A Praying Life is an honest look at the difficulties of prayer, unanswered prayers, and successes in prayer. Readers will appreciate Paul Miller's down-to-earth approach and practical nature. Parents will find his family-life experiences especially helpful.
- very encouraging
This book on prayer will not disappoint you. You will be drawn to it's simple message on prayer, but especially to God as you seek him.
- Excellent practical guide to praying
I really like how Miller broke down the essence of prayer as a child, laid out practical steps to guide my prayer efforts [3x5 index cards] and his humility to not only journal his growth during his prayer journey, but to recount his frailty before during and after his trusting walk with Jesus to learn the what and the how to pray. A definite book to learn from!
- Encouraging book
In A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World, Paul Miller offers us a different kind of book on prayer. This book has things that I found wonderfully encouraging and helpful. At the same time, this work is not an exhaustive work on the doctrine of prayer.
So many books on prayer offer lists of how to pray without seeming to be a part of real, modern, human life. Miller’s book does not fall into this trap. Paul Miller is about as real in his description of his prayer life as any author I have read.
Miller’s work is full of helpful stories and illustrations that help us to connect with him in his prayer life. Paul and his wife have an autistic daughter. As you might imagine, his stories of praying with his wife for the benefit of their daughter are touching and helpful to others who have experienced prayers that were answered by God in different ways than they expected.
I personally found myself encouraged by the way that miller talked about prayer in such a non-mystical way. Sometimes, in books on prayer, readers may get the impression that those who do not pray for hours at a time are missing the point of prayer. Of course, there is nothing wrong with long seasons of prayer. Yet, Miller shows how prayer can be beautiful for a Christian in the middle of the confusion of daily life.
While I enjoyed this work, it was not the deepest handling of the issues of prayer. Miller teaches us more from his experience than from a systematic theological strategy. Miller cautions readers against being mislead by their own impressions while “listening to God,” but then does not offer a deep theological defense of how this issue is to be handled.
I enjoyed A Praying Life, and would certainly recommend it to Christians who are struggling with their own lives of prayer. I think many will find the ideas present in this work encouraging and helpful. While the book is not as theological as some might want, it certainly has much to recommend it.
The recording of this work that I received as a part of the reviewers program from Christian Audio.com was
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- "A Praying Life" by Paul Miller...
"A Praying Life" by Paul Miller was the first book I ever listened to regarding prayer. It started off slow at first, but it was soon engaging and convicting. I admit I'm guilty of praying out of habit without really thinking about what I'm praying about or praying only when things go wrong. "A Prayer Life" really opened my eyes to what prayer is. Prayer is not only a time to praise and worship God, but also a time for self-examination. Why are we praying for a certain thing? Is it so we can have peace of mind or convenience? Is a person annoying or worrying us? We need to first look at our hearts to see if there is something that the Lord is wanting to teach us.
Paul Miller uses personal stories, Scripture, and practical application to help one learn how to pray biblically. Arthur Morey, the narrator, reads pleasantly.
I never really looked at prayer in that way, but praying with self-examination in mind helps humble the person who is praying and makes for a more sincere, deeper prayer life. More importantly, it deepens one's walk with the Lord.
The one thing about "A Praying Life" is that I would rather read it than listen to it. Because of the applications contained in the book, it's easier to bookmark and/or highlight a section than to search for it via audiobook.
After listening to "A Praying Life", I realize how much substance my prayers are lacking, and how much I need to work on my walk with the Lord.
- This is an intensely personal, sometime...
This is an intensely personal, sometime painfully real account of Paul Millers failures and success in prayer. It is a good balance of theology and practical advice about how to live a praying life. I have read a few academic books on prayer that give good examples of what is and is not orthodox. This is not that type of book. Paul shares how the difficulties in his life have driven him to his knees in a way peace and prosperity would never have. This book has practical advice for parents, marriages, work etc. There are few aspects of life that Miller does not touch on. One of the best things I have learned from this book is that prayer is difficult. I often feel guilt that prayer is not easy. Miller explained that prayer would be easy in Eden, but the fall corrupted our ability to connect with God. I would highly recommend this book for those frustrated with prayer, and for those who need to be more real about how broken their relationship is with God. I hope to listen to this book many more times. This is a good book for someone who wants to know more about prayer, and someone who thinks they already know enough probably needs it even more. It is one of those books that draw’s you to pray and worship while you are reading it.
