By Dave Henning / January 21, 2015

“Listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth, I cry to you.  I call as my heart grows faint.”- Psalm 61:1-2

In Chapter 14 (“Struggle: Asking for Help”) of Prayer, Timothy Keller discusses a third form of prayer- supplication.  Pastor Keller defines supplication as “asking God for things for yourself, for others, and for the world.  The primal prayer is a cry for help.”  While this kind of prayer looks rather simple and straightforward, the author emphasizes that supplication requires much instruction to do well.

Pastor Keller noes that one way petitionary prayer can do us harm is if we essentially use it as a way to say to God, “My will be done”:

“We are prone to indulge our appetites, telling God in no uncertain terms how he should run the universe.  Such prayer neither pleases God nor helps us to grow in grace.”

In other words, it’s quite easy, even natural, to ask in the wrong way.  On the other hand, we may be too timid in prayer.  Two facts are true at once:

1.  Our prayers matter (“You do not have because you do not ask God.”- James 4:2).

2.  God’s wise plan is sovereign and infallible.

Pastor Keller concludes that since both facts are true, “we have the greatest incentive for diligent effort, and yet we can always sense God’s everlasting arms under us.”

Today’s question: During your transition time, have your prayers been my will or Thy will?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The sturdy reality of prayer”

About the author

Dave Henning

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