Soul Care: Week of Prayer

Prayer for the Christian is the outflow of the belief that God is sovereign, listens and acts in our lives, and has a purpose and plan for individuals, this world and eternity itself.

Prayer is motivated, energized, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is necessary for us to listen to him and follow him to grow and mature in Christ as we travel through this world. (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:26-27)

Timothy Keller in his book Prayer – Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, shares numerous thoughts and insights regarding prayer. Here are a few quotes:

  • Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God…We must know the awe of praising his glory, the intimacy of finding his grace, and the struggle of asking his help…to know the spiritual reality of his presence (p. 5).
  • Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves…It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life (p. 18).
  • It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances (p. 20).
  • A rich, vibrant, consoling, hard-won prayer life is the one good that makes it possible to receive all other kinds of goods rightly and beneficially. [Paul] does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself (p. 23).
  • • Our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. [We] speak only to the degree we are spoken to…The wedding of the Bible and prayer anchors your life down in the real God (pp. 55-56).
  • We would never produce the full range of biblical prayer if we were initiating prayer according to our own inner needs and psychology. It can only be produced if we are responding in prayer according to who God is as revealed in the Scripture…Some prayers in the Bible are like an intimate conversation with a friend, others like an appeal to a great monarch, and others approximate a wrestling match…We must not decide how to pray based on what types of prayer are the most effective for producing the experiences and feelings we want. We pray in response to God himself (p. 60).

For other insights on prayer: Prayer – Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller Growing in Christ by J.I. Packers, pages 153-220 Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by Eugene H. Peterson