Tim Keller is the wonderful pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in the heart of New York City. He is one of the most insightful, thinking pastors of our day. So I was greatly encouraged to read his article about his daily prayer life. Most of us can use some occasional encouragement for our own prayer lives. In this article, Keller does not come across as somebody who always prayers as he should. He has struggled like all of us in this area. Yet his example will both encourage us to be about spending time with God. He also provides some helpful tips.
Keller tries to find these times in his day to pray with a particular focus on each time:
- Mornings are for meditation and petition. Here is where he focuses on reading and chewing on the biblical text. He does have a systematic reading plan (which I would highly recommend).
- Mid-days (about 5 minutes) are for spiritual inventory. Here he recalls what he meditated on from the Bible in the morning and examines himself for any idols or besetting sins.
- Evenings are for repentance praying and for praying with his wife.
Keller’s article is also helpful in that he writes about using a model of interacting with the Bible in the morning that he learned from reading Martin Luther. Luther was once asked for help in praying by his barber. In providing his barber some helpful advice, he helps us all learn how to interact with the Scriptures by asking three questions when we read a text.
- How does this show me something about God to praise? – Praise and adoration
- How does this show me something about myself to confess? – Confession and repentance
- How does this show me something I need to ask God for? – Petition and intercession
I hope you will read Keller’s article and spend some time with our Lord.