March 5, 2016
I want to pray more this year. More than ever before.
God promises that he hears and actively responds to prayers as we come to him in the name of Jesus. We have not, because we ask not. I’m resolved to pray biblical prayers for myself and others. I’m responsible to pray for the members of my church family because I’m a member of the family and James commands us to “pray for one another” (James 5:16). As a pastor, I’m to be devoted to not only the ministry of the Word, but also the ministry of prayer (Acts 6:4). As a friend, I want those I love to experience the joy of the Lord.
But there’s the problem: My praying through a list of names and needs often feels more like reading a shopping list than meaningfully communing with the Father in heaven.
As a Christian who cares a lot about theological accuracy, I’ve found that if I pray a biblically grounded prayer request then I’m content with that even if I’m not really meaningfully pleading or connecting with God. There has to be a better way.
As I finished up Tim Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, I realized the problem, and discovered two antidotes. Tim Keller writes, distilling the insight of J. I. Packer...