Paul E. Miller

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by Paul E. Miller


Recently I was discipling a small group of pastors. One highly successful young pastor leaned in and asked me, "'Why don't I pray more?" I said: "You are far too confident in yourself and your abilities."


Can’t most of us relate to this pastor’s struggle? There is nothing more difficult to learn than dependence. And most pastors, in particular, have never been taught the kind o

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Published on February 13, 2017 18:55
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“God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden...
The best gift of the desert is God's presence... The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

“To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit...
A praying life is just the opposite. It engaged evil. It doesn't take no for an answer. The psalmist was in God's face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

“Cynicism creates a numbness toward life.

Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping.

...

To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit.

...

Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope.But the similarity is only surface deep.Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father.

...

Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life.

...

Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You'd think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don't do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life.

...

The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don't need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can't pray because everything out of control, little is possible.

With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism's ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad.

...

Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

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