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A Praying Life is an honest look at the difficulties of prayer, unanswered prayers, and successes in prayer.
Author Paul Miller shares his insights and conclusions about how to connect the broken pieces of your life and allow prayer—even poorly delivered—to fill the gaps with meaning and substance.
Miller's down-to-earth approach and practical nature will help you see that your relationship with God can grow and your communication with Him can get better.
Parents will find Miller's family-life experiences especially helpful.
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A Praying Life
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A SPIRITUAL TONIC
Hi Brother Paul
This is not intended as a review of your book A PRAYING LIFE which I have just finished reading. Rather it is my effort to share with you and family the spiritual tonic I derived from its pages.
In my infant class at a Methodist primary school, I was compelled to memorize Psalm 23. I have not realized the spiritual significant of this till I read this book. Becoming aware of my helplessness and need to depend entirely on the Almighty God of the Gospel could not have come to me at a more appropriate time than now. Thank you for this novel baptism.
Then your mom, our mother in the Lord made the book a divine treasure to me. “How else would you find a parking place” I’ve never been so spiritually stimulated by any single sentence as this. Not just because of its weight and resonance, but mainly by the source. You elaborate the need for us to be childlike in faith. At the middle of life, it is with great effort that we remain childlike. At the two extremes of life, this childlike manifestation becomes very natural. These two extremes are the infant and old age. At this two ends we naturally become childlike. Mom’s response is an expression of that involuntary but childlike absolute dependence of a child on her parents. It can only be found in a natural childlike life of the infant or the aged. It opened my eyes on how, when, and why to depend on God in prayers. Lord Jesus did not thank His father in Luke 10:21 because demons submitted to His disciples in His name but for their childlikeness; their excitement over an obvious. I can imagine the joy in heaven at mom’s response.
It will be an honor to have you take a look at my book RETURN TO SMITH WIGGLESWORTH if you’re kind enough to let me know what address to ask my publisher to send it to you.
Author of RETURN TO SMITH WIGGLESWORTH
7/20/2012 8:13:41 AM
flow of ideas
Good theology… Bad writing. I’m very disappointed because it is far too choppy. Get a co-author to smooth out (edit) your flow of ideas!
6/9/2012 9:16:41 AM
Practical, encouraging, and gospel-centered
This is the most practical and encouraging book on prayer I've ever read!
Most books on prayer tend to be academic in nature, focusing on it as a spiritual discipline, or method-focused, giving steps and methods to achieve a satisfying prayer experience. A Praying Life develops the premise that the goal is a praying life rather than concentrated, disciplined moments of communion with God at certain intervals. Much more than a spiritual discipline, it's a way of life. The foundation of this approach is to demonstrate how intertwined prayer and the gospel are. Our prayer life (or lack thereof) is motivated, informed, and sustained by our view of God and His role in our lives.
I love the God-focused, gospel-centeredness of this book. Rather than focusing on techniques and self-discipline, Miller points again and again to the gospel and our relationship with God as the key to our prayer life.
When we have a praying life, we become aware of and enter into the story God is weaving in our lives. A quieter, less busy life is not necessarily the goal. A quick glance through the Gospels will show that Jesus' life was anything but quiet!
Throughout the book, he uncovers many obstacles to prayer and rightly points out that lack of prayer reveals a lack of dependence on God. It's essential to recognize that, when it comes to prayer, helplessness equals power! Prayer parallels the gospel.
"The gospel, God's free gift of grace in Jesus, only works when we realize we don't have it all together. The same is true for prayer. The very thing we are allergic to-our helplessness-is what makes prayer work. It works because we are helpless. We can't do life on our own.
Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are because of Jesus and gives us the gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help. We look at the inadequacy of our praying and give up, thinking something is wrong with us. God looks at the adequacy of his Son and delights in our sloppy, meandering prayers! "(p. 55)
I've barely scratched the surface of the gold mine found in A Praying Life. Miller's writing style is encouraging and straightforward. The numerous personal stories from his own family, particularly his experiences with his autistic daughter, Kim, provide concrete examples of how this philosophy of prayer works out in real life while the visual aids and charts are helpful for visual learners. The practical ideas and methods in the last section give a great starting point without resorting to a legalistic attitude of prayer as simply a discipline to be mastered.