Thank You Christian Audio Reviewer Program
- Thanks to christianaudio.com’s reviewers programme...
Thanks to christianaudio.com’s reviewers programme for the free copy of this audio book.
This is an excellent audiobook on prayer that has helped me to start to enjoy my relationship with God again. The lovely thing about ‘A Praying Life’ is that there is no formula, or ‘this is how you must pray’ content at all. Paul Miller is someone who has struggled with this subject over the years just like me and he shares those struggles openly.
I’ve heard lots of teaching on prayer over the years and I would say that this is one of the best. It’s a very simple but very deep book without being complicated. There is no mystery to prayer it is just talking to your Father. This is such a great thing to hear and so refreshing. There is so much to get out of this audio that I’m getting the print version to be able to go back to again and again.
The narrator’s voice is very helpful to this subject as it is very gentle and easy going.
I don’t think anyone would be disappointed when they listen to this, but will come away with encouragement and the hope that you really can have a praying life.
- A Praying Life, by Paul Miller,...
A Praying Life, by Paul Miller, equips you to do exactly what it says on the cover.
This is a comprehensive look at prayer and its place in the Christian life. Generously supported with personal examples from Paul Miller's own life, the listener has many opportunities to identify with the common experience of prayer in most Christian's lives.
Miller then goes beyond this and digs deep into the Biblical principles and examples of prayer. At times it does feel a little heavy going, and it is probably best not to listen to too much in one go. There is an incredible wealth of information in this book and it needs some unpacking. As a result the narrator takes a deliberate and even pace; though at times you feel as if a bit of variation would be good.
Will you be better informed and equipped to live a life of prayer after listening to this book? Definitely! Add to your knowledge of one of the most important aspects of a Christian's life and, most importantly, live out its principles.
- I am happy to share with...
I am happy to share with you a book I listened to and finished last week called A Praying Life by Paul Miller. The title is so fitting for what this book is about....learning to have a life filled with prayer.
I felt the author did a wonderful job keeping things real for the reader. He shared stories from his personal life when God answered particular prayers, things he's learned about prayer, and how he has prayed for his children. One of his daughters has autism and he used many stories about struggles they have faced in helping her through the years.
Listening to this audio book has been a wonderful reminder to me of the power of prayer and the importance of covering our lives in prayer. God hears our prayers and desires for us to pray to Him.
The narrator was also easy to listen to on this book.
This audio book was provided through christianaudio Reviewers Program.
- Paul Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting...
Paul Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World (reviewed for Christianaudio; http://christianaudio.com).
During college I received some good advice from one of the professors: read at least one book on prayer a year. Since that time I confess that I haven’t always followed his advice, but nonetheless I have read a variety of books on prayer. Paul Miller’s A Praying Life is the first book on prayer that I have read and has actually motivated me to pray. Usually, after reading books on prayer there is guilt accompanied by a rigorous praying schedule only to be followed a few days or weeks later by abject failure.
Miller’s book is different.
Here’s why: Miller ties prayer together with the gospel. Prayer is placed within the spectrum of our sin and absolute need for a savior. Our dependency and need for Christ is the proper starting point for developing a praying life. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection we now have a relationship with the Father. Now we have the freedom to pray. Now we have the motivation to pray. We are compelled to talk to our Father because of the beauty of the gospel.
A needy heart is a praying heart. When we recognize that we are sinners saved by grace we will be constrained by the love of Christ to converse with our Father. In many respects we don’t need a better understanding of prayer as much as we need a fuller, deeper, and more glorious understanding of our sin and God’s magisterial grace. The gospel is impetus toward a praying life.
Miller’s book is also unique in relating our praying life to our suffering life. He does not shy away from the hard reality of suffering or the mystery of “unanswered prayer.” Miller’s own life stories provide a window into a normal, everyday praying life. The stories of his family, especially the challenges with his daughter’s autism offer a real, honest, and encouraging look at prayer.
On a purely practical level, I really appreciated his idea of the prayer cards. Prayer lists are mechanical and often depersonalized. This is the way I used to pray; working my way down a list checking off things as I have completed my moral duty. Miller suggests using prayer cards that implement praying scripture and specific requests for individual people and circumstances. I believe this is a better alternative to prayer lists.
