Saturday, May 2, 2009

Prayer Challenge: A Praying Life by Paul Miller

I've got bookmarks in about a dozen books, many of which I'd like to comment on at TheoSource. One book I recently started reading for the first time is Andrew Murray's With Christ in the School of Prayer (reprinted by Hendrickson in 2007). I heard about this book some years ago, but I had not looked at it very closely until a few weeks ago. Did you know that it has 31 short chapters, perfect for daily reading throughout a month? I was trying to read one chapter per day, but got away from it. I have picked it up again along with a few other books on prayer and will comment on them later.

I also began two weeks ago to pray through Baillie's A Diary of Private Prayer (see my earlier posts here and here) with my family (mornings only). This has been a sweet and instructive exercise, and the kids look forward to it each morning. I highly recommend this to you!

In the meantime, I was made aware of a new book on prayer that comes highly recommended. I was challenged to read through the book, apply some of the concepts to my prayer life for thirty days, and then share some of the lessons learned on the blog. The challenge is called Real Prayer in Real Time: A 30-Day Challenge and the books is A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller (NavPress, 2009).

I began reading this book on May 1st. I read the first few chapters slowly and speed read through the rest. I will be reviewing it a bit more slowly and will be applying some of the concepts during the remainder of the month. This matter has been heavy upon my heart. I have already identified major problems in my view of and approach to prayer. I'm looking forward to growing in this area.

Here are some details about this book:

Paul Miller is director of, a discipling mission that develops interactive Bible studies. The PrayerLife Study and Seminar, which form the basis for the book A Praying Life, is the second curriculum released by The first curriculum, called The Person of Jesus Study, centers on what Jesus is like as a person and is equally effective with both Christians and non-Christians. Paul’s book Love Walked Among Us is based on The Person of Jesus Study and, similarly, is written for both Christians and non-Christians. Paul also teaches seminars that train people to lead the study with friends and neighbors.
LENGTH: 288 pages

CONTENTS: Five Parts (32 chapters)
    Part One: Learning to Pray Like a Child
    Part Two: Learning to Trust Again
    Part Three: Learning to Ask Your Father
    Part Four: Living in Your Father’s Story
    Part Five: Praying in Real Life
“Honest, realistic, mature, wise, deep. Warmly recommended.”
J.I. PACKER, professor of theology, Regent College; author of Knowing God

A Praying Life is a deeply moving testimony to God’s power in prayer. Paul Miller shares his life and biblical wisdom to instill in us, his readers, a ‘heart that becomes a factory of prayer’—that is, a passion to speak to God honestly and in a way that will change our life and the lives of others for whom we pray.”
TREMPER LONGMAN III, PhD, professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College; author of Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind

“Paul Miller refuses to separate the spiritual life from the rest of our daily living. In A Praying Life, he shows the difference that constant communication with Christ makes in the everyday experiences of life, especially the life of the family. Reading this book will help you make prayer a more important part of your own life story by integrating prayer into the daily routines of life.”
DR. PHILIP RYKEN, senior minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; author of The Message of Salvation

“This is as fine a book on prayer that you will ever read, but it is so much more. It is the story of our struggle to actually live like we believe that our Heavenly father really does love us. If we did, nothing could keep us from being committed to the day by day hard work of prayer. Paul exegetes our struggle in a way that is convicting, insight giving and encouraging. This is a book on prayer that actually makes you want to pray!”
PAUL DAVID TRIPP, president, Paul Tripp Ministries; author of Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, Age of Opportunity