In Calling on the Name of the Lord J. Gary Millar undertakes the monumental task of putting forward a biblical theology of prayer. What sets Millar’s work apart from other books that seek to develop a biblical theology of prayer is his focus on both testaments. Many book either focus on one biblical aspect for example Carson in his work Spiritual Reformation draws specifically from the prayers of Paul contained in his epistles.
Divided into nine chapters this work begins with the developing understanding of prayer found in the Pentateuch pointing out the nature of prayer being rooted in the promises God had made with His people. Each chapter addresses a different section of the Bible all the way to Revelation. The chapter on Psalms is particularly helpful in addressing important interpretive issues and in arguing that there is an overarching message to the Psalter. Many are tempted to view works like this as being a purely academic interest, Millar however in his afterword demonstrates the vital importance of recovering a biblical understanding of prayer.
This book serves as a challenge to the current prayerlessness of contemporary evangelicalism. What strikes me most about Millar’s work is the fact that many people in the church don’t have the biblical categories or scope of prayer that those who have gone before us have. Many people when they pray they are not calling on the name of the Lord in the framework of being in a covenant relationship and calling on Him to fulfill what He was promised to us His people.
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