Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Holy Spirit preaching to us while we pray

 Tim Keller tack on an interesting tidbit near the end of the sixth chapter of his book Prayer. In this chapter he has considered what the famous reformer Marin Luther taught about prayer. On the second to last page of the chapter we come across this quote: "He [Luther] expects that the Spirit, as we reflect on the biblical truth before God, will sometimes fill our heart with rich thoughts and ideas that feel poignant and new to us, even when we are thinking about a text or truth that we have heard hundreds of times before."

This experience, of having Scripture made alive and clearly relevant by the Holy Spirit, is a rich and edifying occurrence. I like that Keller notes that this happens "sometimes;" it is not a routine, daily event. But, as the Spirit wills, he will give you fresh insight into the Word that you have been meditating on. This is not new revelation in the canonical sense, but rather the illuminating of Scripture by the Spirit to specific situations in our lives. When it does happen, it is glorious.

As a reminder that helps us from straying too far down the mystical-experiential yellow brick road, Keller reminds us that Luther's prayer life was informed by the Bible and had God's Word as its foundation: "To paraphrase Luther's little treatise-he tells us to build on our study of Scripture through meditation, answering the Word in prayer to the Lord."

However, there is definitely some room for the Spirit to break through our routines and communicate. Keller writes, "we should be aware that the Holy Spirit may begin "preaching" to us. When that happens, we must drop our routines and pay close attention.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed that passage as well. Foundation is key.