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4.9 out of 5 stars37
4.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 September 2010
...and I've read a LOT of books about prayer this year!

I'm ashamed to admit that I almost put this book aside after just a few chapters, when it became apparent that nearly every illustration the author used was going to be about his family and especially about his special-needs daughter. For some reason, I found that unappealing and vaguely depressing.

However, I've glad I stuck with the book, because it very quickly started dealing with prayer in a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts, life-in-the-real-world manner that was quite unlike anything else I've read recently. The author doesn't shy away from any of the difficulties with (or objections to) prayer. During the period when I was reading this book, I frequently 'caught' myself praying at odd moments during the day, almost subconsciously.

There's just something unique about this book - I don't envy the author his family life, and one or two of his anecdotes actually made me dislike him slightly - but I think it's a book that will get you praying.

It even covers a 'new' method which I've found helpful - using filing cards to hold your prayer list, rather than a scrap of paper or notebook.

I know this is an awful cliché, but if you're only going to read one book about prayer this year... read this one!
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on 22 November 2010
Millers book begins slowly but then grabs you and takes you on a grand tour of prayer which will challenge the way we pray. One of the most helpful pictures that he keeps coming back to throughout the book is the father child analogy, prayer is us as God's grace bought children coming to our loving heavenly Father and pursuing relationship with him. Miller also gives chapters over to looking at how too often we try to pray as adults or equals rather than coming as those who are reliant on our Father for everything, as well as exposing how cynicism saps our prayer lives. He rightly, in my opinion, diagnoses that we struggle to pray partly because we focus on prayer and the mechanics rather than on God.

The chapter looking at how Jesus prays I found to be immensely helpful especially the call to take time out away from distractions to pursue God. Yet Miller also stresses the every day every moment nature of our reliance on prayer and ability to pray life connected to God.

Practically the final section deals with prayer tools - journalling, and prayer cards in particular and I find both to be incredible helpful tools, yet Miller does not claim these are the answer just that they are tools that must not be relied upon or sought in themselves but used as such to help us get to know God and come to our Father as his depedent children.

It is a really encouraging book and I have found it both thought provoking, insightful, and easy to read. However, there are a couple of quibbles I have with Miller, the main one is that a lot of his lessons about prayer seem to have been drawn from his relationships with his chidlren esepcially his daughter. Whilst this is not a bad thing in and of itself there are times when this is given too much attention, though he is always honest about his failings and the lessons he has learnt through his children.

It is a good book and well worth reading. It will challenge the way we too often think of prayer and its purpose and most importantly get you praying as we share his journey and what he has learnt by God's grace about prayer.
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on 13 May 2012
Through the years I have read many books on prayer. This book, though started very slowly contains a wonderful balance of theology, Good Biblical grounding and personal experience along with good practical stuff. I was amazed at how honest and real Paul was about his own struggles and those of his family (Oh that more Americans learnt to be half as real and honest about who they really are without all the masking that goes on!!) and its amazing how much Kim has brought them closer to God, revealed more of God and also how they are now using it to encourage others in their journey with God.
This was one of those books, that having read on kindle I will buy a hard copy because I feel there is so much I want to mark/note and re-read through the years.
The timing was great for me and I feel excited about the story I am part of!
Thanks Paul for your work, your honesty and taking the time to share what God has shown you with us all!
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on 6 November 2014
So many people recommended this book to me over the last two years and raved about how amazing it was, that in the end I caved and bought it, a little cynical about whether it would be that good. But it really was.

For me, the first section of the book, which represented about 20% of its content, held about 80% of the book’s value. The first section is all about praying as a child, and he completely blasts apart the unconscious barriers we have to prayer. I found myself that whole section in tears, partly because it represented such freedom, and partly because through the stories he tells of the relationship with his autistic daughter, I recovered again sense of God as an exuberantly-loving parent.

The other sections are mainly about dealing with the problem of prayer in the midst of suffering. These sections were still good, though not as mind-blowing as the first section. I didn’t agree with some of his emphases (for example, he likes to identify a sin in someone’s life and then pray about it, and I didn’t know how comfortable I felt about that concept), but his insights on the damaging effects of cynicism and his insight into suffering and prayer were brilliant. He is a man who knows suffering, and it shows. He says that because of the chronic stress and difficulty of having an autistic daughter who couldn’t speak, his wife did not prayer for ten years. I just appreciated that honesty and ‘permission’ to find prayer difficult when you are suffering.