In short, this book makes a praying life seem attainable! It's one I'll be coming back to again and again. Get it. Read it. Apply it. I HIGHLY recommend it!
Thanks so much to Navpress for providing a review copy to me. All opinions are my own.
1/13/2011 10:32:46 AM
Connecting with God through the Grace of Prayer
A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World, Paul E. Miller; Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2009.
From NavPress in Colorado Springs, Colorado, here is a slam-dunk practical book on prayer. Far more than a treatise on prayer, or a list of dos and don’ts, this book by Paul Miller is one that will encourage you to let your life’s “rubber tires” touch the pavement, then fly along the road of personal conversation with God.
Miller shares many personal stories of how God has been teaching him about prayer – that it is earnest, childlike, believing, and even playful at times, not always sticking to one theme or topic, but sometimes bouncing around, even as a child’s conversation with a parent moves from one topic to another.
Perhaps one of the author’s best gifts is his ability to state the obvious in a memorable way (a goal to which every writer aspires). Here are but a few:
A praying life isn’t something you accomplish in a year. It is a journey of a lifetime. (p. 21)
Don’t try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind. (p. 32)
It’s okay if your mind wanders or your prayers get interrupted. Don’t be embarrassed by how needy your heart is and how much it needs to cry out for grace. Just start praying. (p. 41)
Jesus follows the custom of praying out loud… Praying out loud can be helpful because it keeps you from getting lost in your head. It makes your thoughts concrete… Praying aloud is not a New Testament rule; it is just another way of being real in prayer. (p. 48)
It didn’t take me long to realize I did my best parenting by prayer… If we think we can do life on our own, we will not take prayer seriously. (p. 59)
God customizes deserts for each of us… God takes everyone He loves through a desert… The still, dry air of the desert brings the sense of helplessness that is so crucial to the spirit of prayer… The desert becomes a window to the heart of God. He finally gets your attention because He’s the only game in town… The best gift of the desert is *God’s presence*… (pp. 184-185)
If you want “practical” and “prayer”, then “let your fingers do the walking” – via the Internet – to order a copy of this book for yourself! May God enable each of us to stay connected with Him – through the grace of prayer!
(originally posted Oct. 31, 2010)
12/27/2010 10:15:37 PM
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A Praying Life
Prayer is definitely one of the most important parts of Christianity, but many devout followers view it as a tedious and difficult activity. Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life (2009) teaches Christians how to make prayer the center of our lives. Prayer should not be forced and mechanical. Instead, Christians should be engaged in constant prayer as well as dedicated prayer time. Miller warns that this type of prayer requires persistent and patience to attain. In order for us to truly pray, we must do so in a childlike manner. That is, we must have the trust that children have in their parents.
Miller goes on to tackle some the most complicated areas of prayer. It is easy to keep faith when prayers are answered. However, when our prayers seem ignored, many people begin to lose faith. Miller argues that unanswered prayers are one of God’s ways to build and strengthen relationships with his children. If all of prayers were immediately answered, God would seem like an endless prayer vending machine. We would not take the time to reflect on God’s plan for our lives and stop focusing on our self-centered goals.
Miller’s A Praying Life is one the best books I have ever read on prayer. He shows readers what true prayer looks like. He even addresses smaller details such as choosing a proper location to pray. Miller brings his readers into his personal life by allowing us to read his own prayer requests. Instead of keeping a prayer list, Miller writes his prayers on cards. In addition to teaching readers this technique, he even includes some of his own cards in the book. Much of the book consists of stories from Miller’s own personal life. He includes his own doubts and troubles as well as his blessings. Each anecdote illustrates one of the aspects of prayer that Miller is explaining.
I highly recommend this book to others. It is aimed towards Christians who are skeptic about prayer. However, anyone wanting to strengthen their relationship with God should immediately read Miller’s book. Each of the short thirty-two chapters is assessable yet powerful.
11/3/2010 10:03:30 PM