Good Theology Makes for Good Prayers

prayerThe quotable Keller doesn’t disappoint in his book on prayer. One section I’ve found especially helpful defines and explains prayer as conversations in response to our knowledge of God. An implication is that one way to galvanize our prayer life is to grow our theology. 

The more we see the grandeur, the glory, and goodness of God the greater will be our desire and passion for prayer. Seeing God’s bigness leads us to ask him to do what only he can do, and seeing his nearness leads to us believe we can approach him. This growth in the knowledge of God infuses our prayers so that they are motivated by, focused on, and empowered by God. Theology done well makes us passionate, desperate, and expectant people of prayer. This means the more we see God in the world around us through his book of natural revelation and the more we see God in the Word through his special revelation, the more “stuff” we have to fuel our prayers.

Here are a few quotes on how knowledge of God prompts prayer to God. Hopefully, they can lead us into the Word so we might pray, and into prayer that is saturated with the Word.

Prayer is ultimately a verbal response of faith to a transcendent God’s Word and his grace” (43).

“…we can define prayer as a personal, communicative response to the knowledge of God” (45).

“…because our definition understands prayer as a response to the knowledge of God, it means that prayer is profoundly altered by the amount and accuracy of that knowledge….The clearer our understanding of who God is, the better our prayers” (45-46).

Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him” (48).

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 more clearly Job saw who God was, the fuller his prayers became–moving from mere complaint to confession, appeal, and praise. In the end he broke through and was able to face anything in life. This new refinement and level of character came through the interaction of listening to God’s revealed Word and answering in prayer. The more true his knowledge of God, the more fruitful his prayers became, and the more sweeping the change in his life” (48).

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