Prayer is definitely one of the most important parts of Christianity, but many devout followers view it as a tedious and difficult activity. Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life (2009) teaches Christians how to make prayer the center of our lives. Prayer should not be forced and mechanical. Instead, Christians should be engaged in constant prayer as well as dedicated prayer time. Miller warns that this type of prayer requires persistent and patience to attain. In order for us to truly pray, we must do so in a childlike manner. That is, we must have the trust that children have in their parents.
Miller goes on to tackle some the most complicated areas of prayer. It is easy to keep faith when prayers are answered. However, when our prayers seem ignored, many people begin to lose faith. Miller argues that unanswered prayers are one of God’s ways to build and strengthen relationships with his children. If all of prayers were immediately answered, God would seem like an endless prayer vending machine. We would not take the time to reflect on God’s plan for our lives and stop focusing on our self-centered goals.
Miller’s A Praying Life is one the best books I have ever read on prayer. He shows readers what true prayer looks like. He even addresses smaller details such as choosing a proper location to pray. Miller brings his readers into his personal life by allowing us to read his own prayer requests. Instead of keeping a prayer list, Miller writes his prayers on cards. In addition to teaching readers this technique, he even includes some of his own cards in the book. Much of the book consists of stories from Miller’s own personal life. He includes his own doubts and troubles as well as his blessings. Each anecdote illustrates one of the aspects of prayer that Miller is explaining.
I highly recommend this book to others. It is aimed towards Christians who are skeptic about prayer. However, anyone wanting to strengthen their relationship with God should immediately read Miller’s book. Each of the short thirty-two chapters is assessable yet powerful.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."