If we are honest, most of us will admit that we can do better in our prayer lives. But often it is hard to find good teaching about prayer or good models for prayer. Of course, we can always (and should) turn to the Bible for such things. But where to begin in our study? How do we bring together the vast amount of teaching and example the Scriptures given about prayer? And in what practical ways can we put what we learn into practice in our own lives?
Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church is one of those rare people who have both a strong understanding of the Bible’s teaching on prayer and plenty of experience in the practice of prayer. Even better, he has taught on both in various ways which are available on the net.
Keller’s teaching provides an excellent starting point for igniting new life and energy into our prayer lives.
Here is a list of Keller’s teaching on the theology and practice of prayer:
- Prayer and the Gospel (article)
- Kingdom Prayer (article)
- Kingdom Prayer – Practical Considerations (article)
- Praying the Psalms (article)
- How to Pray with Others (article)
Free mp3’s –
- Keller’s Prayer Testimony (mp3)
- How to Pray (mp3)
- Prayer Q&A – Does Prayer Really Change Things (mp3)
- Prayer Q&A – Lead Us Not Into Temptation (mp3)
- Prayer Q&A – Prayer and the Second Commandment (mp3)
Purchase Real Spirituality and Beyond –
- Abraham’s Prayer for the City
- Jacob’s Prayer for Joy
- Moses’ Prayer for God
- Hannah’s Prayer for Family
- Heman’s Cry of Darkness
- Paul’s Prayer for Experience
- David’s Prayer at Death
- Jesus’ Prayer for All Time
Purchase The Lord’s Prayer –
- Praying in the Spirit
- I Sing in the Shadow of Your Wings
- The Meaning of Free Grace
- Ask Him!
- The Lord Praying for Glory
- The Lord Praying for Holiness
- The Lord Praying for Mission
Purchase MCM 2005-2006 –
- Kingdom Centered Prayer, pt 1 (mp3)
- Kingdom Centered Prayer, pt 2 (mp3)
- Personal Prayer (mp3)
- Praying For Glory (mp3)
- Praying the Psalms, pt 1 (mp3)
- Praying the Psalms, pt 2 (mp3)
One of the most basic things that the gospel does is change prayer from mere petition to fellowship and the praise of his glory. Galatians 4:6-7 teaches us that when we believe the gospel, we not only become God’s children legally, but we receive the Spirit in order to experience our sonship. The Spirit leads us to call out passionately to God as our tender and loving Father. The Spirit calls out ‘Abba’ (4:7). In the very next verse Paul refers to this experience as “knowing God” (4:8). We do not just know and believe that God is holy and loving, but we actually experience contact with his holiness and his love in personal communion with him.
No one had a deeper insight into the gospel and prayer than Jonathan Edwards. Edwards concluded the most essential difference between a Christian and a moralist is that a Christian obeys God out of the sheer delight in who he is. The gospel means that we are not obeying God to get anything but to give him pleasure because we see his worth and beauty. Therefore, the Christian is able to draw power out of contemplation of God. Without the gospel, this is impossible. We can only come and ask for things- petition. Without the gospel, we may conceive of a holy God who is intimidating and who can be approached with petitions if we are very good. Or we may conceive of a God who is mainly loving and regards all positively. To approach the first “God” is fearsome; to approach the second is no big deal. Thus without the gospel, there is no possibility of passion and delight to praise and approach God.
– Tim Keller (from the article, “Prayer and the Gospel“)
**Since I first put up this blog entry, I noticed that a few of the links in the middle section were not working. Here is the main site folder for these files (talks given at Redeemer’s Ministry Community Meetings). They were all working a few weeks ago, so I suggest trying back later.
*** Checking back, Redeemer has moved the public/free download media folder into their pay site. The post has been updated to reflect this.