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Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God Hardcover – November 4, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 361 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Prayer

"...Keller provides a contextually rich guide and companion to prayer."

"...if you follow Keller into the arsenal, you will be powerfully equipped to overcome the world/flesh/Devil and see your prayers for kingdom advance answered by almighty God. And if you follow Keller to the banqueting table, you will increasingly feast on new and old treasures of awe and intimacy with your heavenly Father."
-The Gospel Coalition

Praise for Encounters with Jesus

"Keller’s work belongs on the bookshelf of every serious Bible student. It is not a quick read, but, instead should be savored like fine wine, one sip at a time to glean the full impact of his life-changing message."


Praise for Timothy Keller and his books:

"Tim Keller's ministry in New York City is leading a generation of seekers and skeptics toward belief in God. I thank God for him." 
– Billy Graham

“Unlike most suburban megachurches, much of Redeemer is remarkably traditional. What is not traditional is Dr. Keller’s skill in speaking the language of his urbane audience…Observing Dr. Keller’s professorial pose on stage, it is easy to understand his appeal.” 
The New York Times

“Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”
– Christianity Today Magazine

“With intellectual, brimstone-free sermons that manage to cite Woody Allen alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Keller draws some 5,000 young followers every Sunday. Church leaders see him as a model of how to evangelize urban centers across the country, and Keller has helped ‘plant’ 50 gospel-based Christian churches around New York plus another 50 from San Francisco to London.” 
New York Magazine

“Theologically rich and philosophically informed, yet accessible and filled with practical wisdom.”
Cardus on Every Good Endeavor

“This book is for us all and through its reading it can change and reshape your entire outlook on your life.”
– SarahMac on Every Good Endeavor

“It’s a great resource to equip you to speak with your secular friends; to show them why the Christian understanding of marriage is not only a tremendous blessing, it’s the only one that works.”
ChristianPost.com on The Meaning of Marriage

The Meaning of Marriage is incredibly rich with wisdom and insight that will leave the reader, whether single or married, feeling uplifted. While the book is filled with expertly selected biblical verses, nonreligious readers willing to ‘try on’ these observations may find answers not only to the meaning of marriage but to that even bigger question—the meaning of life itself.”
The Washington Times on The Meaning of Marriage

“This is the book I give to all my friends who are serious spiritual seekers or skeptics.”
– Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, on The Reason for God

“Keller mines material from literary classics, philosophy, anthropology and a multitude of other disciplines to make an intellectually compelling case for God. Written for skeptics and the believers who love them, the book draws on the author's encounters as founding pastor of New York's booming Redeemer Presbyterian Church…[The Reason for God] should serve both as testimony to the author's encyclopedic learning and as a compelling overview of the current debate on faith for those who doubt and for those who want to reevaluate what they believe, and why.” 
Publishers Weekly on The Reason for God

“World has briefly reviewed about 200 books over the past year. Many stand out, but one in particular is likely to change many lives and ways of thinking. World’s Book of the Year is Tim Keller’s The Reason for God. ”
 – Marvin Olasky on The Reason for God

About the Author

TIMOTHY KELLER was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He was first a pastor in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons. Today, Redeemer has more than five thousand regular Sunday attendees and has helped to start more than two hundred and fifty new churches around the world. Also the author of Encounters with Jesus, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Every Good Endeavor, The Meaning of Marriage, Generous Justice, Counterfeit Gods, The Prodigal God, Jesus the King, and The Reason for God, Timothy Keller lives in New York City with his family.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525954147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525954149
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are two topics I try to read books on regularly: the gospel and prayer. I read on the gospel because I need it to grow me, to humble me, to sanctify me, and to help me remember what God has done in Christ to save me. I read on prayer because my prayer life needs encouragement and guidance to strengthen my desire and skills at communicating with God.

Naturally, when I heard one of my favorite authors, Timothy Keller, was coming out with a book on prayer, I was eager to get my hands on a copy and dig in.

Prayer: Experiencing Prayer and Intimacy with God is a book that was birthed out of Keller's realization of his own shortcomings in prayer. Both he and his wife were diagnosed with diseases during a certain season of their lives (his was thyroid cancer and hers was Crohn's disease). This coupled with pastoring in Manhattan around the time of the September 11th terrorist attacks forced Keller to his knees and really begin to practice and wrestle with the concept of prayer.

Readers will sense within the first five pages just how well-read and well-thought-out Keller is in dealing with prayer. Keller sought to write on the essentials of prayer from a "theological, experiential, and methodological" perspective, and thus do something most books on prayer seldom do (1).

A Brief Summary

This book is divided into five parts, each comprising from two to five chapters. Part one is called "Desiring Prayer," which answers the "why?" question about prayer and digs into its necessity, mapping out the terrain for the rest of the book.

Part two, "Understanding Prayer," describes the many differing views of prayer from many vantage points including world religions, the non-religious, and various Christian traditions.
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Format: Hardcover
"Writing a book in your 50s will go twice as fast and be twice as good as if you try the same book in your 30s. It's just good stewardship to wait."

That was Tim Keller's advice to pastors who desire to write. And he would know, since by my count, Keller has written nine books in the last two and half years. Talk about prolific writing!

Keller's latest work is simply entitled "Prayer." As he explains in the introduction, his aim is to combine the theological, experiential, and methodological in one book (1). He wants to drive home that prayer "is both conversation and encounter with God" (5).

We must know the awe of praising his glory, the intimacy of finding his grace, and the struggle of asking his help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of his presence. Prayer, then, is both awe and intimacy, struggle and reality. These will not happen every time we pray, but each should be a major component of our prayer over the course of our lives. (5)

Keller begins by acknowledging that he "discovered" prayer in the second half of his life with a series of moments: his teaching through the Psalms, the events of 9/11 (his wife implored him to pray together every night), and after his treatment for thyroid cancer (9ff.). This book, then, is the fruit of what he learned and what over the years, in both reading and in practice, he has discovered. Rather than giving a thorough review of this work, I will simply offer a couple of points that landed powerfully on me.


Keller repeatedly emphasizes the need for both sound doctrine and vibrant devotion--or what John Murray called "an intelligent mysticism" that steers clear of cold assent to truth on the one hand and passion devoid of truth on the other.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers I was looking forward to this latest work from Tim Keller. I even pre-ordered it. Being a book on Prayer with a subtitle of "Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God," I was expecting the author to share his personal experiences with prayer and how it enabled him to be ushered into the presence of God where he could be transparent with his Father in heaven, at least to one degree or another. But that's not what this book provides. It is a somewhat tedious and often out of place mixture of evangelism, apologetics, theology, and history, with a few practical approaches to prayer at the end.

It's main emphasis is on what Luther, Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, J.I. Packer, Edmund Clowney, C.S. Lewis, and others, predominantly in the reformed tradition, have written about prayer with a few contributions from Augustine. In that regard the book is a helpful, although frantic, compendium of quotations and insights from these Godly men -- it made me want to read more of John Owen's work. A few quotes from other writers is fine when an author is making a point, but most chapters are entirely a summary of what others have written. The experiences and insights of the author are noticeably missing until a few of the last thirty pages.

Also difficult to find are the subtitled awe and intimacy. When the author's own words are included he is far more likely to speak of prayer "as a duty and a discipline," that "is often draining, even an agony," "a struggle," something that requires "right performance.
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