerning the Whole Duty of Prayer. Delivered in five Sermons upon 1 Thess. 5:17  (London, 1629)

Goodwin, Thomas – The Return of Prayers, a Treatise wherein how to discern God’s Answers to our Prayers is Briefly Resolved, with Observations on Ps. 85:8, concerning God Speaking Peace, etc.  on Ps. 85:8  (Oxford, 1839)

Fenner, William – The Sacrifice of the Faithful, or, A Treatise Shewing the Nature, Property, and Efficacy of Zealous Prayer Together with some motives to prayer, and helps against discouragements in prayer: to which is added seven profitable sermons  (London, 1648)

Prideaux, John – The Doctrine of Prayer… a New Edition, to which are added Certain Godly Prayers from Early Editions of The Book of Common Prayer, and the Treatise of St. Athanasius on the Use and Virtue of the Psalms  (Oxford, 1841)

Prideaux (1578-1650) was a reformed, Anglican, English academic and Bishop of Worcester.

Love, Christopher – 7 Sermons on Lk. 11:8, or the 2nd Half of  The Zealous Christian taking Heaven by Holy Violence in Several Sermons, tending to direct men how to hear with zeal, to pray with importunity  (London, 1653)

Heywood, Oliver – Closet Prayer  130 pp in Works, vol. 3

Woodward, Hezekiah – A Treatise of Prayer, Two Quæries Resolved Touching Forms of Prayer. And Six Quæries Relating specially to the Lord’s Prayer  (London, 1656)  Table of contents

Woodward (c.1591-1675) was an English, reformed, puritan, nonconformist minister and educator, who was involved in the pamphlet wars of the 1640’s.  He was one of those articulating the Puritan argument against the celebration of Christmas.

Downame, George – The Doctrine of Practical Praying Together with a Learned Exposition on the Lord’s Prayer  (London, 1656)

This is the same as his book entitled, A godly and learned treatise of prayer which both conteineth… (1640).

Rutherford, Samuel – The Power and Prevalency of Faith and Prayer Evidenced, in a Practical Discourse Upon Mt. 9:27-31  (d. 1661; 1713)  After the lengthy ‘Epistle to the Reader’ is Rutherford’s Testimony to the Work of Reformation, being some of his last words, before the work on prayer begins.

Reynolds, Edward – Israel’s Prayer in Time of Trouble: with God’s Gracious Answer; an explication of the Fourteenth Chapter of Hosea, in Seven Sermons, preached upon days of solemn humiliation  (Religious Tract Society, 1838)

Brown, John, of Wamphray – A Pious and Elaborate Treatise concerning Prayer and the Answer of Prayer  d. 1679  316 pp.

Brooks, Thomas – The Privy Key of Heaven; or Twenty Arguments for Closet-Prayer, in a Select Discourse, 3rd ed., ed. George Lewis (d. 1680; 1820)

Owen, John A Discourse of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer with a Brief Inquiry into the Nature and Use of Mental Prayer and Forms  (London, 1682)  being Book 7 of Pneumatologia: or a Discourse concerning the Holy Spirit  in Works, 4.235-350

Bunyan, John – I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also, or, A discourse touching prayer, from I Cor. 14.15 wherein is briefly discovered 1. What prayer is, 2. What it is to pray with the spirit, 3. What it is to pray with the spirit and with the understanding also  (London, 1683)  117 pp.

Cobbet, Thomas – Gospel Incense, or a Practical Treatise on Prayer  (Boston: 1856)  414 pp.

Cobbet (1608-1686) was a puritan, congregationalist minister in New England.

Hopkins, Ezekiel – A Discourse on Perseverance in Prayer  in Works, vol. 3



Erskine, Ralph – Fourteen Sermons on Prayer  on Rom. 12:12  in Works, vol. 6

Grove, Henry – A Discourse of Secret Prayer, to which are added Two Essays on Prayer  (d. 1738; London, 1752)

Grove (1684-1738) was a reformed, English, nonconformist minister, theologian, and dissenting tutor.

Watts, Isaac – Aids to Devotion, in Three Parts: Including Watts’s Guide to Prayer, 2nd ed. (B. Perkins, 1845)  Table of contents  This has been reprinted by the Banner of Truth.



Palmer, Benjamin Morgan – Theology of Prayer, as Viewed in the Religion of Nature and in the System of Grace  (Richmond, VA, 1894)

Ryle, J.C. – A Call to Prayer  d. 1900



Morgan, George Campbell – The Practice of Prayer  (Fleming R. Revell, 1906)  128 pp.

