16 Quotes From Tim Keller on Prayer

I just finished reading Tim Keller’s book called Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God. What follows are some quotes I found helpful. I pray you find them the same, if not more so.

If you’d like to read the book and don’t want to get your own copy, you can borrow mine from the bookshelves in the gathering place. Just ignore my markings and whatnots.

“The clearer our understanding of who God is, the better our prayers. Instinctive prayer is like an emergency flare in reaction to a general sense of God’s reality. Prayer as a spiritual gift is a genuine, personal conversation in reply to God’s specific, verbal revelation” (46).

“The power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God” (49).

“ . . . the way to have God dynamically active in our lives is through the Bible. To understand the Scripture is not simply to get information about God. If attending to with trust and faith, the Bible is the way to actually hear God speaking and also to meet God himself” (54).

“We must not decide how to pray based on what types of prayer are the most effective for producing the experiences and feelings we want. We pray in response to God himself. God’s Word to us contains this range of discourse—and only if we respond to his Word will our own prayer life be as rich and varied” (60).

“ . . . our ability to love other persons is just an image of the internal Trinitarian love that we were created to reflect . . . Prayer is our way of entering into the happiness of God himself” (68).

“Prayer is the way to experience a powerful confidence that God is handling our lives well, that our bad things will turn out for good, our good things cannot be taken from us, and the best things are yet to come” (73).

“John Calvin argues that you may know a lot about God, but you don’t truly know God until the knowledge of what he has done for you in Jesus Christ has changed the fundamental structure of your heart” (78).

“To pray in Jesus’ name means to come to God in prayer consciously trusting in Christ for our salvation and acceptance and not relying on our own credibility or record. It is, essentially, to regrouped our relationship with God in the saving work of Jesus over and over again. It also means to recognize your status as a child of God, regardless of your inner state” (105).

“If the Father always hears the Son, then he always hears those who, in Christ, are his sons” (Quoting Calvin, 106).

“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not” (121).

“Do not say, ‘I cannot pray. I am not in the spirit,’ writes Forsyth. ‘Pray till you are in the spirit’” (122).

“ . . . you should not begin to pray for all you want until you realize that in God you have all you need” (139).

“God give me a deep humility, a well-guided zeal, a burning love and a single eye, and then let men or devils do their worst!” George Whitefield

“We can be sure that, if we ask for something that wouldn’t be best for us, God won’t give it to us” (228).

“The Spirit, even when you do not know how to pray, takes your core prayer and prays as you should be praying before the throne (cf. Rom 8:26). When you struggle in prayer, you can come before God with the confidence that he is going to give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything he knows. He does care, and he loves you boundlessly” (229).

Praying is rowing, and sometimes it is like rowing in the dark—you won’t feel that you are making any progress at all. Yet you are, and when the winds rise again, and they surely will, you will sail again before them” (260).