“To see the law by Christ fulfilled
And hear his pard’ning voice
Transforms a slave into a child
And duty into choice.”- William Cowper, Olney Hymns
Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 5 of Prayer by discussing the ground motive 0f Spirit-directed, Christ-mediated prayer: to simply know Him better and enjoy His presence. Pastor Keller notes this stands in stark contrast to the normal ways we use prayer:
1. In our natural state we pray to God to get things. While our belief in God may not be an issue, our deepest hopes and happiness reside in our relationships and material possessions. Prayer is used in times of trouble, not when life is going smoothly and our truest heart treasures seem safe.
2. Ordinarily our prayers are not varied. Pastor Keller states our prayers usually consist of petitions and, on occasion, confession. Little time is spent on adoring and praising God. The author then explains why we have no positive, inner desire to pray:
“We know God is there, but we tend to see him as a means through which we get things, to make us happy. For most of us, he has not become our happiness.”
Christians who understand the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit seek God for themselves. Jesus paid the price- the cost of prayer- so God could be our Father. As Pastor Keller concludes: “Prayer turns theology into experience.”
Today’s question: How would you describe your current prayer life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Worrying in God’s direction”