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Prayer: Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller

Hodder and Stoughton 2014 Hardback £16:99 321 pages ISBN 978 1 44 75015 7

Some books offer a few hours of entertainment, insight or escapism but then are tossed aside and soon forgotten. Others like Jim Packer's Knowing God, and CS Lewis' Mere Christianity provide a resource that continues to feed and stimulate us for a lifetime. It is daring to call any 21st century book a classic. Yet I don't think that it would be out of place for this masterly work by Tim Keller.

Books on prayer are often unrealistic and guilt-inducing; we put them down feeling that we could never pray, or they are filled with a bravado that assumes if we follow the three or four steps to effective prayer, we can change the world! Keller has written a demanding book that is probably best read a chapter at a time in an unhurried and prayerful way. It is not always an easy read but if the reader is patient, they will find many helpful ways into meaningful prayer. 

The book is comprehensive in its range, well thought through and eminently practical. Keller has probably read everything, ancient and modern on prayer. With engaging skill he helps us explore the mysterious world of prayer. He does so, not so much as an expert teaching principles, but as a praying man allowing us to eavesdrop on his intimate moments with God. 

Get a copy and spend 2015 reading while making the request: "Lord teach us to pray".

John Woods is pastor of Lancing Tabernacle

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