The more we learn who God is, the better we learn to pray. Without knowing who God is, prayer is merely expressions of what we want for ourselves or others. Edmund P. Clowney made this amazing statement: “We should not decide how to pray based on the experiences and feelings we want. Instead, we should do everything possible to behold our God as he is, and prayer will follow. The more clearly we grasp who God is, the more our prayer is shaped and determined accordingly. Without immersion in God’s words, our prayers may not be merely limited and shallow but also untethered from reality. We may be responding not to the real God but to what we wish God and life to be like. Indeed, if left to themselves our hearts will tend to create a God who doesn’t exist.” (Clowney, “A Biblical Theology”)
Until I began to discover how to pray through God’s Word, as well as several other amazing truths about prayer, my prayer life was drier than the Mojave Desert! (I highly recommend Tim Keller’s book “Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God”) I typically gave thanks, confessed sins, and went through my prayer list. I was failing miserably to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) http://bible.com/59/1th.5.17.esv I rarely had personal prayer time for more than fifteen minutes because it was painful and impossible to have deep, satisfying, frequent conversations with someone who wasn’t even as real to me as my close friends are. God is real. He is concisely described in His Word, and although we can also discover Him in Creation–His Word is our most reliable resource. It’s in His Word that we learn not only about who He is, but also the language He speaks. For example, the Psalms are full of prayers in His language that we may personally address to Him! Our prayer life can be a lush, inviting garden. When prayer becomes the great longing of our heart, we not only set aside special time for it, but also, throughout our day we long to communicate with our wise, loving Father! God is the best prayer teacher!
From the book, “Essential Faith” Volume 2 available on Amazon by clicking HERE .