I’m currently reading ‘Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller.’ I can highly recommend it – the only problem is it is quite a big book and I find myself stopping every few moments to write something down – great stuff! So rather than give you my thoughts I thought I would pass on his!
(Page numbers refer to the 2014 Hodder and Stoughton hardback edition.)
“I was not being called to leave behind my theology and launch out to look for “something more,” for experience. Rather I was meant to ask the Holy Spirit to help me experience my theology.” Page 17
“[Prayer] 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. We must learn to pray. We have to.” Page 18
Looking into the reflections on prayer of Flannery O’Connor (who began a prayer journal in 1946) he draws our attention to her insightful thoughts on the prayers we find ourselves often repeating in church etc. “I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life; but I have been saying them and not feeling them. My attention is always fugitive. This way [I think she mean – by writing..] I have it every instant. I can feel the warmth of love beating me when I think and write this to You.” Page 12.
What a great picture of our attention wandering – like a fugitive, an escaped prisoner on the run!
Commenting on Paul’s prayers for the Christians he wrote to, Tim Keller notices that in essence his main concern seems to be for their prayer life. “He [Paul] does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself. Prayer is striving to “take hold of God” (Is 64:7) the way in ancient times people took hold of the cloak of a great man as they appealed to him, or the way in modern times we embrace someone to show love.” Page 21
The taking hold of the cloak thing made me think of a child and their parent – the All or Nothing used to grab my face and turn it to look at him to get my attention!
“Again we see prayer is simply a recognition of the greatness of God.” Page 26