D. A. Carson’s Praying with Paul: a Call to Reformation is a fantastic read. Each chapter in this book addresses a different theological aspect of prayer through a prayer of Paul’s found in the New Testament. Some of the topics primarily reveal an aspect of God’s nature and the response desired of us. Others focus on practical implications for our prayer lives. The first chapter falls under the second category. Before turning to the ultimate authority on prayer, the Bible, Carson dedicates a chapter to the wisdom that has been given to him on the subject by other believers. The first suggestion is that we need to plan to pray in order to do it well. In our hectic schedules, if we do not plan for something, it will not remain a priority. If we can dedicate brief moments throughout the day to refreshing ourselves through prayer, that is better than rarely praying at length. Consistency fosters good habits. Secondly, we must adopt methods to prevent mental drift while praying, such as vocalizing prayers, praying over scripture, pacing, or journaling as options. Although, one is not always available a prayer partner can be helpful. Modeling after those with vibrant prayer lives is also wise. In addition, one must organize their own prayer lists, and when interceding on behalf of those on the list, try to tie as many of the requests as possible to scripture.
The second chapter is called the framework of prayer because it focuses on two aspects of prayer that Paul keeps in mind when praying for the Thessalonians and in general: thankfulness for evidence of grace in the lives of the believers and confidence in the future vindication through Christ Jesus. The third chapter addresses the themes that characterize Paul’s petitions and th...
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...motivated to practice guitar and how it applied to Christians finding time to dedicate themselves to the discipline of prayer. Also, I remember the story of Jonathan Edward’s mother using her apron to create a space for prayer. Those are just the first two to come to mind. In addition, I appreciated his use of quotations from Christian leaders past. They added credibility and clarity to the points previously made. After all, it is hard to argue when Georg Mueller takes a stance on prayer.
Overall, I found this book to be well written and necessary in its own way. It examines the prayers of Paul to discern what should be necessary for our prayers to God. It acknowledges practical frameworks and suggestions that believers should be familiar with (Prayer is after all, a spiritual discipline). Yet, the contemplative meditative approach was what stood out the most to me.
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