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Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  8,925 ratings  ·  979 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. ...more
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
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
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
Maitland Gray
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“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.”

Keller packs so many important truths in this book. This is not a self-help "10 Steps to Stronger Prayer" kind of book. Instead, it's a challenging book that stirs up the questions about prayer I try to ignore and hide from myself. Finishing the book felt more like a start than an end. I don't have all the answers now, but
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
Matthew Manchester
This was my first Tim Keller book and it won't be my last.


Keller writes a more comprehensive book on prayer than many of those I've seen. It looks at the subject of prayer through the lens of history, philosophy, apologetics, science, and of course, the Bible. This leads to a more rounded view of prayer, in my opinion.


Okay, if you read a lot, you know how you can read 20 pages of an author's book and think "THEY CAN WRITE!"? Yeah, this is one of those books and authors. Yo
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. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of the most detailed and Scriptural books on prayer that I’ve ever experienced. The giants of our faith and the touch of the Holy Spirit brought the value of prayer to life.
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
Ada Tarcau
My expectations regarding this book were very, very high. Nevertheless, the book did mange to surpass them!
I cannot recommand it enough. It would be worthwhile to every christian.
This is a very thorough and fully-packed book, being both well-documented, clear, theoretical, theological and also very practical, deeply motivating, experiential and amazingly insightful.
I have started listening to it but ended up buying and reading the kindle version as well. There was just to much to it.
I must turn
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.
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
Ben Robin
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Katherine Harris
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would recommend to anyone looking to reignite or begin your prayer life. As Tim Keller digs into the history of prayer and gives likened advice, he also points constantly to the Gospel as a reminder for how we are so fortunate to have the gift of having our prayers heard! That reminder weaved throughout was truly my favorite part, really lights a fire.
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?
This is the most informative and practical book I have ever read on prayer and may be the most informative and practical I've ever read on Christian living in general. Timothy Keller has a gift. He is unique among current reformed writers in that he combines depth with readability.

Keller begins Prayer by analyzing various philosophies on prayers, teaching the reader what meditation is and how to do it and then explaining exactly how to pray and how to spend time with God. He gives not just one e
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. ...more
Daniel Threlfall
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I appreciate how Keller is able to weave scholarly research with devotional encouragement. He does so in a very readable way.
Becky Pliego
I would entitle this one: Meditation.

Matt Pitts
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, prayer
Easily the first book on prayer that I would recommend to a new Christian or a mature believer. A beautiful, gracious, challenging, and encouraging book.
Tim Michiemo
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.8 Stars

Prayer is a spiritual discipline that all Christians suffer in and thus are in dire need of some sage advice. Tim Keller offers this sage advice on prayer in his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. In this book, Keller does what he does best and offers a succinct survey, offers wisdom from the ancients like Augustine and Calvin, and critiques other views on prayer. The results of Keller’s book is a phenomenal introduction to the spiritual discipline of Prayer. Tim Kelle
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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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Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
25 likes · 11 comments
“Prayer turns theology into experience.” 21 likes
“To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything.” 17 likes
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