This past Sunday, Dennis preached on the role of prayer in the Christian’s life. He reminded us that prayer is an act of love. It is an opportunity to seek the good of others by bringing them to the One who is the source of all good. We are called to pray for all people – not simply for their well-being, but for their salvation. Such prayer reflects the very heart of God, “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
But as Dennis mentioned, this isn’t always the case. Many of us struggle in prayer. Some of us lack desire. Some lack words. Others lack perspective. And yet, if prayer is an essential part of the Christian life, then it is worth considering how we can mature in prayer. Here are some resources that may prove to be helpful in strengthening our prayer life:
A Praying Life by Paul Miller is a great resource that not only gives us a theological framework for prayer, but also practical ways of making prayer a regular part of our life. This book is an easy read (Miller includes many illustrations from his own life) and helps to address the issues of our heart that keep us from praying.
The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers that help to bring language and substance to our prayers. It covers a variety of themes and is rich in scripture and doctrine. This book helps us to consider our own salvation in a way that leads us to desire the same for others. Joe Thorn, Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in Illinois, has even created a prayer guide for the Valley of Vision that helps us to be disciplined in prayer.
These are two good options. May we grow in our intimacy with God through prayer and continually plead before Him to see others come to the knowledge of the truth.