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Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God 

Timothy Keller explores the power of prayer

TimothyKellerPrayerPrayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
Timothy Keller
Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN No: 978 1 444 75015 7
Reviewed by: Jeannie Kendall

I have to start with a confession. For the first time in my history of book reviews, I did not finish this book, or read it word for word. I skimmed bits. Basically, it defeated me.

Though I equally confess I had heard the name but never read any of his books, Timothy Keller is described on the book cover as “a C.S. Lewis for the 21st century”, and is clearly much read. This book comes in at 274 pages, with an additional 46 pages of notes. It is not for the faint hearted. Neither is it helped by an uninspiring book cover.

It is – rather obviously – a book about prayer, under the sections Desiring Prayer, Understanding Prayer, Learning Prayer, Deepening Prayer, and Doing Prayer.

Promising titles. As early though as p38 however, a discussion on “mystical versus prophetic prayer” had me suffering a form of brain freeze.

By the time I got to the potentially useful section on Daily prayer, very near the end of the book, I was already too dispirited to really benefit. Prayer is for me ultimately about relationship, heart desire: sometimes just simply being and listening. I could respect the intellectual complexity of the book, but not relate to it. Perhaps others more gifted than me will be hugely helped by it.

Clearly in the next round of book requests, I need to ask for something simpler. Rev Keller’s fans, I presume, will love this book and I recognise the scholarship lying behind it. For me however, it left my brain over-stretched and my heart untouched.

Jeannie Kendall is co-minister of Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church, a former visiting lecturer at Spurgeon’s College, a member of Sutton Street Pastors’ Management Board and a District Minister in the London Baptist Association

Baptist Times, 15/10/2015
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