by Joel Beeke
1. True prayer brings heaven down into the soul, and lifts the soul up to heaven.
2. True prayer is the prime exercise of faith where all saving graces converge to climax in both the highest expression of gratitute (to God) and the deepest expression of humility (with regard to ourselves), as well as the broadest expression of love (for others).
3. True prayer is real life. It is the “soul’s breathing itself into the bosom of its heavenly Father” (Thomas Watson).
4. True prayer is the sinner’s response to God’s voice. The prayer of the broken-hearted is a gift to God in reply to God’s gift of prayerful brokenheartedness. True prayer is returning to God through the weaknesses and stains of human brokenness and unworthiness what God has decreed from all eternity, made room for in time, and brought to fruition in the moment of actual soul-wrestling.
5. True prayer is a holy art taught by a groaning, wrestling Spirit who often uses the impossibilities and apparent “artlessness” of the believer’s entangled and sin-stained life to pencil upon him the image of his worthy Master.
6. True prayer is spiritual air for spiritual lungs. Where prayerless praying overtakes prayerful praying, the true believer degenerates into listlessness.
7. True prayer is the fruit of God Triune – the Father as Giver and Decreer, the Son as Meritor and Perfector, the Spirit as Wrestler and Indweller.
8. True prayer has an unexplainable way of augmenting both the worthiness of Christ and the unworthiness of the sinner; hence, it is both the chief part of humility and of thankfulness (cf. Heid. Cat. Q. 116).