Arthur Morey narrated the book. His reading was okay. It seemed to lack a bit of verve and passion. Nonetheless, it was the book itself that kept me coming back, not the presentation.
- Arthur Morey does a wonderful job...
Arthur Morey does a wonderful job of narrating the book. He speaks very evenly and very well paced. I had no problems keeping up with his speech. I did struggle at times with how he seemed to deadpan certain sections.
For example, I could “hear” Paul Miller chuckling at certain points when discussing his autistic daughter. Arthur, however, seemed to make it a point to remain “even” in his reading of the text. Fortunately the content is enough to keep the listener’s attention even if the style of reading was somewhat distracting at times.
Given the critique of Arthur Morey’s reading of this particular book, one look at what books he has read for christianaudio will tell you that he probably understands practical Christian living. If you do not have time to read a book on praying, I do highly recommend purchasing a CD or download at christianaudio for your drive time.
- I almost bought this book.. or...
I almost bought this book.. or downloaded the audio until I read a discussion that included the author himself... After reading the various comments on the Challies Review.. inc. Paul Miller, I'm inclined to give the book a place way back on the 'back burner'... too much posturing and positioning... political correctness in the evangelical realm for me.... Mention Merton or mystics and it's like anti-Christ profanity... let God speak to us by His anointing within us as we read any book or listen to any mere mortal.... enough of the posturing!
There's too many good books out there without having to figure out if the contents are couched in political correctness... I want bare truth... the Anointing within me will teach me... not opinions and labels that separate saints.
- A Praying Life: Connecting With God...
A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World (Paperback), Publisher: NavPress, Author: Miller, Paul, ISBN-10: 1600063004 | ISBN-13: 9781600063008
Review thru the generous donation of christianaudio.com by Derek R. Iannelli-Smith
Paul Miller spent time with the Father and shared it with us. This audio book was a providential gospel-centered injection to my spiritual walk and relationship with the Trinity. I can honestly say that my personal praying life is forever transformed due to this profound work.
In a world of “I need to pray more” legalism that Christians place upon the intimacy of prayer, this book is right up there with EM Bounds, Hunger for God, and other stalwarts of classics that every believer should engage as part of their sanctification. Paul Miller addresses our HEARTS as we come to the most important relationship, the one with our Father. This is NOT a “Prayer of Jabez” or “warm and fuzzy – superficial all about me” treatise either. It is a walk, a daily endeavor, a moment my moment unceasing relationship with the One who gave us life and Paul Miller reminds of that.
I highly recommend this book and will be for weeks sharing the scribbled notes from the notepad I carried in my pocket as I started each day with this and our Father. My reflections from this book come in a few areas that I think are much needed - Transformation of our views of prayer from a redemptive view of Faith (nothing we do or focus on may be what the Father is focused on), Repentance (how to kill our pride, selfishness, and private agenda, salving our conscience, or drawing attention to ourselves) and New Obedience (care, confrontation and expectation of change):
“The cynicism & glibness reflects the consumer mentality we bring to prayer. Prayer is our therapist, doctrine or a relationship.”(2)
“We come to prayer messy – it reveals our selfishness – as children, we don’t come just as we are. We cannot pray for God’s kingdom while focused on our kingdom. Prayer makes a lot of sense when we realize we cannot do life on our own.”(3)
“You don’t create intimacy, you make room for it. It is tough to be intimate when you’re multi-tasking. (5)
“The gospel only works when we acknowledge our helplessness. Prayer is not important to us because Jesus is an ‘add-on’ in our lives.”(6)
“The praying life is not the search for a happy pill for anxiety – do my anxieties drive me to prayer or to myself?” (8)
“Satan cannot create, only corrupt. Cynicism is both protective and paralyzing (Lk 7:31-32). There is no neutrality with evil. Psychology gives/feeds our cynicism of judging.” (9)
“Out of cynicism, God sees what I see. The cynic is never fooled, therefore never delighted. The cynic focuses on the darkness versus the Shepherd (Ps 23). The ultimate enemy of cynicism is thankfulness.” (10)
“The cure for cynicism is looking FOR Jesus instead of criticizing. The very thing we are afraid of…our brokenness…is the pathway to the praying life.” (11)
