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The Secret Key to Heaven: The Vital Importance of Private Prayer - Puritan Paperbacks (Brooks)

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The power of religion and godliness lives, thrives, or dies, as closet prayer lives, thrives, or dies.’ This was the deeply held conviction of Thomas Brooks, the author of this book. As a pastor who knew his people well, he feared that many Christians do not understand the necessity, excellency, and usefulness of private prayer, and that many live ‘too great a neglect of this indispensable duty.’ 

Focusing on our Lord’s words about ‘closet-prayer’ in Matthew 6:6, Brooks gives us a masterful treatment of a vitally important aspect of Christian’s living. His aim is intensely practical, ‘to preserve and keep up the power of religion and godliness both in men’s houses, hearts, and lives.’


Table of Contents: 

PART ONE: The Doctrine of the Text (Matt. 6:6) Stated and Proved 

PART TWO: Twenty Arguments for Private Prayer 

PART THREE: The Use and Application of the Doctrine 

PART FOUR: Six Objections Stated and Answered 

PART FIVE: Eleven Instructions concerning Private Prayer 

PART SIX: Means, Rules, and Directions for Faithful Private Prayer



Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1625. He was licensed as a preacher of the gospel by 1640. After the Civil War, Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle’s, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons in 1648.  In 1662 he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached the Word as opportunity offered. He went home to the Lord in 1680.