“As far as I can see, prayer has been ordained only for the helpless. . . . Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only he who is helpless can truly pray.”- Ole Hallesby, Prayer
Timothy Keller continues his discussion of the twelve touchstones of prayer by presenting the three things prayer requires. Prayer requires:
4. Grace- prayer must be in “Jesus’ name, based on the Gospel. Pastor Keller states that to pray in Jesus’ name is “shorthand for his divine person and saving work.” Grace makes is possible to be heard by God despite our inability to follow all other guidelines and rules. The author adds that ordinarily we will address our prayers “to the Father with gratitude to the Son and dependence on the Spirit.”
5. Fear- prayer is the heart engaged in loving awe. Awe before God’s greatness and the privilege of prayer, Pastor Keller notes, is an important sign of an engaged heart. We never can take lightly the privilege of approaching “the throne.” The author encourages us to take time and meditate on what it means to pray in Jesus’ name until it thrills us.
6. Helplessness- prayer is accepting weakness and dependence. Pastor Keller stresses that prayer is made for those who have no other recourse or resort. When we pray we are accepting the fact that we are, and forever will be, wholly dependent on God for all our needs. In fact, when we feel completely helpless, we can be secure in the knowledge that God indeed is with us and is listening to our prayer.
Today’s question: During your desert, land between time, have you had an engaged heart for prayer or a disengaged heart? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Earnest prayer”