This is the first ‘Christian self-help’ book (as opposed to a memoir) that I have read in a while, and I loved it. Highly recommended, even if you just have the time/energy to read the first section. One to read and re-read.
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on 25 October 2011
My wife and I have been reading through this book together and have found it refreshing. It's brings prayer down to earth and up to heaven at the same time.
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on 22 May 2011
I really enjoyed this book, which surprised me to be honest. Miller doesn't teach techniques or formulae, unless you call learning to pray through all situations in life a formula. He is quick to acknowledge his own weaknesses, using his prayers for his family as a test case to illustrate how to pray in all circumstances. He is honest about the fact that prayer does not seem always to be answered, but gives very helpful insights into seeing even such desert experiences as part of God's ongoing story.

One quibble, not with the book, but with Amazon - the product description is misleading and seems to relate to a totally different book! This book is better than this description leads you to expect.
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on 7 January 2015
I persevered with this book because it had had so many great reviews, despite being very irritated by some aspects of the first few chapters. I am so glad that I did. It is too early to say, of course, having just finished it, but it may - under God - just have revolutionised my life. Having been in a place of real hopelessness and prayerlessness for a few years, this book has opened my eyes to what the Lord may have been trying to show me all along but I was just too bound up in my own self-pity to see it. But even if that is not your present situation, I urge you to read it for yourself. It may just change your life.
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on 24 December 2010
This is one of the best books I have a read and a must read for Christians seeking a deeper communion with Christ. In a time when the material things like internet, blogs and other distractions seek to wrestle attention from Him, this book is an important contribution on how to return to the pursuit of God. It has been quite transformational and has come at the appointed time. One of the most important books I have ever read.
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on 28 January 2015
One of the best books I've read on prayer, and the best a helping us understand why we pray, and what prayer is for. Miller deals wonderfully both with the messiness and glory of prayer. He gets the balance between the need for persistence when the going is tough, with the vitality and ease that is so essential to relational Christianity. There are also several helpful chapters on the practicalities of prayer and what to pray for. Very definitely recommended — for young and old Christians alike.
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on 30 May 2011
Three things have stuck in my mind about what this book teaches about prayer. The first is to really be like a kid in God's presence. To call him daddy. Not to worry about pulling at his sleeve. Not to fuss if your mind wanders. Just be as you are, like kids. Of course we Christians know this, but it's so easy to adopt a religious tone when you pray. I am grateful to Miller for drilling this point home. The second is to pray for small things - his disabled daughter pouring milk, parking spaces....everything. It's worth trying. Nothing to lose. I've found it's making a difference. And the third is his system of prayer cards for people. It makes you think carefully about what you want to see happen in the lives of those you love. And when the answer comes,there's the card with the request to remind you that you prayed. The book is a great encouragement. So much so that I definitely hope to read it again.

There was also an excellent chapter on the grim impact of cynicism. The author then went on in another chapter to argue that its roots are with the enlightenment which divides the world into `facts' and `feelings'. As religion is in the `feeling' section, it is by definition not real. This paradigm in the mind then inevitably breeds cynicism towards religion. There is surely much mileage in this argument, but the way the author dealt with the origin of the enlightenment was a bit harsh. He writes, `leading thinkers decided they didn't need God anymore.' It would have been fairer to say that any thinker, let alone leading thinkers, faced with a medieval Christianity had sent thousands of women to be burnt alive for allegedly being witches, and which in the 17th C had shattered Europe with a war that had killed about a million had sanely come to the conclusion that the world would be a safer place if religious dogma - not God - was kept to the sidelines. He could have then gone on to explain that when Christianity fused herself with the enlightenment principles, or became Erasmian, it was then incredibly successful, especially in the land founded by those escaping medieval Christianity, America.

Miller is absolutely right to point out how seed thoughts in the Enlightenment can undermine a fresh faith in God's world, but he gives the impression he is writing off the whole of the Enlightenment which is regrettable. A great part of the enlightenment was the belief that individuals are not tied to fate or feudalism, and our lives can change a situation. And that ironically is what Miller's book is all about - that as individuals we can make a difference to situations through our prayers. I suspect this teaching can make much more headway in people who have been impacted by the Enlightenment, than in those which haven't.
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