Prayer and contemplation

By Dave Henning / January 26, 2015

Today’s blog incorporates the final three elements of Timothy Keller’s suggested frame work for prayer- Word prayer, free prayer, and contemplation.

3.  Word prayer.  Pastor Keller states that Martin Luther gives us an important and often overlooked step in daily prayer.  Before he moved on to free-form prayer, Luther took time to “pray the text” after meditating on Scripture.  By using Luther’s approach, meditation immediately can be turned into prayer.  Another important and time-honored way to do Word prayer is “Praying the Psalms.”

4.  Free prayer.  The author states that “free prayer means simply to pour out your heart to God in prayer.”  He adds that our free prayers are to be balanced among the three forms of prayer- adoration and thanksgiving, confession and repentance, petition and intercession.  Prayer becomes life-changing and powerful as we lift each cause to God with theological reasoning and self-examination.

5.  Contemplation.  Pastor Keller observes that after all is said and done, we won’t necessarily find our heart and affections engaged or that the Holy Spirit has opened our thoughts in new ways.  It may happen that our prayer time will begin and end with a sense of spiritual dryness or even the absence of God.  Contemplation then would encompass taking our best thought about God, praising and thanking Him for who He is, and sincerely asking Him to draw near and show His face in good time.

Today’s question: Which aspect of Keller’s framework for daily prayer is most instructive?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Praying the Psalms”

About the author

Dave Henning

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