Book Review: A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
posted in: Reviews
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I received Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life last month as a birthday present, and to be honest, my first reaction was almost a groan. Inwardly I sighed and thought, “Does the world need another book on prayer? Here we go: more fluffy prose from the Christian book industry.”
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since this book was from one of my closest friends, I decided to give it a chance, and started reading a chapter each morning as an addition to my daily scripture reading and prayer time. Shortly, I’m going to be reading it a second time, taking notes and pulling quotes I find particularly insightful.
This may be one of the most useful books on prayer ever written. Miller does a wonderful job of answering those questions most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another related to prayer, “Does it do any good?” “Why should I pray?” “What do I do when nothing changes?”
But I think the real strength of the book is that many of Miller’s insights were hard-won over the course of many years, honed in the messy, everyday world of parenting. His willingness to share his own prayer struggles and the lessons he has learned often through family crises and challenges give the book a real credibility and authenticity.
I especially like some of the opening material on coming to God as a child. I felt so much freer to really express what I want to God after reading that chapter. I tend to jump ahead to the “not my will, but Yours” without ever really owning the “let this cup pass from me” part in my prayers.
God spoke to many issues for my life in this book, which is why I want to go through it a second time to better reflect on what He’s saying. My prayers are changing; I’m praying more and praying more honestly. Those prayers may be the best compliment I can give the author and the best evidence of how “life-changing” this book can be.