Scraps of Thoughts on Daily Prayer

Tim Keller | July 13, 2010


There are three kinds of prayer I try to find time for every day—meditation (or contemplation), petition, and repentance. I concentrate on the first two every morning and do the last one in the evening.

Meditation is actually a middle ground or blend of Bible reading and prayer. I like to use Luther's contemplative method that he outlines in his famous letter on prayer that he wrote to his barber. The basic method is this—to take a Scriptural truth and ask three questions of it. How does this show me something about God to praise? How does this show me something about myself to confess? How does this show me something I need to ask God for? Adoration, confession, and supplication. Luther proposes that we keep meditating like this until our hearts begin to warm and melt under a sense of the reality of God. Often that doesn't happen. Fine. We aren't ultimately praying in order to get good feelings or answers, but in order to honor God for who he is in himself.

There are two kinds of Bible reading that I try to do. I read the psalms through every month using the Book of Common Prayer's daily


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