“Messages containing a vital challenge for believers to return to a vigorous, effective prayer life.” – Cyril J. Barber

Hallesby, Ole Christian – Prayer  Buy  (London: Tyndale Press, 1956)

“An excellent study on the doctrine of prayer, with an analysis of its difficulties, misuse, and varying forms.  Practical and devotional.” – Cyril J. Barber

Bakker, Frans – Praying Always  Buy  (Banner, 1987)

Bakker (1919-1965) was a Dutch minister.  See the book reviewed by Rev. Jonathan Mattull.  Here is an excerpt from the book: ‘Effectual Prayer’.




Samuel Rutherford

The Covenant of Life Opened…  (1655), p. 71

“Were there no more in praying but a communion with God, how sweet is it?  When Christ prays, the ‘fashion of his countenance is changed,’ Lk. 9:29.  There is a heaven in the bosom of prayer, though there were never a granting of the suit; sure there is a sin in making heaven a hire and in making duty a relative thing, a horse for a journey, a ship for a voyage to fetch home gold, where as there is heaven in praising God before the Throne, such as is both work and wages, and so in spiritual duties here.”





Alsted, Johann H. – ch. 16, ‘On Prayer’  in Theological Common Places Illustrated by Perpetual Similitudes  (Frankfurt, 1630), pp. 85-94

Wendelin, Marcus Friedrich – Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 2, ‘Of the Worship of God’

ch. 3, ‘Of Praise, Thanksgiving & of Adoration’, pp. 659-61
ch. 5, ‘Of Invocation, or Prayer’, pp. 718-44



Unanswered Prayers


Alexander, Archibald – Answer to Prayer Long Deferred, no date or source info, 5 paragraphs



John Shearer

Modern Mysticism; or, The Covenants of the Spirit, their Scope & Limitations  (Richmond, 1905), p. 115.  Shearer was a southern presbyterian minister.

“Effectual prayer has the mind of the Spirit, and is in
accordance with the divine will; and this will is revealed
in the Word so that faith rests on a sure warrant; but in
other matters in which his will is not revealed we say,
‘Thy will be done.'”



On the Priority of Public Prayer over Private Prayer

Andrew Willet

Synopsis Papismi...  (London, 1592), pp. 367-8

“We prefer public prayers made by the congregation in the church before private prayers, not because of the place, but in respect of the congregation, whose prayers jointly altogether are more fervent and effectual than the prayer of one man…

Argument 1.  The promise of our Savior is general, ‘Wheresoever two or three are gathered together, I am in the midst amongst them,’ Mt. 18:20.”



Prayer Meetings



Beveridge, William – ‘The Great Necessity & Advantage of Public Prayer’  in The Great Advantage and Necessity of Public Prayer and Frequent Communion Designed to Revive Primitive Piety, with Meditations, Ejaculations, and Prayers, before, at, and after the Sacrament  (London, 1709), pp. 1-78

Beveridge was a reformed Anglican.



Spurgeon, Charles – ‘Prayer-Meetings’  on Acts 1:14




Edwards, Jonathan – An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer  for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth, pursuant to Scripture Promises concerning the Last Time  on Zech. 8:20-22  (1747)  188 pp.  also in his 2 vol. Works, vol. 2

Law, William – The Spirit of Prayer, or the Soul Rising out of the Vanity of Time into the Riches of Eternity, in Two Parts  (1749-50; Philadelphia, 1808)

Law (1686-1761) was an evangelical, mystical Anglican who taught perfectionism and was known for his book, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.  Wesley, Whitefield, Venn, Scott and Adam all expressed their deep obligation to Law.



Miller, Samuel – Letters on the Observance of the Monthly Concert in Prayer  (1845)  4 Letters, 120 pp.


Why You Should Attend Prayer Meetings

Taffin, Jean – ch. 5, ‘Of Our Duty to Assist at Public Prayer’  in The Amendment of Life…  (London, 1595), pp. 97-101



That Public Prayer Should be in a Known Language

Vincent, Nathaniel – ‘Public Prayer should be in a Known Tongue’  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 6



Should There be Silent, Private Prayer in Corporate Worship?

Lk. 1:10



The Synopsis of True Theology (1625; Brill, 2016), Disputation 36, ‘On the Religious Practice of Invocation’, Antonius Walaeus presiding, p. 429

“We do hold that for public prayers which we share with many other people or in which the minister of the Word leads the church it is altogether necessary that the speech of the one leading in prayer be outward (contrary to the Anabaptists)ª and that it be understood by the one leading as well as the others (contrary to the papal teachers [who said Mass in Latin]).

