I'm starting a new book today, and reading it in community with Chris Power, who is separated by distance but unified in Spirit. To compensate for the physical difficulties of fellowshipping over a book while separated by an hour and a half drive, we are going to try and post on the blog once a week a reflection on the chapter we have read.
The book we are reading together is by Timothy Keller: Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.
Towards the end of the first chapter, Keller discusses some practical changes he made to his prayer life after a particularly difficult season of his life. These changes included: summarizing the Psalms and "praying through the Psalms regularly"; adding a "time of meditation as a transitional discipline between my bible reading and my time of prayer"; praying both in the evening and the morning instead of just the morning; and"praying with greater expectation."
I look forward to learning more about these practices from the author, but it is what he wrote next that really caught my attention. Keller informs that the changes "took time to bear fruit, but after sustaining these practices for about two years, I began to have some breakthroughs" (emphasis mine).
I find it both daunting and encouraging that Keller experienced breakthroughs after two years of applying and practicing his new found disciplines: daunting because I am a fickle, lazy, and self-seeking individual; encouraging because breakthroughs take time, hard work, and God's grace even for gifted and godly people like Keller which means there is hope for me.
And here is my hope: I hope to pray more, and to pray more sincerely, and to pray with greater effectiveness, and to pray for the glory of God.