Answering Speech: The Life of Prayer as Response to God

By Daniel J. Brendsel

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Answering Speech: The Life of Prayer as Response to God

By Daniel J. Brendsel

... Show All

Pursuing an Expansive Life of Prayer

In wondrous contrast to silent idols, the one true God speaks. He addresses his people in love, and it’s their great privilege to answer him in prayer. At its root, prayer isn’t mere self-expression or a prod to get a silent God to speak, but it is a learned skill to answer God’s initiating word in Christ.

Through this thoughtful book, author and pastor Daniel J. Brendsel explains how responding to God can nurture prayerful engagement with Scripture, shape healthy rhythms among God’s praying people, and spur excitement for communion with God. For those disappointed by their current life of prayer, Answering Speech invites readers to enter into an expansive and exuberant life of response to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Offers a Unique Perspective: Explores how Christians are not initiators of prayer but responders to what God has already done 
  • Appeals to Pastors and Thoughtful Laypersons: Focuses on important issues that should be taught within the local church 
  • Theological yet Accessible: Deeply rooted in theology, this book offers encouragement and practical rhythms for prayer 

Read Chapter 1


Daniel J. Brendsel

Daniel J. Brendsel (PhD, Wheaton College) is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hinckley, Minnesota. He is the author of Isaiah Saw His Glory and several articles appearing in books and journals.

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Church Ministry
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 12.16 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8894-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8894-5
ISBN-UPC: 9781433588945
Case Quantity: 30
Published: July 25, 2023

Table of Contents

Introduction: Prayer as 
Answering Speech

Part 1: God
Chapter 1: Answering the Sovereign God
Chapter 2: When the Dialogue Seems One-Sided
Chapter 3: The End and the Beginning of Prayer

Part 2: Scripture
Chapter 4: Praying in Response to Scripture
Chapter 5: Praying Scripture
Chapter 6: Praying (in the Story of) Scripture

Part 3: Language
Chapter 7: Naming and Receiving Reality Aright
Chapter 8: The Language of the City of God
Chapter 9: Learning the Language

Part 4: Rhythms
Chapter 10: The Weekly Rhythm of Prayer
Chapter 11: The Daily Rhythm of Prayer
Chapter 12: The Rhythm and Shape of a Typical Prayer

Conclusion: In Jesus’s Name
Discussion Questions
Sources of Chapter-Opening Epigraphs
General Index
Scripture Index


“It is shameful but true. Christians have long struggled to exercise their most astounding privilege: approaching the throne of grace and talking to God, communicating with the one who created and redeems us, who loves us with a love even stronger than death. This thought-provoking book is precisely what we need to put our prayer lives on track. It points us to the one who initiates this marvelous divine communication and invites us to answer him in fear, love, honesty, and ceaseless, awestruck, self-giving speech.”
Douglas A. Sweeney, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“​​The chief virtue of this book is that it is not about prayer; it is about God. Of course the title gives that away: prayer is a response to who God is and what he has said and done. As the author wisely says, prayer is a way of perceiving what really is. Many of us believe that, but it often does not inform the way we pray. This wonderful book will help you move in the right direction. I highly recommend it.”
William Edgar, Professor Emeritus of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“If Dan Brendsel is right—and I believe he is—that a primary pastoral task in the life of the church is teaching God’s people to pray, then the church today needs to read this book! The message of Answering Speech is the profound biblical truth that our life with God is a life of prayer—dialogue with a gracious God who has initiated conversation and covenanted with us. In essence, prayer is living in response to the Trinitarian God. By rooting prayer in canon, church, and creed, and by showing the glorious marriage between the prayer life and the Christian life, Brendsel pastors the individual Christian and the corporate church into deeper communion with Christ. I could not recommend this book more highly!”
Edward W. Klink III, Senior Pastor, Hope Evangelical Free Church, Roscoe, Illinois; author, The Local Church and John

“Prayer is theology in miniature, the essence of the creature’s interpersonal relation with the Creator: human answering speech to the divine address. Prayer is also the beating heart of the Christian life, a participation through the gift of the Spirit in the Son’s response to the Father: “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus’s disciples asked him to teach them to pray, and as Brendsel rightly notes in this important book, teaching God’s people to pray is one of the pastor’s chief tasks. Answering Speech is an excellent resource for doing just that. Brendsel helpfully engages both theological and practical matters and, in the process, helps us see all of life as eminently theological, an ongoing dialogue in different registers—confession, intercession, adoration—with our covenantal, triune God.”
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This book lights up our place in the life of prayer—in relation to God, who speaks first. Dan Brendsel has given us a thought-provoking, Scripture-saturated, and deeply encouraging discussion of prayer as our answer to God’s initiating word, fully spoken to us in Christ.”
Kathleen Nielson, author; speaker

“This is a book I’ve been waiting for. It approaches prayer in a way that accents and celebrates the initiative of God: he speaks first; then we respond in prayer, answering his word. Dan Brendsel is a careful pastor-scholar who brings together both biblical insights and treasures from the great tradition. Just look at the bibliography. Most of us need to go deeper with prayer—which can seem so simple, even natural, and yet is a bottomless wonder, past finding out. To speak with the living God! There is far more to prayer than we presume—riches here set before us by a learned jeweler.”
David Mathis, Senior Teacher and Executive Editor,; Pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota; author, Habits of Grace