Book Review: A Praying Life

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A Praying Life, Paul Miller.  Colorado Springs: Navpress, 2009.

I came to this book a little skeptically because I have found that there are two types of books on prayer. The first are the books that outline a great theology of prayer (which are good and challenging but don’t help me in my practise of prayer and inspire me for about a week and then just make me feel guilty) and those on the practise of prayer (which often end up in strange theological places and practices for that matter).

This book is more about the practise of prayer, though this is someone who has his theology a lot more clearer than any of the others in this category that I have read.  Learning how to pray is strange thing because it is something that kids pick up and adults forget.

Miller is honest in his writing, brutally honest.  And this is what makes the book so good. He addresses those issues that we don’t want to admit when we are Christian – doubts, questions, etc.  there  are 32 chapters that are easy to read, full of personal experience and wisdom.

That being said, I am still looking for that perfect balance of theology and practise.

There were two take away lessons for me.  Prayers are answered but not always in the time we want them to.  Abraham had to wait 25 years to see some of the blessings that he had been promised.  Miller often refers to the struggles he has had praying for his autistic daughter, Kim and his desire for her to speak.  This took some time and a surprising answer to prayer.

The other lesson is looking for answers to prayer.  Since sometimes we have to be patient has God answers prayer, we can also miss when God is answering prayer.   For me this has meant being more organised and specific in prayer.

This is definitely a must read for those who are seeking to take prayer ministry seriously.