Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Prayer and the Inscripturated Word

The Relation of Prayer and God's Inscripturated Word:
'What exactly is prayer, anyway? Most people might say it’s talking to God, mostly to ask for what we need. This is partially true, but there is a piece that is missing. As Tim Keller writes in his latest book, prayer is connected to God’s revelation:
'What is prayer, then, in the fullest sense? Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him. . . . The power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God.
'This is why, as Donald Whitney says, “. . . of all the Spiritual Disciplines, prayer is second only to the intake of God’s Word in importance.” Prayer is second in importance because it relies on our knowledge of God, which comes from reading his Word. Engagement with Scripture is an essential—though often missing—component of prayer. Without this piece, prayer becomes problematic.
'If we include this missing piece we can craft what I believe is a robust definition of Biblical prayer:
'Prayer is an encounter with God that is initiated by him through his Word and that changes our hearts as we humbly communicate and worship the Lord, confess our sins and transgressions, and ask him to fulfill both our needs and the desires of our heart according to his will.
'Without engagement with Scripture, our prayers are like a phone conversation in which the other person can hear us but we can’t hear them. Fortunately, we have an easy solution to our prayer problem: To fully encounter God in prayer, encounter him first through his Word.'
-- Joe Carter, "The Gospel Coalition"

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