Over the past twenty-five years, I have read books on prayer by the Puritans and Reformers, the Quakers and the contemplative writers, the Desert Fathers, and even some living authors who think they have something unique to contribute to the discussion.
Timothy Keller’s newest work, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God is quite frankly the best book I’ve ever read on prayer. This short review will only touch the tip of the iceberg; so I encourage readers of Veritas et Lux to read this incredible book for themselves.
Keller’s work is divided into five parts:
- Desiring Prayer
- Understanding Prayer
- Learning Prayer
- Deepening Prayer
- Doing Prayer
The book aims to show that “prayer is both conversation and encounter with God” and demonstrates that prayer is both “awe and intimacy, struggle and reality.”
Keller rightly notes, “A book on the essentials of prayer should contain three components: the theological, experiential, and methodological.” The author succeeds in presenting a lucid theological framework for understanding prayer. He presents the experiential side of prayer by citing numerous Scriptural examples and drawing on the work of many Christ-followers in Church history. And he sets forth a workable methodology, which in the final analysis includes many different forms that may appeal to different kinds of people.” Keller’s book is biblical, engaging, God-centered, gospel-centered, and Spirit-fueled.
Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God will confront readers with the God-centeredness of Jonathan Edwards, the earthiness and practicality of Martin Luther, and the theological precision of John Calvin. This work will undoubtedly be used by God to encourage faithful prayer, enlist new prayer warriors, and revitalize a church that has neglected the important discipline of prayer.