Born in England in 1892, George Buttrick was educated at Lancaster Independent College. He later came to the United States and was ordained by the Congregational church in 1915. Five years later he entered the Presbyterian ministry. In 1927 he became the pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City and served there until his death in 1980.
During his ministry Buttrick delivered many lectures and addresses at colleges and universities around the world. He was also a gifted writer on the spiritual life. His book "Prayer" is considered to be one of the most thorough and comprehensive works on prayer ever written.
Born into a poor family in Lorraine, France, Nicholas Herman (later known as Brother Lawrence) grew up and became a soldier and a household servant. He never received any formal education, and yet he left behind one of the classic memoirs of the devotional life.
In 1666 he became a lay brother in the Discalced Carmelite order in Paris. He worked there in the kitchen, calling himself "a servant of the servants of God." He remained there until his death at the age of eighty. In his own life he determined to be an experiment of living every moment in "the presence of God." his attempts to create an habitual state of communion led to new heights of spiritual living. Like a pioneer, he discovered a new world of spiritual living that others, notably Frank Laubach and Thomas Kelly, have since traveled.
No task was too trivial for Brother Lawrence, for he was able to transform the mundane chores of the kitchen into glorious experiences of heaven. Like Benedict and Bernard of Clairvaux, he blended work with prayer. Perhaps no other writer in all of Christian literature so beautifully and simply express the joy of living in the presence of God.
Although as a young man Lancelot Andrews was a member of the Puritans, he is now remembered as one of the outstanding figures in the history of the Anglican church. Andrews became the bishop of Ely, Winchester, and Chichester, then the chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, and later, served as an apologist for King James I in his debates with Cardinal Bellarmine. He was a Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, and one of the scholars who was appointed in 1607 to prepare the King James Version of the Bible.
Andrews was widely known as an eloquent preacher because of his wordplay and sense of humor, which contrasted starkly with the popular Puritan style of plainness. Andrews greatly influenced author and poet T. S. Eliot, who was inspired to write a book about him. Eliot's poem "Journey of the Magi" begins with a quotation from one of Andrews's sermons. It has been said that Andrews's great genius was his ability to compose prayers that "lift the mind up to God."