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Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God Kindle Edition
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". . . 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.”
– Comment Magazine 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.”
– Sarah Macintosh 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 --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00INIXGIO
- Publisher : Penguin Books (November 4, 2014)
- Publication date : November 4, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1739 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #60,571 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Now here’s the interesting thing. There is not much new in this new book. As Keller says, the best books on prayer have already been written. So instead of pursuing novelty (see The Prayer of Jabez or The Circle Maker or a thousand other books) Keller looks to the past, to the deep wells of Christian history, and draws heavily from Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, and Edwards (and, in more recent history, Edmund Clowney). He understands that any new insights on prayer tend to go farther from rather than closer to biblical truth. Instead of looking for new secrets to discover or keys to unlock, Keller looks for fresh ways of saying those old things. Again, there is nothing profoundly new in this new book, but that is its strength, not its weakness.
Keller begins his book in an interesting place—the tension between two kinds of prayer. Christians tend to describe prayer in one of two ways: communion-centered or kingdom-centered. Communion-centered prayer is “a means to experience God’s love and to know oneness with him. [Such authors] promise a life of peace and of continual resting in God. [They] often give radiant testimonies of feeling regularly surrounded by the divine presence.” Kingdom-centered prayer “sees the essence of prayer not as inward resting but as calling on God to bring in his kingdom. Prayer is viewed as a wrestling match, often—or perhaps ordinarily—without a clear sense of God’s immediate presence.” He opts to discard the either-or view and will not drive a wedge between the two. Prayer is both conversation and encounter with God.
This is not to say he advocates the kind of prayer you might find among the Roman Catholic mystics whose books remain so popular today. In fact, he pushes firmly against mysticism, against meditation as being an emptying of the mind rather than a filling of it, or against rapturous but mindless prayers. But still he leaves plenty of room for true communion with God, and for the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit who may bring Scripture to mind and cause us to understand it better in those times we are prayerfully meditative. Even as he teaches these things, he leans on the Reformers and Puritans.
As I began to read, I had thought that Keller’s purpose in the book might be to try to resolve the mysteries of prayer. Over time, though, I came to see that this is not the case. There is much about prayer we cannot understand and may never understand on this side of eternity (and perhaps even after). Keller peers into these mysteries, but he does not attempt to resolve them. He understands that prayer will always be difficult and never over-promises, never lays out a plan that, if followed, will supposedly bring guaranteed or overwhelming results. We can grow in our understanding of prayer and our skill at prayer, but we will never solve it, and will never pray perfectly.
One particularly interesting aspect of the book is Keller’s definition of prayer. Few books on prayer pause to actually define prayer, but Keller gives it his best shot. Prayer, he says, is a personal, communicative response to the knowledge of God. This accounts for the universality of prayer—all religions, and very nearly all human beings, pray. They pray because they have some knowledge of God through his creation. But as God awakens the hardened hearts of his people, Christians are now able to pray on the basis of much greater and much more specific knowledge. Thus, for the Christian, “praying is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him.”
Early in his book Keller critiques most books on prayer as being “primarily theological or devotional or practical, but seldom do they combine the theological, experiential, and methodological all under one cover.” This is what he has attempted to do, and it is exactly what he has done, as displayed in the book’s five parts: Desiring Prayer, Understanding Prayer, Learning Prayer, Deepening Prayer, Doing Prayer. He has written a winsome, well-rounded book that leads through theory and into practice. It is one of the strongest books on prayer I have ever read and it receives my highest recommendation.
That being said, Keller's book finally breaks the mold. He covers a large number of items concerning prayer and even starts with a very personal story of his own struggle with prayer. The fact that he says it took him two full years to develop a good prayer life is very encouraging. Of course that also means there wouldn't be anything in the book that would flip a switch and make you a George Müller overnight.
The good thing about Keller's writing is that he tends to build upon his chapters. He covers topics like what prayer is but the next chapters go into more depth about it. Chapters 6 and 7 were very important in my further understanding prayer - of course he uses people like Martin Luther and John Calvin really put it into perspective. Reading these excerpts really drove home the need to read things like Calvin's Institutes and other Reformed writings in the future. Keller handles things like the sovereignty of God in relation to prayer (if God is sovereign why should I pray at all). A book that I'm sure Keller uses is A.W. Pink's book on the Sovereignty of God that covers this as well. There are some really helpful application sections of the book in the latter sections. The biggest plus that Keller had going for him was he always kept God in primary focus and was always sure to lovingly hip-check questions that put man at the center of the question. Why? Because this leads to a lot of misunderstandings on the topic and causes issues people might have on the topic of prayer. It was also nice to see that Keller didn't refer to prayer as only a means of changing our hearts and minds as some authors tend to do.
Keller does have a few quirks in his book that come out of left field and don't quite fit with the flow. One major one concern an almost metaphysical aspect of prayer in general and a treatment of mystical forms of prayer and almost legalistic forms. Also, while Keller does a descent job of building upon his chapters and themes, there are times when his flow of writing doesn't always hit its mark. This might cause some to almost get lost in what they're reading.
Overall, this book helped me immensely. I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with their prayer life or a new Christian looking to start one. It would also be worthwhile for those who have it down to do a wellness check on theirs to see if they are bionically sound or can improve upon it. While not a tough book in terms of theological terms, this is a book whose reading pace should be taken at a slow pace for good, sanctifying reasons. Final Grade - A