“You are the fountain of life, light, and all grace and truth.”
The hearts of the first Christians beat with praise for Christ. The strength of their devotion is remarkable, considering the times of uncertainty and persecution in which they lived. Despite all of this, the early church flourished, sustained by the God to whom they prayed.
Christians today have a lot to learn from the devotional life of the early church. In Fount of Heaven, a collection of carefully selected prayers from the first six centuries of the church, we can pray with our spiritual forefathers. Prayers from luminaries such as Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, and Augustine are arranged by theme to reveal the right prayer for the moment. The prayers have been slightly updated to read more easily, but they retain their joy and mystery. As we turn to the prayers of the first Christians, we can return to the foundations of our own faith.
The Church is a body of men and women who are in a personal relationship with God. Nowhere is that clearer than in our prayer life, where the common themes of that relationship resonate across the ages. Praise, thanksgiving, petition -- the basic pattern has not changed over time. In reading these prayers of the early Christians we are connecting with our brothers and sisters who have fought the good fight and who bid us to follow in their footsteps as we make our way to the heavenly rest they now enjoy.
–Gerald Bray, Research Professor, Beeson Divinity School
Having long been convinced of the need for written prayers in the Christian life, I am thrilled to recommend this volume of prayers from the earliest centuries of the Church's history. What a joy to pray along with those believers from long ago, whose circumstances were widely different from ours, but whose prayers still resonate powerfully within our hearts today. Use this book as a daily guide in your walk with God and it will enrich you in a multitude of ways. In sum, it is a joy to recommend this fine collection that displays the heart of what it means to be a Christian.
—Michael A G Haykin, chair and professor of church history, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
I am overjoyed to discover this book. These extraordinary prayers, superbly arranged, have met a deep need in my heart. The book will be henceforth on my bedside table beside my Bible. Get yourself a copy of this book, pray with it, and share this book with others. A beacon of Christ-centered, God-centered light in dark times!
—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
The Prayers of the Church series gathers the legacy of faith and wisdom from across the Christian tradition to help readers grow into godliness. Each volume focuses on a different tradition or historical era, bringing spiritual riches from across history and the global church to new readers today.
Robert Elmer is editor of Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans and author of over fifty books of Christian fiction, devotion, and apologetics. He and his family live in Lynden, Washington.