Book #26: A Praying Life

I have tried to read A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller twice before. We are discussing prayer from the Westminster Larger Catechism at our Wednesday night church meeting, so I thought now might be a good time to buckle down and finally make it through this book. Miller looks at many of the reasons we don’t pray and some of the Bible’s exhortations to pray. He emphasizes the relational and pervading aspects of prayer, that it’s not just a religious act to check off our list but only one piece that makes up the whole life of a Christian, all of which are interconnected. Some of what he discussed was very challenging to my preconceptions of prayer. I struggle to pray regularly – I often doubt it does any good, or I feel selfish asking for things for myself, or I feel ignorant of what is the “right” thing to pray for. If I do pray and it is unanswered I easily give in to despair.  Miller calls us to come to the Father as we are, emphasizing the command of Jesus to come to Him like little children, just as they are, completely dependent and without guile. The act of praying itself draws us into a deeper relationship with God, helping us to remember our humble place before Him and to cling to our sure foundation through the ups and downs of life. After laying a strong foundation, at the end Miller walks through some specifics of how he prays and tools he uses, such as prayer cards and prayer journals. This book was very good and I think Biblically sound, though difficult to read because it brought to light some of my struggles with disbelief. It’s one I will be mulling over for a while, and Ben’s already recommended my next book to read on prayer.

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