Monday, May 11, 2015

Touchstones of Prayer

In chapter nine of Keller’s book on prayer he deals with what he calls “touchstones” of prayer. Touchstones are small rocks that are used to determine the purity of precious metals. Touchstones of prayer, however, are ways “by which we can judge the relative strength or weakness of our prayers for honoring and connecting us to God” (121).

Below I will list Keller’s twelve touchstones of prayer as well as a quotation about each one.

Prayer is a duty and a discipline.
“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not.”

Prayer is conversing with God.
“Prayer in Jesus’ name and the power of the Spirit is the restoration of that single most precious thing we had with God in the beginning-free communication with him.”

Prayer is adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication.
These four elements of prayer are “interactive and stimulate each other.”

Prayer is “In Jesus’ name,” based on the gospel.
“Our prayer must be in full, grateful awareness that our access to God as Father is a free gift won by the costly sacrifice of Jesus the True Son, and then enacted in us by the Holy Spirit, who helps us to know inwardly that we are his children”

Prayer is the heart engaged in loving awe.
“One important sign of an engaged heart is awe before the greatness of God and before the privilege of prayer.”

Prayer is accepting one’s weakness and dependence.
“To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything.”

Prayer reorients your view toward God.
“Prayer in all its forms. . . reorients your view and vision of everything.”

Prayer is spiritual union with God.
“Prayer is the way that all the things we believe in and that Christ has won for us actually become our strength.”

Prayer seeks a heart sense of the presence of God.
“[W]e are to meditate on the truth until our heart’s affections are stirred and we find ourselves desiring the service of God.”

Prayer requires and creates honesty and self-knowledge.
“Prayer, however, must eventually take us beyond a mere sense of insufficiency into deep honesty with ourselves.”

Prayer requires and creates both restful trust and confident hope.
“The final thought of every prayer must be for the help we need to accept thankfully from God’s hand whatever he sends in his wisdom.”

Prayer requires and creates surrender of the whole life in love to God.
“Real believers, though they are profoundly aware of how imperfectly they love God, nonetheless want to love him supremely.”

1 comment:

  1. I found this to be a great recap of where we've been with this book so far!