The Secret Key to Heaven

The Vital Importance of Private Prayer

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Weight 0.26 kg
Dimensions 18.1 × 12.1 × 1.8 cm









Puritan Paperbacks



Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Mar 30, 2006

Book Description

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 Expand ↓

Publisher’s Note xi
Author’s Preface xiii
The Doctrine of the Text (Matt. 6:6) Stated and Proved 1
Twenty Arguments for Private Prayer
1: The Most Eminent Saints Engaged in Private Prayer 7
2: Christ Engaged in Secret Prayer 13
3: Secret Prayer Distinguishes Sincerity from Hypocrisy 18
4: Secret Prayer Lets Us Unbosom Ourselves before God 20
5: Secret Duties Shall Have Open Rewards 23
6: God Most Manifests Himself in Secret 24
7: This Life Is the Only Time for Private Prayer 31
8: Private Prayer’s Prevailing Power 31
9: Private Prayer Is the Most Soul-Enriching of Duties 44
10: Secret Prayer and Secret Sins 46
11: Secret Prayer Delights Christ 47
12: Only Believers Share God’s Secrets 48
13: Private Prayer Is the Christian’s Refuge in Trouble 58
14: God Is Omnipresent 61
15: If We Neglect Private Prayer, God Will Not Hear Our Public Prayers 64
16: The Times Call for Private Prayer 66
17: Those Near to the Lord Should Engage in Secret Prayer 68
18: Special Marks of God’s Favour 71
19: Satan’s Enmity to Secret Prayer 72
20: The Lord’s Secret Ones Should Engage in Secret Prayer 75
The Use and Application of the Doctrine
The Doctrine Condemns Five Ways in Which Private Prayer Is Neglected 79
The Doctrine Exhorts Us to Be Frequent and Constant in Private Prayer 85
Six Objections Stated and Answered
1: We Are Too Busy to Spare Time for Private Prayer 87
2: As Servants, We Have No Time That We Can Call Our Own 104
3: We Lack the Necessary Gifts and Abilities for Private Prayer 127
4: God Knows Our Desires and Needs Whether We Pray in Private or Not 156
5: We Lack a Convenient Place for Private Prayer 159
6: Our Weaknesses and Infirmities Hinder Us from Private Prayer 161
Eleven Instructions concerning Private Prayer
1: Be Frequent in Private Prayer 183
2: Use the Best Times and Opportunities 188
3: Do Not Perform Closet Duties Merely to Still Your Conscience 191
4: Do Not Trust in Closet Duties 193
5: Put Your Heart into All Closet Duties 197
6: Be Fervent, Warm, and Importunate with God in All Closet Duties 201
7: Be Constant and Persevering in Closet Prayer 208
8: Thirst and Long after Communion with God in Private Prayer 212
9: Make the Glory of God Your Ultimate End 233
10: Always Pray in the Name of Christ Alone 235
11: Look for Answers to Your Closet Prayers 239
Means, Rules, and Directions for Faithful Private Prayer
1: Beware of an Idle, Slothful Spirit 243
2: Beware of Spending Precious Time on Small, Circumstantial Matters 248
3: Beware of Curious Questions 249
4: Beware of Engaging in Too Much Worldly Business 254
5: Beware of Secret Sins 256
Closing Advice
1: Mourn over Neglect of Private Prayer 273
2: Cultivate the Habit of Closet Prayer 274
3: Keep a Diary of Closet Mercies 274
4: Do Not Let Public Duties and Ordinances Crowd Out Private Prayer 277
5: Love Christ with a More Inflamed Love 278
6: Be Thoroughly Resolved in the Strength of Christ to Persevere in Closet Prayer 280
7: Strive for a Greater Measure of the Spirit 282
8: Be Frequent in the Serious Consideration of Eternity 284



2 testimonials for The Secret Key to Heaven

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  1. will.bassett

    Life changing book, truly showed me the power and sweet obligation of private prayer. Prayer is the fuel of the church and the oxygen of the believer, and it is something that has gone missing in the western Church.
    Beautifully and poetically written while being saturated in scripture and the supremacy of God.
    Brooks is potentially the easiest puritan to read (in my opinion) and I can’t recommend this book enough. It is a personal treasure and has meant a lot to me since i read it.
    Highly recommended.

  2. Robert Norman

    Wonderful work of Brooks. If you feel that your prayer life needs strengthening, then turn to this book and you will be blessed, challenged and encouraged.

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