Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

By SD Prayer Coalition, published April 13, 2015 in Featured Books

The first book review is a review on the latest book by pastor and author Dr. Tim Keller – Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Dr. Keller’s book helps us look deeper into what prayer is and what prayer isn’t. Through his book, Keller wants the reader grow in a more meaningful prayer life and communicates these thoughts down to the central premise that prayer is really about experiencing God and coming to truly know ourselves through prayer.

If we are honest, it is easier to pray during some seasons in life compared to others, but God calls us to pray during no matter what circumstances each of us face whether they be good, bad, or somewhere in between.

Keller’s book was reviewed by Christianity Today earlier this year and a couple of excerpts have been included below:

When it comes to prayer, most of us feel clumsy. We don’t recall someone running alongside us, shouting instructions as we learned. Instead, most of us found our balance by a hodge-podge of imitation and experimentation. Once we’ve learned to ride a bike, we can be sure we’re doing it right. Can anything remotely similar be said about prayer?

In his new book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Dutton Adult), Timothy Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, invites readers to systematically learn to pray. Although he claims there are both right and wrong ways to pray, Keller admits that he, like us, has struggled with prayer. In fact, it wasn’t until midlife—after the catastrophic events of 9/11 and family health crises—that he found his bearings.

“I was barely scratching the surface of what the Bible commanded and promised regarding prayer,” Keller said. So he began to make changes to his prayer habits. He added to his established devotional regimen evening prayer as well as the practice of meditation. He imitated the holy boldness of the Psalms, praying with greater expectation. Finally, he dedicated himself to studying prayer and the writings of long-dead theologians (Augustine, Martin Luther, John Owen, and John Calvin, to name a few). In Prayer, Keller offers a comprehensive account of what he has learned about the theology, devotion, and practice of prayer. It should prove to be a helpful resource for generations to come.


As a final example, Keller urges us to pray with both boldness and surrender. Desire, he writes, should take its rightful place in prayer. This is certainly the model we have in Scripture, and desire often guides us in understanding our obligations to God. But even as we submit our petitions, we must accept the wisdom of God’s will. “In short, God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knew.” In Keller’s vision of prayer, we have every right to ask audaciously—and every reason to trust.

Please click here for a link to the full review at Christianity Today’s website.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
— 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) —

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