ª Among the Dutch Anabaptists prayer in the worship services originally was silent…  in Leiden, for instance, the silent prayer was practiced until 1672…

For if not, people could not possibly be of one and the same mind towards the same prayer–something that Christ expressly requires on this point (Matthew 18:19 [“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”])

And then neither the hearer nor he who occupies the place of the uninformed can say ‘Amen’ to that sort of prayer, as the apostle notes in very clear terms (1 Corinthians 14:15-16 [What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.  Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?]).”


In Anglicanism


The practice of individuals offering mental prayers to God during a deliberately, set-apart time of silence in the Church’s public worship service, was historically present in Anglicanism.


‘The Forme and Manner of Making, Ordaining and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, According to the Order of the Church of England’, ‘The Ordering of Priests’, p. 531  in The Book of Common Prayer from the Original Manuscript Attached to the Act of Uniformity  of 1662…  (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode [17??])




Rutherford, Samuel – Letters of Samuel Rutherford  ed. Andrew Bonar  (Edinburgh: Anderson, 1891; rep. Banner of Truth), Letter 290, pp. 578-79



Pray for King Jesus

“Prayer also shall be made for Him continually.”

Ps. 72:15



Spurgeon, Charles – Pray for Jesus: a Sermon  on Ps. 72:15  (1866)  8 pp.



Wilhelmus A’Brakel

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 1, ch. 21, ‘The Kingly Office of Jesus Christ’, p. 568

“Oh, all you who know and delight in this King, observe all this.  Let it wound your heart; let your soul bleed; and for sorrow let your eyes cry rivers of tears by reason of the fact that this glorious King of His Church is thus despised and scorned.

Pray continually for Him (Ps. 72:15) and to Him, that He would reveal Himself to His Church as King before the eyes of the entire world.  ‘Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.  Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us’ (Ps. 80:1-2).”



Prayer to Saints & Angels is Unlawful



Polyander, Johannes – The Refutation of an Epistle Written by a Certain Doctor of the Augustin’s Order within the City of Leige, Together with the Arguments which He has Borrowed from Robert Bellarmine to Prove the Invocation of Saints…  (London, 1610)

Davenant, John – Question 44, ‘Saints are Not to be Invocated’  in The Determinations, or Resolutions of Certain Theological Questions, Publicly Discussed in the University of Cambridge  trans. Josiah Allport  (1634; 1846), pp. 456-469  bound at the end of John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification, or the Disputatio de Justitia...  trans. Josiah Allport  (1631; London, 1846), vol. 2

Mayo, Richard – Invocation of Saints and Angels Unlawful; or the Papists dangerously corrupt holy worship, by their sinful prayers to saints and angels  on Rom. 10:14  in Puritan Sermons, vol. 6.97-126



Prayer for the Dead

WCF 21.4

“Prayer is to be made for things lawful,[n] and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter;[o] but not for the dead,[p]…”

[n] 1 John 5:14
[o] 1 Tim. 2:1,2John 17:202 Sam. 7:29Ruth 4:12
[p] 2 Sam. 12:21-23 with Luke 16:25,26Rev. 14:13



Andrew Willet

Synopsis Papismi...  (London, 1592), On the Church Triumphant, 13th Controversy, of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, The Errors & Blasphemies that are to be Found in the Canon of the Mass, p. 493

“11.  ‘Remember, O Lord, the souls of thy servants, which rest in the sleep of peace, and grant them a place of refreshing and rest:’

Here is an other error contrary to the Scriptures, in praying for the dead, and the prayer also is contrary to itself: for first he says, ‘they rest in peace’, and yet afterward prays for their refreshing.”



Davenant, John – ‘The Prayers of the Papists for the Dead are Vain’  in The Determinations, or Resolutions of Certain Theological Questions, Publicly Discussed in the University of Cambridge  trans. Josiah Allport  (1634; 1846), pp. 218-26  bound at the end of John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification, or the Disputatio de Justitia...  trans. Josiah Allport  (1631; London, 1846), vol. 2


On the Wish, or Prayer, ‘Rest in Peace’, or Adding our Consent to the Revealed Will of God (Rev. 14:13) Regarding Known Believers Now Departed

John Davenant

‘The Prayers of the Papists for the Dead are Vain’, p. 222  in The Determinations, or Resolutions of Certain Theological Questions, Publicly Discussed in the University of Cambridge  trans. Josiah Allport  (1634; 1846)  bound at the end of John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification, or the Disputatio de Justitia...  trans. Josiah Allport  (1631; London, 1846), vol. 2

“We do not reject the commemoration or honorable mention of the dead saints, nor an annual thanksgiving for those who have departed in the faith of Christ: besides we have acknowledged that we may pray for a blessed resurrection, for a public absolution in the day of judgment and the perfect happiness of deceased believers, without any superstition.

