I used this illustration on prayer in yesterday’s sermon on Romans 10:1-4, specifically relating to how Paul’s prayer for Israel should stir us toward zeal in our own prayer life.
The wife of the Puritan minister Joseph Alleine (1634-1668) said this of her husband:
At the time of his health, he did rise constantly at or before four of the clock, and on the Sabbath sooner, if he did wake. He would be much troubled if he heard smiths or shoemakers, or such tradesmen, at work at their trades, before he was in his duties with God: saying to me often, “O how this noise shames me! Doth not my Master deserve more than theirs?” From four till eight he spent in prayer, holy contemplations, and singing of psalms, which he much delighted in, and did daily practice alone, as well as in his family.
--From Richard Baxter, et al., The Life and Letters of Joseph Alleine, as cited in Joel R.Beeke and Brian G. Najapfour, eds., Taking Hold of God (Reformation Heritage, 2011): p. 225.
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