Monday, 22 November 2010

A Praying Life by P Miller

I've been taking my time reading through this book, reading one or two chapters a day so that I took time to think its ideas and implications through, but having finished I thought it was time I reviewed it. So here goes.

Millers book begins slowly but then grabs you and takes you on a grand tour of prayer which will challenge the way we pray. One of the most helpful pictures that he keeps coming back to throughout the book is the father child analogy, prayer is us as God's grace bought children coming to our loving heavenly Father and pursuing relationship with him. Miller also gives chapters over to looking at how too often we try to pray as adults or equals rather than coming as those who are reliant on our Father for everything, as well as exposing how cynicism saps our prayer lives. He rightly, in my opinion, diagnoses that we struggle to pray partly because we focus on prayer and the mechanics rather than on God.

The chapter looking at how Jesus prays I found to be immensely helpful especially the call to take time out away from distractions to pursue God. Yet Miller also stresses the every day every moment nature of our reliance on prayer and ability to pray life connected to God.

Practically the final section deals with prayer tools - journalling, and prayer cards in particular and I find both to be incredible helpful tools, yet Miller does not claim these are the answer just that they are tools that must not be relied upon or sought in themselves but used as such to help us get to know God and come to our Father as his dependent children.

It is a really encouraging book and I have found it both thought provoking, insightful, and easy to read. However, there are a couple of quibbles I have with Miller, the main one is that a lot of his lessons about prayer seem to have been drawn from his relationships with his children especially his daughter. Whilst this is not a bad thing in and of itself there are times when this is given too much attention, though he is always honest about his failings and the lessons he has learnt through his children.

It is a good book and well worth reading. It will challenge the way we too often think of prayer and its purpose and most importantly get you praying as we share his journey and what he has learnt by God's grace about prayer. You can order a copy from Amazon using the side bar to the right, it also means I earn some amazon vouchers which will cost you nothing.

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