Coming October 2022, Our October Surprise: A Call to Prayer
April 15, 2020

In Other’s Words: D.A. Carson, Plan to Pray

In Other’s Words: D.A. Carson, Plan to Pray

As we continue our “In Other’s Words” segments, today, D.A. Carson reminds us of two fundamental truths to foster our prayer lives.

“1. Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. We do not drift into spiritual life; we do not drift into disciplined prayer. We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray. That means we must self-consciously set aside time to do nothing but pray.

What we actually do reflects our highest priorities. That means we can proclaim our commitment to prayer until the cows come home, but unless we actually pray, our actions disown our words.”

“4. Choose models—but choose them well. Most of us can improve our praying by carefully, thoughtfully listening to others pray. This does not mean we should copy everything we hear. Some people use an informal and chatty style in prayer that reflects their own personality and perhaps the context in which they were converted; others intone their prayers before God with genuine erudition coupled with solemn formality, deploying vocabulary and forms of English considered idiomatic 350 years ago. Neither extreme is an intrinsically good model; both might be good models, but not because of relatively external habits, and certainly not because of merely cultural or personal idiosyncrasy. When we find good models, we will study their content and urgency, but we will not ape their idiom.”

“All are characterized by a wonderful mixture of contrition and boldness in prayer.”

Plan to pray, and as you may have guessed, your first model for prayer, true communion, and the devotion which leads us to a growing, Biblical, dynamic soul-satisfying prayer is King David. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you.

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All our Scripture quotes are drawn from the NASB 1977 edition.

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