I have been reading Timothy Keller’s book, Prayer. It is doing what every good book should do – it is driving me to God’s Word to see if what this man is writing is what God has already written in His Word.
I going to quote a lengthy passage from his chapter Encountering God (pages 66-68):
“Prayer is conversation with God. However, conversations can remain mere exchanges of information that do not lead to true personal encounter and relationship. We do not want just to know about God, but to know God, to seek His Face and Presence…
“The primary theological fact about prayer is this: We address a Triune God, and our prayers can be heard only through the distinct work of every Person in the Godhead.
“In the New Testament the Triune nature of God becomes explicit, but few places are as compressed and direct as Matthew 28:19, where Jesus sends His disciples into the world to baptize ‘in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
“It does not say ‘in the Names’ but rather states that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all have a single Name.
“For us the term name may be just a label or a brand that can be discarded or changed at will, but in Biblical times, it denoted the very nature and being of a person. This means the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all share one divine nature, that they are one being. There is only one God – not three…
“Yet the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all equally God…The implications of the Trinity of God for prayer are many. It means, to begin with, that God has always had within Himself a perfect friendship. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are adoring one another, giving glorifying love to one another, and delighting in one another.
“We know of no joy higher than being loved and loving in return, but a Triune God would know that love and joy in unimaginable, infinite dimensions. God is, therefore, infinitely, profoundly happy, filled with perfect joy – not some abstract tranquility but the fierce happiness of dynamic loving relationships.
“Knowing this God is not to get beyond emotions or thoughts but to be filled with glorious love and joy.
“If God did not need to create other beings in order to know love and happiness, then why did He do so? Jonathan Edwards argues, in A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World, that the only reason God would have had for creating us was not to get the cosmic love and joy of relationship (because He already had that) but to share it…
“We can see why a Triune God would call us to converse with Him, to know and relate to Him. It is because He wants to share the joy He has. Prayer is our way of entering into the happiness of God Himself.”
Ephesians 3.14-19 (HCSB): For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
16 I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, 17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith.
I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.