Over the last month I have been reading through Tim Keller's new book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. I am just now wrapping up section three of the book, which is concluded with the touchstones of prayer:
What It Is
Work: Prayer is a duty and a discipline.
Word: Prayer is conversing with God.
Balance: Prayer is adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication.
What It Requires
Grace: Prayer is "In Jesus' name," based on the gospel.
Fear: Prayer is the heart engaged in loving awe.
Helplessness: Prayer is accepting one's weakness and dependence.
What It Gives
Perspective: Prayer reorients your view toward God.
Strength: Prayer is spiritual union with God.
Spiritual Reality: Prayer seeks a heart sense of the presence of God.
Where It Takes Us
Self-Knowledge: Prayer requires and creates honesty and self-knowledge.
Trust: Prayer requires and creates both restful trust and confident hope.
Surrender: Prayer requires and creates surrender of the whole life in love to God.