Turning Meditation into Prayer
How does our theological awareness show up in our prayers? That is a very good question.
I think it shows itself in how we address God and it shows itself in what we pray about and for. When our Lord prayed in the garden in John 17 his prayer was based on his knowledge of God, the Father.
How does he address God? Holy Father, righteous Father. When we talk to God in our prayers we’re not talking to some abstraction, some impersonal ‘force be with you.’ We’re talking to the God who has revealed his character, his ways, his promises, and his purposes. And if we use those revealed ways—the knowledge of his character and his promises—in our prayers, then we’ll know that we’re praying in a way aligned with who God is. We’re talking to the God who has revealed his character, his ways, his promises, and his purposes.
Jim Packer has been very helpful here. He says that biblical meditation is turning what we know of God from Scripture into prayer and praise to God. Theology helps us uncover just what those things are that can be turned into prayer and praise to God.
Graham A. Cole (ThD, Australian College of Theology) is the dean and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. An ordained Anglican minister, he has served in two parishes and was formerly the principal of Ridley College. Graham lives in Libertyville, Illinois, with his wife, Jules. He is a member at Church of the Redeemer in Highwood, Illinois.