“To enter into the divine dance of prayer we are going to have to surrender control. Prayer is a moment of incarnation.” (14)
“The fruit-bearing of our prayer is revealed by the wise words of the half-brother of Jesus, James. James to the rescue (Jm 4), where our functional deism reveals the struggle of the abiding life spoken about in John 15.” (15)
“Praying for the kingdom come is revealed in how I pray for my spouse. Do I pray for my spouse to become more like Jesus? Usually what bugs me about others, bugs me about myself. Because I subscribe to fatalism – where emotions are sacred, it will prevent helpless prayer. You cannot believe the gospel without becoming the gospel. Am I trying to win a battle or win a friend when involved in my praying life for others? Adults look to causation – children don’t, they just ask.” (17)
“The praying life is about surrender. Repentance is usually started with a question. When I receive any circumstances from God, I am more open to hear from God in my circumstances? In the praying life, I am either seeing all of life as a gift from God or I don’t (Mt 7:1-11). Getting in touch with my radical depravity, particular redemption, efficacious grace reminds me of persevering grace on the other side of the trash can – personal illustration of frustration with chores in marriage.” (18)
“The praying life is living in the Father’s story. Am I praying for the basics or the extras when I pray? Am I praying about other’s behavior and I am missing the need to pray for my self-will’s need to dominate? Am I learning more about God ‘sitting on the bench’ or ‘in the game’?” (19)
“In the praying life, God customizes a desert for each of us…it is the cure for our wandering hearts.” (21)
“When seek experience from God, we worship Him on our terms, in our own image. The praying life is about living in His story and not demanding the story go my way. Nothing cleans out self-righteousness like serving others.” (23)
“We constantly pray to be released of the gospel story, and when we don’t get it, He keeps telling it, exposing our idols.” (25)
“We don’t write down prayer requests because they are not important to us like our day planner or smart phones.” (26)
“The devil shows us pride and selfishness, in prayer God reveals humility – 1 Pet 4:12ff. We grumble at the point when God is getting ready to do His work. Instead of partnering with God, we attack the problem. When the praying life doesn’t work, it is because God did not do my will, my way. Many of help this by spending more time listening to ourselves and criticizing and not talking with the Father.” (28)
“What if we asked God not to help us with our goals – but really listened when He said He was going to work on our character? Focusing on the Word without prayer is getting it all wrong (Mt 26:54) – when I don’t listen. Seeing God in the details of life brings about the applications that I am reading about in His Word. Do I value intuition and feelings above divine revelation baptizing my will and my kingdom? Am I covering my desires with holy language and not fooling anyone? Spiritualism places my feelings and emotions over obedience.” (29)
“You cannot walk with the Shepherd and NOT be changed. My inability to wait on the Father informs me that I believe that salvation comes from me.” (30)
“The more distant I am from God’s story in my praying life, the more distant I am from ‘others’ stories. It is by living in the unfinished story that we see His story that is the praying life.” (32)
What did I learn? I learned that I am selfish when it comes to prayer, multi-tasking, self-absorbed, self-righteous, and avoid responsibility. There are two types of guilt, man-made (manipulation) and gospel-centered (redemptive) and Paul’s writing brought about redemption and revival in my heart regarding the gift of prayer in my life and the life of others. I learned that I should care more about my relationship with the Father, confront the idols of my heart – coming clean and washed with hyssop, and eagerly anticipate the changes that God is working in His story of my life and the life of others.
This will be my recommendation to others that are being disciple, when the question comes up on prayer. The praying life was never meant to be so hard, so self-abased, so semantic driven. It was given as a gift, it cost something, His Son, and we live in the already and not yet of His redemptive story if we are paying attention. Thank you christianaudio.com for giving me this gift of gospel-centered reminders in a dark night when I needed it most. I will be forever changed.
Other great reviews of this book are:
1. Bob Thune, Corem Deo – Co-Author of the Gospel-Centered Life.
2. Tim Challies – Informing the reforming – dialogue with the Author and David Powlison.
3. Justin Taylor – Between Two Worlds, - Gospel Coalition
- If you want to learn about...
If you want to learn about the variety of Prayer you should read Richad Foster's Prayer.
