The John Wesley Prayer Collection

The John Wesley Prayer Collection


This collection consists of three books: John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer, MINUTES, and John Wesley’s The Book of Common Prayer.


John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer: These tracts are three sets of weekly readings published by John Wesley prior to his release of the Prayer book. The contents of this book are an excerpt from The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A. M. – Volume Xi. London, 1733, 203-272, and are published here for your convenience as a companion to John Wesley’s The Book of Common Prayer. This includes A Collection of Forms of Prayer, A Collection of Prayers for Families, and Prayers for Children.


MINUTES: This is the Minutes from the 1784 Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Presiding over the Conference were church leaders Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. During this Conference they approved John Wesley’s revision of the Book of Common Prayer for the Services of the Methodist Church in North America. The Minutes were then bound with copies of the first edition. This booklet contains 81 topics for discussion ranging from serious matters of the church such as how to provide for Ministers, and how to “extirpate Slavery” to practical advice for “several Degrees of Fasting.”


John Wesley’s The Book of Common Prayer: This book was originally published in 1784 under the title THE SUNDAY SERVICE OF THE METHODISTS; IN NORTH AMERICA With other OCCASIONAL SERVICES. Wesley published this version toward the end of is life from the desire to give parishes of the Continental US a service book. This was especially needed for those churches who’s pastor covered a wide circuit and could not be present for every service. The duty would then fall to a sometimes less trained or experienced deacons.

Wesley would probably object to me calling it the Methodist Book of Common Prayer, but plain and simple, that’s exactly what it is. This is word for word the 1662 Book of Common Prayer chopped down to to the essentials. The services are considerably shorter so as not to wear out the saints. There are a few interesting changes Wesley made to the content. Though I did an exhaustive study, I did not write up a critical comparison. I’ll leave that to the PHDs to quibble.