Hence that solemn prayer in our English [Anglican] Church, when the dead are conveyed to the tomb:  ‘Almighty God…  beseeching Thee, that it may please Thee of thy gracious goodness shortly to accomplish…  that we, with all those who are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in they eternal and everlasting glory, etc.'”


John Owen

A Peace-Offering in an Apology & Humble Plea for Indulgence & Liberty of Conscience by Sundry Protestants…  (London, 1667), p. 25

“…those holy witnesses of Christ…  Let them therefore rest in peace, under that reputation of holiness and sincerity which they justly deserve…”



Whether Dead Saints Pray for Us?

Willet, Andrew – ‘Whether the Saints Departed do Pray for Us?’  in Synopsis Papismi (London, 1592), Controversies Concerning the Church Triumphant, 9th Controversy: Saints Departed, 2nd Part, 3rd Question, 2nd Part, pp. 334-335

Answer:  Yes in general, no in the particulars.



On Women Prayer Meetings


Bunyan, John – A Case of Conscience Resolved, viz. Whether, where a church of Christ is situate, it is the duty of the Women of that Congregation, Ordinarily, and by Appointment, to Separate themselves from their Brethren, and so to Assemble together to perform some parts of divine worship, as Prayer, etc. without their men?  And the arguments made use of for that practice examined.  (London, 1683)

Bunyan argues ‘No’ at length, and gives helpful insight into the Scriptures that are sometimes brought forward for this practice.  Take the time to read this treatise and assure your conscience from God’s Word.

Bunyan speaks of the view he is arguing against (that of holding women’s prayer meetings in a regular church area) as being an obscure and novel practice in his day, giving a glimpse into the majority position and practice of the puritans that he sought to defend.



On the Use of Forms of Prayer, Stinted Forms of Prayer, & their Necessity, versus Free-Prayer

On Forms & Stinted Forms of Prayer


Ball, John – Chs. 1-8  of A Friendly Trial of the Grounds Tending to Separation in a plain and modest dispute touching the lawfulness of a stinted liturgy and set form of prayer, Communion in mixed assemblies, and the primitive subject and first receptacle of the power of the Keys: tending to satisfy the doubtful, recall the wandering, and to strengthen the weak  (Cambridge, 1640)

Ball (1585-1640) was a reformed, English puritan.  It may be the case that Ball argues against the need for having any free-prayer in a worship service, which was contrary to the majority view of the puritans.

Cotton, John – Twelve Reasons Laid Down Against Prescribed and Stinted Forms of Prayers or Praises  in A Conference Mr. John Cotton held at Boston with the Elders of New-England…  (London, 1646)

Woodward, Hezekiah – Ch. 1, section 1 & section 2  of  A Treatise of Prayer, Two Quæries Resolved Touching Forms of Prayer. And Six Quæries Relating specially to the Lord’s Prayer  (London, 1656), pp. 2-18

Woodward (c.1591-1675) was an English, reformed, puritan, nonconformist minister and educator, who was involved in the pamphlet wars of the 1640’s.  He was one of those articulating the Puritan argument against the celebration of Christmas.

Bernard, Richard – Ch. 6, ‘of the Manner’  in The Anatomy of the Common Prayer-Book: wherein is remonstrated the unlawfulness of it, and that by five several arguments, namely, from the name of it, the rise, the matter, the manner, and the evil effects of it  (1661), pp. 28-31

Bernard (bap.1568-1642) was a reformed puritan.

Collinges, John – A Reasonable Account, why some Pious, Nonconforming Ministers in England judge it sinful for them to perform the ministerial acts, in Public, Solemn Prayer by the Prescribed Forms of others…  ([London?], 1679)

Collinges (1623-1691) was an English Presbyterian theologian, and prolific writer.  He was one of the representatives of the Presbyterians in the Savoy Conference, but was later forced to resign his livings.

