Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lessons from the School of Prayer

How has D.A. Carson's A Call to Spirital Reformation gone largely unnoticed? I have never heard anyone recommend it. It is a fantastic meditation on Paul's prayers and the great need of the Church today to recover a deep knowledge of God.

In chapter 1, Carson shares some thoughts about prayer gleanned over the years (get the book to read what he says about each of these):

1. Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray.
2. Adpot practical ways to impede mental drift.
3. At various periods of your life, develop, if possible, a prayer-partner relationship.
4. Choose models--but choose them well.
5. Develop a system for your prayer lists.
6. Mingle praise, confession, and intercession; but when you intercede, try to tie as many requests as possible to Scripture.
7. If you are in any form of spiritual leadership, work at your public prayers.
8. Pray until you pray.

This last point is powerful. Carson says, "in the Western world we urgently need this advice, for many of us in our praying are like nasty little boys who ring front door bells and run away before anyone answers."

5 comments:

Mark Redfern said...

We have one copy on our church bookshelf. I have wanted to read it a number of times, and have thumbed through it a few times. It haven't been able to squeeze it in yet, but hope to do so in the next few years.

Or, you can just keep posting these reflections on the book for my (and others) benefit. That would be very Mohlerian of you.

(Mohlerian - definition: like Albert Mohler - reading a book (or writing an article - so others don't have to). Remember him making this comments at T4G?

justin said...

Great word: Mohlerian.

How about Deverian: the skill of asking probing and thoughtful questions.

Someone comment on the quote by Carson about us being like nasty boys.

Sarah said...

I tried to post, but I think I hit the wrong button...so I will try and remember what I said before and if I end up posting twice...Im sorry.

That quote has been on my mind the past couple of days. How often I am that nasty little boy. How often I go to His holy throne of grace and treat it like a check off list. Or I pray for only my needs and not the needs of others. Or I dont stay long enough to praise Him for all that He is. Or I forget to beg for His grace to be sufficient for me today- that it would get me through today in a way that reflects His holy character.

So this morning I prayed that He would teach me to pray. That I would fight my flesh to sit there and and be silent before Him and have my sin be brought to my mind that I may have forgotten about from the day before-and repent of them all and that I would reflect on all that He is and all that I am not.

I am thankful for that quote. I pray that it will come to my mind every time I approach the Creator, Owner, and Provider of all creation.

Cavman said...

I guess it went overlooked because it is about prayer. Sadly, many of us Reformed folk don't practice the discipline of prayer. What sorry sods are we!
I'll have to look for this one.

Sarah said...

Also, a good book for any women or wives...is Carol Ruvolo's "Before the Throne of God" It is really good. We had her speak on this topic at our ladies retreat!!! Very convicting and challenging...all about how the Lord desires to be worshiped by His people that He created for that very purpose...and part of that is prayer. She encouraged "open book prayer" and to use prayers like Paul's to teach us to pray....it was just really awesome!