I just finished reading it, and copying some of my favorite parts out of it. At this point my library is mainly quotes copied from borrowed books:-)! I hope others will find these as helpful as I have......
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:6
"Secret duties have open rewards,"And thy Father which seeth thee in secret shall reward thee openly," - Ah, Christian, did you really believe this, and seriously dwell on this you would,
- Walk more thankfully.
- Work more cheerfully.
- Suffer more patiently.
- Fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil more courageously.
- Lay out yourselves for God, His interests, and glory more freely.
- Live with what providence has cut out for your portion, more quietly and contentedly.
- You would be in private prayer more frequently, more abundantly.
"God never lacks an eye to see our secret tears, nor an ear to hear our secret cries and groans, nor a heart to grant our secret requests, and therefore we ought to pour out our souls to Him in secret. "Lord, all my desire is before thee, and my groaning is not hidden from thee." Ps 38:9 As a Christian is never out of the reach of God's hand, so he is never out of the view of God's eye."
"Jacob by prayers and tears did so prince it with God as that he carried the blessing. Jacob's wrestling was by weeping, and his prevailing by praying. Prayers and tears are not only very pleasing to God, but also very prevalent with God."
"As blood has a voice, and as the rod has a voice, so tears have a voice. Tears have tongues, and tears can speak. There is no noise like that which tears in secret make in the ears of God. A prudent and indulgent father can better pick out the desires and necessities of his children by their secret tears than by their loud complaints, by their weeping than by their words: and do you think that God can't do as much? Tears are not always mutes: Lam. 2: 18 'Cry aloud', says one, 'not with your tongues, but with your eyes; not with your words, but with your tears; for that is the prayer that makes the most forcible entry into the ears of the great God of heaven'. Penitent tears are undeniable ambassadors that never return from the throne of grace without a gracious answer. Tears are a kind of silent prayer, which, though they say nothing, yet they obtain pardon; and though they plead not a man's cause, yet they obtain mercy at the hands of God."
"Either become frequent in closet duties as becomes a Christian, or else lay down the name of a Christian.
"In the great day of account, when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed, and God shall call all men to a reckoning before angels, men, and devils, for the neglect of private prayer, all guilty persons will be found speechless: there will not be a man or woman found, that shall dare to stand up and say, "Lord, I would have waited upon you in my closet, but I had so much business to do in the world that I had no time to enjoy secret communion with you in a corner."
"Private prayer is a work of absolute necessity, both to the bringing of the heart into a good frame, and to the keeping of the heart in a good frame. It is of absolute necessity both for the discovery of sin, and for the purging away of sin. It is of absolute necessity both for the discovery of grace, and for a full exercise of grace, and for an eminent increase in grace.It is of absolute necessity to arm us both against inward and outward temptations, afflictions, and sufferings. It is of absolute necessity to fit us for all other duties and service. For a man to glorify God, to save his own soul. and to further his own everlasting happiness, is a work of the greatest necessity.
"If grace be weak the omission of private prayer will make it weaker. Look, as he who will not eat will certainly grow weaker and weaker, so he that will not pray in his closet will certainly grow weaker and weaker.
"Consider that you cannot have too frequent communion with God, you cannot have too frequent conversation with Jesus, you cannot have your hearts too frequently filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and with that peace that passes understanding, you cannot have heaven brought down to frequently into your hearts, and you cannot have your hearts carried too frequently up into heaven. And therefore you cannot be too frequently in closet prayer.
"Let all your closet duties lead you to Jesus, and leave you more in communion with him, and in dependence upon him, and then thrice happy will you be. Let all your closet prayers and tears and fastings be a star to guide you to Jesus, a Jacob's ladder by which you may ascend into the arms of eternal love, and then you are safe forever.
"When the soul is separated from the body the man is dead; and so when the heart is separated from the lips in prayer, the prayer is dead."
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance." Eph 6:6 Calvin makes this difference between 'praying always' in the beginning of the verse, and 'praying with perseverance' in the end of the verse: 'By praying always', he says, 'he exhorts us to pray in prosperity as well as in adversity, and not to quit the duty of prayer in a prosperous estate, because we are not driven to it by outward pressing necessities and miseries; and by praying with perseverance, he admonishes us that we be not weary of the work, but continue instant and constant in its performance, though we have not presently what we pray for.' So that 'praying always' is opposed to a neglect of the duty in its proper times and reasons, and 'praying with perseverance' is opposed to a fainting in our spirits, in respect to this or that particular suit or request that we put up to God. When God turns a deaf ear to our prayers, we must not fret nor faint, we must not be dismayed nor discouraged, but we must hold up and hold on in the duty of prayer with invincible patience, courage, and constancy."
"Oh my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance; let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." Song Of Solomon 2:14