I like Paul Miller’s new book, A Praying Life (https://www.navpress.com/product/9781600063008/A-Praying-Life-Paul-E-Miller). I don’t say that just because NavPress published it. I like it because Miller talks to us where we’re at—in the mess of life with its busyness, disappointments, cynicism, and pressures. Anybody can pray on a retreat on the beach or in a quiet cabin in the mountains, right? But what about if you are the parent of six children, one of whom is handicapped? Or if you have a demanding ministry that often keeps you away from home and always puts you in constant interaction with people? Or if you’ve had too many experiences of praying and nothing seeming to happen?
Miller speaks from all of those experiences and more. His busy ministry and large family don’t serve him hours of solitude in which to develop his prayer life. But his busy ministry and large family are exactly what have caused him to see his need to pray.
“When our kids were two, five, eight, twelve, fourteen, and sixteen, I wrote this in my prayer journal:
‘March 19, 1991. Amazing how when I don’t pray in the morning evil just floods into our home. I absolutely must pray! Oh, God, give me the grace to pray.
“It took me seventeen years to realize I couldn’t parent on my own. It was not a great spiritual insight, just a realistic observation. If I didn’t pray deliberately and reflectively for members of my family by name every morning, they’d kill one another. I was incapable of getting inside their hearts. I was desperate. But even more, I couldn’t change my self-confident heart. My prayer journal reflects both my inability to change my kids and my inability to change my self-confidence. That’s why I need grace even to pray. . . . It didn’t take me long to realize I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God.”
But there are no shortcuts to developing a praying life, Miller says. So this book is not for people who hope to develop deep connection with God in three minutes a day. It is for people who realize that without relationship with God they are sunk. That certainly describes me. If it describes you, too, then I suggest reading Miller’s book. Or try a free three-chapter sample by downloading it from the Pray! website home page.