The Prayerbook Baptists project began in 2017, in the front living room of Paul Gutaker, a graduate PhD student at Baylor University. Patrick stumbled his way ineptly through morning prayer surrounded by Anglican laity and priests. He made a mess of it, but knew that there was something real and powerful going on, and that he needed to learn more about what that was.
Many months later Patrick graduated seminary and accepted his first ministry assignment at a small church outside of Springfield, Missouri. Not long after that he joined a cohort group for pastors and reconnected with David Stone. Back in the early 90s, they had passed like ships in the night, in the youth group of First Baptist Church, Springfield – David was on his way out when Patrick was on the way in. But that common history and a shared love for the beauty and richness of the Daily Office formed a foundation for a great friendship and very fruitful partnership.
As David and Patrick began praying together in the morning, a conviction took hold in both of them that there needed to be a prayer book for Baptists edited by Baptists. Both love the beauty and richness of the Book of Common prayer, but it is after all Anglican – and reflects Anglican history and theological struggles, and the theological convictions that have arisen from that history. And so, in early 2018 David and Patrick began work on A Book of Prayer for Baptists. Almost two years later they had a manuscript complete enough to publish.
Above all, Prayer Book Baptists exists for the Glory of Christ and the salvation of souls. David and Patrick are convinced that God has called the church to something higher, and holier, more beautiful and much more serious than the modern church often settles for. And they believe in God’s wisdom and faithfulness, above all in the Holy Scriptures, he has given and preserved, and also in the ways he has loved, led, and protected His Church for 2000 years of her history.
God’s wisdom is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. That means our Christian past is not simply a yarn of embarrassments, tragic theological misunderstandings, or reasons to say no to the future. It means the past is also, supremely, a resource, and a way to say yes to the future God has called us to embrace.
David and Patrick think the daily office, especially as it is expressed in common prayer, is a beautiful treasure. Through it God has impacted their lives: relationally, theologically, and devotionally. They fervently hope you’ll have that same kind of experience, and that through it you will come to know evermore, “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
-David and Patrick