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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: A Praying Life

A lot of books on prayer convince me that I should pray.  They exalt in the author’s joyful prayer-cravings.  But if you don’t share those cravings already, they can leave you feeling that you just aren’t ever going to be as holy as that happy writer.

This is not one of those prayer books.  Paul E. Miller’s book is the kind that gently points out the problem: “If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life.”  The kind that nudges towards the solution: prayer is “audibly declaring your belief in a God who is alive.”  And that knocks down the little lies we skate by on: “Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can’t get to know God on the fly.”

So we’re convinced we need prayer.  But then he shows how it works.  Miller guides us through an intimate history of prayer working in the life of his family to demonstrate how prayer is a center court ticket to what God is doing in the world.  He’s doing it anyway, but prayer gets us off the bench.  The more you do it, the more real it gets.

Ok, that’s great for you, Paul Miller.  But what about……. And here’s the best part of A Praying Life.  Miller knows how hard prayer is.  He addresses every excuse or obstacle that’s defeated you before.  And he even offers a final section on super-practical ways to get off the ground.  It won’t feel insurmountable.
I first read this book a couple of years ago, and it’s been vying hard for favorite-book-ever.  I recommend a read every year or so for, oh, the rest of your life.  You’ll take in a bit more each time and by the time you die, you too will be as awesome as Paul Miller and as amped up about the great stuff God is doing: stuff you’re a part of.

You can find this book on the scrolling booklist in the sidebar.

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