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Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  7,417 ratings  ·  860 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and renowned pastor explores the power of prayer.

Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Viking (first published November 1st 2014)
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Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Writing a book in your 50s will go twice as fast and be twice as good as if you try the same book in your 30s. It’s just good stewardship to wait.”

That was Tim Keller’s advice to pastors who desire to write. And he would know, since by my count, Keller has written nine books in the last two and half years. Talk about prolific writing!

Keller’s latest work is simply entitled Prayer. As he explains in the introduction, his aim is to combine the theological, experiential, and methodological in one
Drew Miller
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
I'm inclined to say that prayer is one of the hardest if not the hardest disciplines of the Christian life. There are a lot of resources out there but In this day and age it's all about "new practices" that will revolutionize your prayer life. In this book Timothy Keller takes us back to what the Saints of old wrote about prayer. In a way that only Keller can do he has taken their thoughts and made them teachable in the 21st century. His ability to use illustrations to bring their thoughts into ...more
Barnabas Piper
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to rate this book. Keller is, as usual, thorough and deep. However, compared to his other books this is much more a survey of various texts and views on prayer patchwork together. It strikes me as the kind of book that will be ideal for some readers but left me wanting. I won;t say it was a bad or subpar book by any means, simply that it left me wanting compared to his many other works I have enjoyed so much.
Brian Eshleman
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After experiences like this, it is tempting to devour all Keller on my to-be-read shelf before moving on to anybody else. He speaks my heart language as a reader. He insists on approaching issues in context, going back to find how thinkers over time have dealt with them. He dives through what must be voluminous reading of dense material, sometimes in the now archaic language of earlier ages, only to price and enthusiastically convey easily accessible and applicable nuggets of Truth.

After examini
Scott Frazier
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book I will read in 2015. I told my wife that I'm slightly dissapointed to have read possibly the 'best book' so early in the year, yet she kindly reminded me that now I'm able to apply it to my life for the rest of the year.

Keller is my favorite Christian author to read because he has a way of being scholar, pastor and teacher intermingled together. When I read Keller's books it's as if I'm a student of his sitting in his living room as he's teaching me all that God has
Tom LA
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I know, I picked up a book about prayer called "Prayer" and then gave it two stars. This was the audiobook actually, kindly offered by the LA library. Aside from a bit too much finger wagging, I found nothing wrong with what the author is saying at all, it's just... not much meat to chew on, really, unless you've never once prayed in your life. It's like when you take a glass of water and pour 3 or 4 drops of fruit juice in it. When you drink it, it's almost tasteless. Same thing with this book. ...more
Steve Penner
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have found that books on prayer, at least those written within my lifetime, to be generally unhelpful. Keller's does not escape this judgment. Coming out of the Reformed tradition, the book tends to be overly analytical, overly dependent on Reformed theology, overly fascinated with Puritan writers, overly long, overly yawn-producing. Parts of the history of prayer are of interest, but barely. Though Keller tries to be fair when writing about other traditions, the medieval Catholic in particula ...more
David Steele
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Over the past twenty-five years, I have read books on prayer by the Puritans and Reformers, the Quakers and the contemplative writers, the Desert Fathers, and even some living authors who think they have something unique to contribute to the discussion.

Timothy Keller's newest work, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy With God is quite frankly the best book I've ever read on prayer.  This short review will only touch the tip of the iceberg; so I encourage readers of Veritas et Lux to read this
Ryan Gossett
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tim Keller did amazing with this book! By looking at the accounts of old Saints, and then using their teachings to teach us about one of the hardest things in the Christian faith. "He discusses ways to make prayer more personal and powerful and how to establish a practice of prayer that works for each reader". My prayer life has changed so much the last few weeks while reading this! Strongly recommend to anyone looking for a book about Prayer!

"Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray, healed pe
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Prayer. What an overlooked feature of the Christian life. God the Father - committed to our good. Jesus our Brother, granting us access by His righteousness and obedience, interceding for us. And the Holy Spirit - not "like" God within us, but actually God Himself living within me teaching me to pray and leading me into His presence. What an amazing gift that we are quick to dismiss.
Naomi Bowen
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prayer is one of the parts of the faith life that most Christians feel guilty about & want to be better at. I imagine some - like me- hope to find a 'How to' guide in these pages.
Actually, Keller approaches the topic in a much more helpful way.
First, he explores the theology of prayer.. Some may call this dull but I think a reminder of what prayer is - 'conversation & encounter with a personal God' - will make the reader keen to pray, instead of feeling they have to.
After this, Keller explore
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I'm so thankful that we live in this day and age where there is wise, Godly men and women that write books to help us in our walk with God.
I don't make it a secret that Prayer is probably one of the main things I struggle with and this book was so helpful. It is informative, encouraging and practical.
Keller was real about his struggles with prayer and offered great insights into why prayer is important, even when we're not 'feeling' it (particularly when we're not feeling it.)
Would h
Nathan Harris
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book. Keller puts prayer under a microscope and, from a Biblical and Church-historical perspective, tells us what prayer is, what it is not, dangerous alternatives/corruptions of prayer, the benefits of prayer, how prayer was practiced in a long line of well known Christians & theologians, and how to practically implement prayer in our lives. But the greatest quality of this book is that it forces us to take a long, hard look at how important and effectual prayer should be in the li ...more
Samuel Parkison
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very different book for Keller. Far more immediately practical. It’s also a survey on historical practices of prayer. I anticipate this book being a very helpful resource to the many church members I recommend it to in the years to come.
Ben Robin
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read some of this with a group of guys from church. Finished most of it on my own, taking a break during the Fall semester to finish my prospectus and then finishing it after my defense.

