Monday, March 23, 2015
Tethering your prayers to reality
Keller, in his increasingly admired (by me) book on prayer, simply titled Prayer, touches upon a very helpful concept.
His concept is that God should be the starting point. And he should be this because if he's not, "then our own perceived emotional needs become the drivers and sole focus of our prayer" (61).
Since prayer is a continuation of communication started by God, to omit him or relegate him to the backseat suggests that whatever it is we are doing, it isn't prayer.
Keller's remedy for this, indeed God's remedy for this, is to enwrap ourselves in God's Word. Keller writes, "[w]ithout immersion in God's words, our prayers may not be merely limited and shallow but also untethered from reality" (62). Keller continues by warning the reader that we "may be responding not to the real God but to what we wish God and life to be like" (62).
Prayer untethered from God's words risks becoming a prayer disassociated from reality; in fact, it becomes non-prayer. We may be doing nothing more than "talking to ourselves" (62).
I find this admonition very helpful, and know that I have often been untethered from the Word when I have prayed. I believe there is grace for that, but my desire is to pray earnestly, accurately, and effectively. Clearly, I need his words found in the Word for that.