Book Review: A Praying Life

16 Nov

So many times I have gone to a book on prayer looking for encouragement in praying only to come away overwhelmed with all I am not doing in prayer. Miller’s A Praying Life is different. This book increased my desire to pray and helped explain to me why prayer is often something I am tempted to abandon. The first part of the book gently calls the reader back to childlike trust in God, pointing to this sort of faith as the prerequisite for real relationship with God. Parts two and three explore the issues which hinder the praying life. These chapters were particularly helpful in that they showed that the reason we don’t pray is not usually busyness or laziness. Instead, we do not pray because of wrong thinking about God, about our expectations of God, and about ourselves. These chapters are designed to undo some of the bad thinking in our lives which leads to a weak prayer life. Parts four and five are much more personal and practical, as Miller attempts to lead the reader to rediscover the joy of a praying life. Miller shares in these chapters particularly his own personal prayer journey and how his life and the lives of those he loves have been shaped by prayer. There are numerous practical tips in the latter chapters that are very helpful to anyone seeking to grow in prayer.

This is a rare book, for it addresses both the internal motivations of prayer and the outward practice of prayer. I don’t need a pep rally, I need practicality. Yet at the same time, while I need practicality, I also need to understand the foundational reasons why prayer sometimes malfunctions in my life. Miller’s book does an excellent job of addressing both of these needs.

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