An Application of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress: Praying for a Burden

May 31, 2019 | by James M. Harrison

As one begins to travel along the Pilgrim’s progress with John Bunyan, one immediately encounters the pilgrim himself, named “Christian”. Christian, the reader discovers, is distraught and in despair, due to the burden which he carries.

He had not realized that he carried such a burden, until, reading The Book, he was made aware of it, and as a result, wept and trembled, and began to consider whether there be some means of being relieved of this burden.

As I began to read Bunyan’s masterwork once more, (Spurgeon love Pilgrim’s Progress and stated that he had read it more than one hundred times), I was struck, in the first few pages, concerning how we ought to pray for the lost. If, as Bunyan surely intended, there is a sense in which Christian is representative of all who journey to the cross, and then on to the Celestial City, then ought we not labor in prayer for God to so work in the lives of the lost that they would follow that same path, trod by Christian? Should we not pray like this:

Lord, bring him the words of the book, and through those words bring him under conviction! Make his burden unbearable. Lord, harry his mind. Give him no sleep. Fill his heart with the fear of judgment, and cause him to “fly from the wrath to come”. Cause him, Father, to begin to journey toward the distant light, through the little wicket gate, stopping his ears to all who would dissuade him from his journey, until, by Your grace, he arrives at the cross, and having arrived, be freed of his burden through the death of Christ, and His empty tomb. Amen.

1 Comment

  1. Al Yerks


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