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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World Paperback – 15 May 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress Publishing Group (15 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600063004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600063008
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

In fact, prayer is so hard that most of us simply do not pray unless an illness or a public setting, such as saying grace at a meal, demands it. Prayerlessness is rooted in a core unbelief that can shape our lives, even as Christians. Because of prayerlessness, our lives are often marked by fear, anxiety, joylessness, and spiritual lethargy.
If prayerlessness marks your life more often than not, then this book is for you. Basing his text on the popular PrayerLife seminar, which has encouraged thousands of Christians to a vibrant prayer life, Paul Miller writes to the heart of the matter. This is, indeed, the book for any Christian who wants to know the joy and power of a vibrant prayer life.

About the Author

Paul Miller is director of seeJesus.net, an organization that develops interactive Bible studies for small groups. He is the author of Love Walked Among Us (NavPress), The PrayerLife Study, The Person of Jesus, an interactive study of the wonder of Jesus and his love. He also travels widely and teaches Jesus Weekends, Person of Jesus seminars, and PrayerLife seminars. Paul and his wife, Jill, have six children and live near Philadelphia.



Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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...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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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.
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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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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.
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