By Dave Henning / January 3, 2015

In Chapter 9 (“The Touchstones of Prayer”) of his book Prayer, Timothy Keller writes about twelve touchstones of prayer.  Pastor Keller states we can use those twelve touchstones to “judge the relative strength and weakness of our prayers for honoring and connecting us to God.”

The first four touchstones are clustered under the heading “What Prayer Is”.  The first is discussed today.

1.  Prayer is a duty and a discipline (work).  Pastor Keller exhorts us to pray regularly, persistently, and tenaciously on a daily basis, whether we’re in the mood or not.  Peter T. Forsyth describes the consequences of failing to pray in his book Soul of Prayer:

“The worst sin is prayerlessness.  Overt sin . . . or the glaring inconsistencies which often surprise us in Christian people are the effect of this, or its punishment. . . . Not to want to pray, then, is the sin behind sin.”

Prayer, Pastor Keller asserts, must be persevering and striving.  This means we must stick with prayer through the ups and downs of our feelings.  Prayer also tends to have a cumulative effect- like people sitting for hours in front of a masterpiece in an art museum.  We must give patient attention to prayer.  The author concludes:

“While God can and will grant times of peace and tranquility, no Christian outgrows the need to struggle and persevere in prayer.”

Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, how difficult has it been to pray?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Responding to the Word”

About the author

Dave Henning

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