The following is adapted from Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller (Penguin Books 2016). Below the Map For Prayer are a few quotes from Keller’s book to help us think about prayer…
“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, all of which can lead us 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. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. 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).
“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. 21).
“The infallible test of spiritual integrity, Jesus says, is your private prayer life” (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” (pgs. 55-56).
“A triune God would call us to converse with him…because he wants to share the joy he has. Prayer is our way of entering into the happiness of God himself” (p. 68).
Keller defines prayer as:
“The continuation of a conversation that God has started. He started it when he implanted knowledge of himself in every human being [see Romans 1:20], when he spoke through the prophets and in his written Word, and especially when he called us to himself through the Holy Spirit sent into our hearts” (p. 83).
The discipline of prayer does not earn or merit God’s attention but rather prayer aligns our prayers with who God is—the God of free grace—and thereby unites us to him more and more” (p. 104).