Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Praying Life

Another book I read in 2011 was A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. I can't say I loved this book, but I can't say I didn't learn from it either. It challenged some of my thinking on prayer (particularly the ideas on cynicism found in chapter 10). I also took an idea away from this book that I am still using. The author suggested prayer cards for each person you're praying for (writing their name on a 3x5 card, Scriptures you're praying for them, and a few specific areas of prayer for them). I adapted this idea to dedicating a specific section in my journal to prayer and writing the names of those I'm praying for within that section. I've found it most helpful to open the journal to those pages when I'm praying and have the names and needs in front of me. It quickly brings it to my mind.

This book had an emotional overtone that I found distracting a great deal of the time. It was difficult to divide the information being presented from the personality (and emotions) of the author. Though the book presented really good information, it also presented a lot of personal experience (which some of that information was based off of).

I'm glad I read this book and certainly took some good information away from it but I'm not sure I would recommend it. I think there are better books out there on prayer. If anyone else reading this blog has read A Praying Life by Paul Miller, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter OR recommendations on good books on the subject of Prayer.


  1. I agree with your comments on "A Praying Life." A book I've found helpful(really a chapter)on prayer is "Spiritual Disciplines of a Christian Life" by Donald Whitney. You actually can go to Navigator's website and download that chapter. The MOST helpful book of all on prayer is God's Word.

  2. Thanks Ruth. I appreciate the recommendation. I also appreciate your comment about the Bible. You are correct. I'm the most humbled to read in the gospels how Jesus, the God-man, prayed often and made it a priority (a necessity really) to do so.

  3. Sometimes I do wonder why we need books on prayer when we have the Word of God and the example of Jesus. I did start reading this book but found it to be a little off. Quotes from Catholic influences and such. As you stated, the author was very emotional and included too many personal stories and references and not enough scriptural examples and basics. The last thing I want in my prayer life is more fleshly effort and strategy! Glad to hear you redeemed something from this book.

  4. Charlene,
    Thank you very much for your comment! The book was recommended by one of the speakers at the biblical counseling conference I attended last year, so I was surprised by my disappointment in it. I expected it to be more solid. You articulated (very well) many of the things I was thinking after reading it. I appreciate your input.


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