1: update language
1-2: communion-seeking vs. kingdom seeking

Ch. 1: The Necessity of Prayer
9: crises
10: O'Connor's prayer journal
11: Augustine and ordering loves/desires
16: intelligent mysticism
17: 4 practical changes

Ch. 2: The Greatness of Prayer
20: heart > mind
21: summum bonum—love of God
24: spiritua
Josh Miller
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Keller is quickly becoming my favorite author. He leaves no stone unturned and his research into those who have written on the subject span hundreds and hundreds of years. In matter of fact, he quotes the Puritans more than any other group in this book. He literally has nearly 60 pages of footnotes in the back of the book. But what I love about Keller is that he doesn't just give knowledge. He combines knowledge and insight with practical applications. For instance, this book on prayer has a myr ...more
Philip Mcduffie
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Theologically rich. Saturated with biblical wisdom. Filled with the counsel from giants in the faith. Thorough teaching that will prove applicable for any reader. Compelling and formative. Keller does it again.
Kathy Gange
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book it was a slow read. I felt like I was studying it like the Bible. I'm going to buy a copy of this book and add it to my collection I learned to make my prayers more personal from my heart not just reciting a few words.
Becky Pliego
I would entitle this one: Meditation.

Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book on prayer gives clear examples from history, hundreds of Scripture references, and inspiring ideas about prayer and how God draws close to us.
The topics include why we need to pray, how great and marvelous prayer truly is, what prayer is and is not, and how to truly encounter God and approach His throne. There are also chapters about traditional ideas of prayer, rules for how to pray, how to prepare our heart for prayer, the elements of confession and adoration that go into a prayer, a
Jordan Brown
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Many of us, especially myself, struggle to have a rich prayer life. I’ve read a few books on prayer and Keller’s work has been the most helpful in causing me more deeply treasure this great privilege as well as how to utilize it in daily life. May we, like the apostle Paul, not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself.

Favorite quotes:

“Prayer turns theology into experience.”

“Prayer is the way that truth is worked into your heart to create new insti
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Prayer Prayer Prayer Prayer Reformed Prayer Reformed Prayer Reformed Prayer Reformed Prayer
that is the gist of it. in the first instance one doesn't need to read a book on prayer to pray. Keller, begins the journey of prayer through his own personal experience and then looks at it from different theologians views and makes contrasting representations. eventually dives into the three giants of reformation and adds augustine to that list.
besides prayer, his desire is to take the readers from a no
Michael Wojcik
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Prayer is an awfully cumbersome topic; it's so easy for anyone talking about it or writing on it to inadvertently inspire conviction and condemnation in an individual that dissuades from prayer and ushers the potential pray-er into despondency about their inadequacy. Everyone feels like they can be praying more!

Keller brilliantly navigates this issue, convicting the soul of its inadequacy BUT accompanying this conviction with hope! I feel empowered to pray! To freely enter into prayer with the l
Craig Dean
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Keller delivers sound, practical guidance routed firmly in scripture. Presenting conclusions from his rounded study of the early reformers he simultaneously challenges and encourages the reader to discipline and freedom in prayer - advocating a justifiable balance that is too often missing from more dogmatic treatments. This is a book that is, at least superficially, very accessible to any reader; but has a depth that warrants repeated readings - not least as he presents a roadmap for continuall ...more
I highly recommend this book for those who want to understand more about how to pray. I appreciated Keller describing the different schools of thought on prayer, and also referencing famous theologians' views and practices on prayer.
Jan 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
I wanted to keep reading so bad! It's such a good book with SO many eye-openers about prayer and communication with God. Unfortunately, the library has called it back, and somebody else has it now, so I will have to wait just a tiny bit longer to finish....
Stephen Scholtz
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Keller gives a comprehensive introduction to prayer. I appreciate his ability to navigate difficult debates and give pastoral and academic insights concerning them.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on prayer I have read!
Love the comprehensive coverage of early “saints” and some suggestions and guidelines for today.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-book-list
Highly recommend this book.

* Prayer is both awe and intimacy, struggle and reality.
* Framework for Prayer: Evocation; Meditation; Word prayer; free prayer and contemplation.
* Evocation means to bring to mind, thinking about who it is that you are addressing.
* Meditation is taking time to think and meditate on a portion of the Bible as a bridge to prayer.
* Word prayer: What does this text show me about God for which I should praise or thank him? What does the text show me about a need I have?
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.

He is also Chairman of Redeem

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When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
84 likes · 15 comments
“Prayer turns theology into experience.” 20 likes
“C. S. Lewis argues that it takes a community of people to get to know an individual person. Reflecting on his own friendships, he observed that some aspects of one of his friend’s personality were brought out only through interaction with a second friend. That meant if he lost the second friend, he lost the part of his first friend that was otherwise invisible. “By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.”221 If it takes a community to know an ordinary human being, how much more necessary would it be to get to know Jesus alongside others? By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived.” 16 likes
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