Owen, John

A Discourse of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer with a Brief Inquiry into the Nature and Use of Mental Prayer and Forms  (London, 1682)  being Book 7 of Pneumatologia: or a Discourse concerning the Holy Spirit  in Works, 4.235-350

Ch. 7, ‘The Nature of Prayer in General, with respect unto Forms of Prayer and Vocal Prayer, Eph. 6:18, Opened and Vindicated’

Ch. 8, ‘The Duty of External Prayer by Virtue of a spiritual Gift Explained and Vindicated’

Ch. 9, ‘Duties inferred from the preceding Discourse’

Ch. 11, ‘Prescribed forms of Prayer Examined’

“Where these Forms are contended for by men, with respect unto their own use and practice only, as suitable to their experience, and judged by them a serving of God with the best that they have; I shall not take the least notice of them, nor of any dissent about them.  But whereas a persuasion not only of their lawfulness but of their necessity is made use of unto other ends and purposes, wherein the peace and edification of believers is highly concerned, it is necessary we should make some inquiry thereinto.” – p. 212

Humphrey, John – ‘Of Prayer, with Reference to Liturgical & Extemporary Devotion’  in Free Thoughts upon these Heads : Of Predestination, Redemption…  (London, 1710), pp. 45-49

Humphrey (1621-1719) was a reformed puritan and presbyterian, though he often took mediating views.  He here argues for the lawfulness of using forms and stinted liturgies, granting that the minister may and generally ought to have liberty for free-prayer.



Ryle, J.C.

‘Prayer’ in Practical Religion  (Evangelical Press), pp. 97-98

“As to praying a written prayer out of a book, it is a habit I cannot commend. If we can tell our doctors the state of our bodies without a book, we ought to be able to tell the state of our souls to God. I have no objection to a man using crutches, when he is first recovering from a broken limb. It is better to use crutches than not to walk at all. But if I saw him on crutches all his life, I would not consider it a matter for praise. I would like to see him strong enough to throw his crutches away.”


Against Forms of Prayer in General

Samuel Rutherford

The Trial & Triumph of Faith, p. 61

“There be so many other things that are a pouring out of the soul in prayer, as groaning, sighing, looking up to heaven, breathing, weeping, that it cannot be imagined how far short printed and read prayers comes of vehement praying; for you cannot put sighs, groans, tears, breathing, and such heart messengers down in a printed book, nor can paper and ink lay your heart in all its sweet affections out before God, the Service-book then must be toothless and spiritless talk.”



Prayer for Miracles?


Samuel Rutherford

Influences of the Life of Grace  (London, 1659), p. 94

“([Margin Note:] What sort of influences we are to seek from God)

But this is also a tempting of God:

1.  We are not to pray for influences-physical simply and absolutely for all uses and ends to work miracles, to remove mountains, but especially we are to pray for more influences and such as are suitable to our ordinary duties: Ps. 119:36, ‘Incline my heart’ (but he suits not of God every bowing of the heart abstracted from the Word) ‘incline my heart unto thy testimonies and not to covetousness.’  Verse 133, ‘Order my heart in thy steps; let not any iniquity have dominion over me.’

2.  David seeks not every sort of quickening influences, but Ps. 119:25, ‘Quicken Thou me according to thy Word.’  Verse 40, ‘Quicken me in thy righteousness.’  Verse 88, ‘Quicken me after thy loving kindness.’  Verse 149, ‘O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgement.’  Verse 156 and 116, ‘Uphold me according to thy word, that I may live.’

Quakers and Familists seek after the furious wild-fire of hell, skaddings and flamings of a spirit abstracted from the Word…”



On Prayer Before Death

On Acts 7:59, Stephen: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Gataker, Thomas – St. Steven’s Last Will and Testament. A Funeral Sermon on Acts 7:59…  1638  Westminster divine

Baxter, Richard – A Believer’s Last Work  in Practical Works, vol. 18

Alexander, Archibald – The Dying Martyr’s Prayer  1850  in Practical Sermons, p. 543 ff.

Griffin, Edward – ‘Calling on the Name of Jesus’  in Sermons by the Late Rev. Edward Griffin, vol. 1  1838  On praying to Christ.  American congregationalist, Boston, opposed to the New Divinity

Dabney, Robert – Our Comfort in Dying: a Sermon  in Discussions, vol. 1, p. 602 ff.




“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to his Word, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”

John Bunyan



“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Eph. 6:18

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”

1 Tim. 2:1

“Who in the days of his flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that He feared;”

Heb. 5:7




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