Prayer and the Knowledge of God

“When you think about your practice of prayer and, perhaps, some of the problems you experience, do you mainly consider: what you are like as a praying Christian, or what God is like as our heavenly Father who saves us?” (19). Graeme Goldsworthy, the church’s biblical theologian, has written a beautiful little book that I hope will have as much impact as J. I. Packer’s classic Knowing God.

To whet your appetite, here’s another statement like the one quoted above: “Unfortunately, being told that Jesus got up a great while before sunrise in order to pray, or that Martin Luther, John Wesley and C. H. Spurgeon all regarded two hours a day spent in prayer as normal, does not seem to help most of us. On the contrary, it often tends to make us want to give up altogether” (11). Goldsworthy maintains that what will stir us to prayer is not our attempts to work up faith in our own hearts but rather a sustained focus on God, the beholding of whom will summon forth a response of worship and dependence. We must be God-centered rather than man-centered in our thinking about prayer.

In this book Goldsworthy combines deep theological reflections on the nature of the Trinity with acute sensitivity to the Bible’s salvation historical timeline. Anyone who can read can understand this book, which makes it a great book not only to read but to give to others, or to use in a discipleship/reading discussion group.

May the Lord enable us to know him, and may knowing him give us such confidence in him that we pray without ceasing (cf. Eph 1:17).

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