- Taschenbuch: 279 Seiten
- Verlag: NavPress Publishing Group (15. Mai 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1600063004
- ISBN-13: 978-1600063008
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,7 x 2 x 20,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 96.846 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. Mai 2009
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In fact, prayer is so hard that most of us simply do not pray unless an illness or a public setting, such as saying grace at a meal, demands it. Prayerlessness is rooted in a core unbelief that can shape our lives, even as Christians. Because of prayerlessness, our lives are often marked by fear, anxiety, joylessness, and spiritual lethargy.
If prayerlessness marks your life more often than not, then this book is for you. Basing his text on the popular PrayerLife seminar, which has encouraged thousands of Christians to a vibrant prayer life, Paul Miller writes to the heart of the matter. This is, indeed, the book for any Christian who wants to know the joy and power of a vibrant prayer life.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Paul Miller is director of seeJesus.net, an organization that develops interactive Bible studies for small groups. He is the author of Love Walked Among Us (NavPress), The PrayerLife Study, The Person of Jesus, an interactive study of the wonder of Jesus and his love. He also travels widely and teaches Jesus Weekends, Person of Jesus seminars, and PrayerLife seminars. Paul and his wife, Jill, have six children and live near Philadelphia.
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Books on prayer are plentiful.
Some have a theological bent. They focus on the function and outworking of prayer. They explore God’s will, Christ’s mediation, and the Holy Spirit’s work in prayer. They discuss models of revelation and what models function today.
Then other books attend to the history of prayer. They give biographical sketches of prayer warriors or movements undergird by faithful prayer.
Then there is the practitioner’s guide to prayer. A Praying Life by Paul Miller is best characterized within this category. If you are looking for a biblically solid resource that guides you to develop the practice of prayer, A Praying Life is that resource. Lay people, pastors or academics will value this book.
I’m not saying that this book lacks a robust practical theology. On the contrary, this book is fashioned from a framework of solid doctrine. Conveying a theology is simply not the focus of A Praying Life. The focus is to stir us to practice prayer.
Paul Miller directs seeJesus.net, a discipling mission that develops interactive Bible studies. He is the father of 6 children and is married to Jill. His life is sodden with prayer.
This book has five parts: Part 1 – Learning to Pray Like a Child, Part 2 – Learning to Trust Again, Part 3 – Learning to Ask Your Father, Part 4 – Living in Your Father’s Story, Part 5 – Praying In Real Life.
Narrative and Prayer
What I liked most about A Praying Life is that Paul Miller uses story to captivate our desire to pray. His ardent practice of prayer, illustrated through story, stirs us to pursue the discipline.
This book is riddled with praise stories from Miller’s life. In this sense, A Praying Life is a biographical sketch of a present day prayer warrior. We learn much about Miller’s marriage and role as a parent.
Part 4 – Living in Your Father’s Story illuminates why narrative is such a pivotal strength of A Praying Life. God uses prayer to unite His story with our story. “The act of prayer draws God into my life and changes me, the prayer, in subtle ways.” (2145)
The most moving element of this book is the narrative of Paul and Jill’s prayer life involving their daughter Kim. Kim was born with autism, yet it took years for the Miller’s to ascertain this. Unable to verbally communicate and difficult to comply, possibly related to slow communication development, Paul and Jill focused much attention on Kim. Following their prayer journey with and for Kim is deeply encouraging to any parent and especially speaks to families that have children with a similar condition.
Parenting and Prayer
Beyond this narrative and other narratives involving his 6 children, Miller imparts helpful truth to praying parents. The role of parent teaches us our helplessness. In parenting we surrender control to the providence of God. Prayer is how we demonstrate this.
Miller reminds us, “Mature Christians are keenly aware that they can’t raise their kids…Even if they are perfect parents, they still can’t get inside their kids’ hearts.” (828) Only God changes hearts and appealing to God through prayer to change a heart is a legitimate effort.
Fear not young people, singles or those married without children. You won’t feel out of place reading A Praying Life. Miller incorporates not just his stories but stories of other’s, including his childrens’ stories. This book speaks to anyone in any stage of life.
Principles of Prayer
A Praying Life provides a respectable approach to prayer. Prayer is not a magic genie. Miller says, “Prayer is meant to be the conversation where your life and your God meet.” (240) He offers a number of re-orienting concepts for our prayer life.
Practicing prayer is a life-long endeavor; practicing prayer requires dependency; practicing prayer is approached through a child-like spirit; practicing prayer is best done when we approach God just as we are and not where we think he expects us to be. These principles and more re-orient the focus of prayer from getting a result from God to meeting in relationship with God.
Cultural Cynicism and Prayer
In Part 2 – Learning to Trust Again Miller’s cultural exegesis regarding cynicism is astute. The cynical undercurrent of society not just quenches prayer life but it is the enemy’s effort to quench spiritual life.
A hearty prayer life, according to Miller, provides wariness towards the enemy and our sinful disposition. He describes a praying life as one that maintains cautious optimism – “caution because of the Fall, optimism because of redemption.” (1128)
Regarding Prayer Systems
This book furnishes a method for prayer in Part 5 – Praying in Real Life. I do not refer to a model like adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, though Miller discusses these. In fact he cautions against this and similar models because they can become rote.
I refer to something more base, a system for organizing and administrating your prayer life. Miller explains his simple system. He creates prayer cards for each person in his family. He also prepares cards for others. This creates a simple way for him to keep track of prayer requests and to retire requests when fitting. These cards create a “prayer snapshot” of a life, event, or ministry.
His model, if nothing else, stimulates thought on creating one’s own system or adopting a system for prayer. Miller’s point is not to give us “the” way to pray, but to provide a help and encouragement. His main aim is to stimulate people to practice prayer.
An Honest Confession
I have been weak at practicing private prayer. You could say that my prayer closet’s condition prior to reading A Praying Life is similar to the wardrobe in Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, at least as portrayed in the movie adaptation. A white cloth to protect from dust covered my prayer closet; my prayer closet door creaked.
This book refreshed my earnestness for prayer. It will refresh your earnestness for prayer too. Let’s be diligent to sustain this practice. Go get refreshed by A Praying Life by Paul Miller.