A book of Puritan prayers to encourage my heart to pray.
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.
“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change— the reordering of our loves. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life. We must learn to pray. We have to.”
~ Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
I have a pattern of teaching in cycles – a season of expositional, verse by verse through a book and then a series on some topic. I find that the expositional phase of the cycle shapes my heart for the future while the series express my heart of the moment.
I’m excited to start a series with our church on the Lord’s prayer, praying and expecting that it will be the means by which God will do this at For His Glory:
“And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.” (Ezekiel 37:13)
This series reflects the stirrings in my own heart. I want to grow in prayer, I want to grow in the experience of life with Christ.
Part of my prep has been to read Keller’s book on prayer. All I can say is if anyone needs a book on prayer, this has to be one of the first ones to go to. Such great palatable insights.
“…prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire”
How humbling, in a healing way, to be cut to the heart with the thought that my own idolatry makes much of what God wants to do in my life unsafe for my own good. How thankful I am for the pastoring of my soul by the Great Shepherd.