If you want to motivation on why to prayer, especially as a pastor read EM Bounds.
If you want stories of how prayer makes a difference read Reese Howell: Intercessor.
If you want to see how prayer fits into spiritual disciplines overall read Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.
If you want a book on how to develop a life of prayer read A Praying Life.
This is a book that was so good I have already purchased an ebook copy and scheduled to re-read it again in six months. I read a lot of prayer books. I have blogged about 10 in the last four months, but there are not many I can recommend this highly.
I recieved this book free as part of christianaudio review program.
- In this book Paul Miller presents...
In this book Paul Miller presents not just a manual on tips for praying, he compiles a whole bunch of experiences and biblical convictions to conclude on an entirely new lifestyle, one which depends on praying, and permeates every area of life.
The basic concept of the book is that it's a good idea to be childlike - unashamed about approaching and talking to God, natural in our conversation with him, and humble and honest with others. The principles behind this book are spot on, inspiring humility and conviction of unbelief, let alone prayer itself.
Paul draws a lot (perhaps too much?) from his experiences of his autistic daughter Kim, who has clearly impacted his life enormously. These illustrations genuinely do help the reader to understand the concepts presented but on some occasions I think actually undermine his message. Above all, I think they are useful as 'real life' examples of how 'a praying life' works, but after a while you feel like you've heard enough about Kim and would rather think about Jesus.
The content is good theologically, but there are some instances where he's just a bit clumsy in his words - I think the meaning is clear but it could be read another way, so I don't think I'd recommend this for a baby Christian!
That said, being immersed in this book has actually impacted my own prayer life positively, so I can't help but say that it is very good! Billy Graham said that if he could live his life again he'd spend more time in study, and prayer. This book will help you do both.
The narration is clear, level, and calming - it's not a short book (33 10-15 minute chapters) so that really helped. There are faults, but this is a pretty good example of how a good audiobook should sound.
I got this book for free as part of the christianaudio.com Book Reviewer's Programme. I'm not required to give a positive review.
- A Praying Life by Paul Miller...
A Praying Life by Paul Miller is a book about prayer that gives you a very practical way to go about having a praying life. Paul relates how he has gone about finding ways to pray in this busy life that we all live. He weaves everyday stories into each area that he discusses and shows us how we to can find a way to make prayer an important part of our lives. He is honest about how he finds it difficult at times to pray but lets us know that we can always start from scratch and its ok.
If anyone knows that stresses of the world we live in it is Paul Miller. He is involved in a very busy mission organization, is very busy with seminars, has a tax business, and has a wife and children one of which has autism. Many of his stories deal with his prayers for his daughter and her unique needs.
The first part of the book is just different ways that we need to approach the whole process of prayer, the last part is two specific ways tools that he uses when he prays, prayer cards and a prayer journal. I have heard about the prayer journal before but I was really interested in the prayer cards which seems to be perfect for individual people and their prayer requests.
I have always felt a need to pray more and I intend to use what I have learned from this book and apply it to my personal prayer time.
I got this book from christianaudio.com as part of their blogger review program. The narrator was Arthur Morey. I thought he did a good job overall but maybe could have had a little more emotion when he read. The one time he tried to use a different voice when he was reading it didn't translate well.
- Other than the Bible & a...
Other than the Bible & a handful of other books, I'd have to rank this as one of the best/most important/life-changing books I've ever had the PRIVILEGE to read!
This is NOT just another book on prayer...how to pray, how to keep a journal, etc; it is a book about Life!
Paul Miller wields God's Word skillfully & yet gently as he digs deeper than our prayer life (or lack?) & addresses some of the real questions that we tend to hide, even from ourselves: Who IS this God I am praying to? What sort of Father is He? Can He be trusted?
I found prayer a joy as I read this book & began to discover the One to Whom I was praying...and even in the course of reading the book, had the child-like audacity to pray, very specifically, for something & the child-like joy & wonder, to watch God answer very specifically in a way that could only be Him!
And for those who may be reading this review with a slight smirk raising the corners of your mouth, subconscious & almost imperceptible to you...the author, Paul Miller, addresses the cynicism that prevents us from the child-like asking in prayer...!
This book was challenging & life-changing, again, not just on the issue of prayer, but on the deeper issue of RELATIONSHIP w/the One to whom we pray!