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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  13,804 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews
Author Paul Miller shares his insights and conclusions about how to connect the broken pieces of your life and allow prayer—even poorly delivered—to fill the gaps with meaning and substance. Miller’s down-to-earth approach and practical nature will help you see that your relationship with God can grow and your communication with Him can get better. Parents will find Miller ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published May 29th 2009 by NavPress Publishing Group (first published 2009)
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 ·  13,804 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews

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May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alexandra by: Staci Thomas, Randy Greenwald
Shelves: 2011, theology
I bought "A Praying Life" over a year ago. . . I respect the author and after the recommendations from a good friend and my pastor, I knew it was a "must read." But. . . I picked it up, put it down. . . picked it up, put it down. . . I even bought it for my mother-in-law, and still hadn't read it.

Now, over a year later, I finally read it. (The first book to be read on my birthday kindle!) And. . . wow. . . just what I needed at this point in my life. Unpretentious, Gospel-focused, practical. . .
I am very ambivalent about this book. While there are parts that I really enjoyed, there are other parts that really annoyed me.

I enjoyed learning about the author's autistic daughter Kim. He is very open with the struggles she has faced, and the prayers he has had for her over the years.

The author also says that Jesus' example teaches us that prayer is about relationship. When Jesus prays, he is not performing a duty; he is getting close to his Father.

Yet then the author goes on to make it se
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf-spiritual
I wish I had read this book 30 years ago so that by now I would have re-read it several times. As faithful as I have tried to be to my spiritual habits, personal prayer has often eluded me and felt dry and mechanical. I've read books about it and talked to friends about it, but there was always a disconnect between the idea of prayer (and now I realize my misconceptions about prayer) and the reality of a regular prayer life. Paul Miller's gift in this book is to bring prayer into the realm of a ...more
Cindy Rollins
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect devotional read with an honest take on what talking to God looks like. Very encouraging, sometimes odd, but a genuinely great book on prayer. I appreciate the whole Miller family and their books.
Barnabas Piper
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book six stars I would. Maybe it was simply the right book for the right time in my life, but Paul Miller's insights into having a praying life are profound. He simplifies prayer to the point of extreme accessibility while simultaneously raising ones understanding and faith in a big, sovereign God. There isn't a Christian in the world who wouldn't benefit in some way from this book. ...more
Nathan Moore
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm somewhat ambivalent about this book. Partly because many raving reviews led to high expectations on my part and partly because this is an odd book. The phrase that kept coming to my mind while I read it was "A Praying Memoir" for that's what it felt like. Though perhaps more often than necessary, Miller gave dozens of personal stories that gave the book a helpful, earthy feel. I appreciate the author's grittiness and willingness to take all the frustrations of a praying life seriously. The b ...more
Susy C. *MotherLambReads*
"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.”

“Prayer is asking God to incarnate, to get dirty in your life. Yes, the eternal God scrubs floors. For sure we know he washes feet. So take Jesus at his word. Ask him. Tell him what you want. Get dirty. Write out your prayer
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, 2018
Without a doubt, I know the incredible and amazing power of prayer. I’ve witnessed it and have felt it, yet it’s still something I can always/need to deepen in my life. Anyone else out there like that? Well, recently my best friend got this for me and there were so many excellent pieces of wisdom, I had to share this one with y’all!

“Christians aren’t superior, but our Savior is. He makes the difference. He is alive and well in His church.”

Full of wisdom and examples from his own life, Miller isn
Bob Hayton
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
As a lifelong Christian, I've heard a great deal of teaching about prayer and read a good many books on the topic. I've been taught to model my prayers on The Lord's Prayer. I've learned the ACTS method (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). I've been encouraged to trust God for impossible answers, and above all, I've been made very aware of my spiritual shortcomings with regard to the discipline of regular, personal prayer.

Like many, I have tended to view prayer as a spiritual dis
Rachel Harp
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, practical, and Biblical insight and guide to prayer - communing with God, finding authenticity through honest words, and learning to hope again.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unspeakably good. This book really grew with me every time I returned to the content.

I first was exposed to Miller and his message about prayer at a conference in my local community. I thought that it was the speaker's book, and so I came to the book with a very different set of expectations. I also have always struggled with the idea of a "personal relationship with God," since for me people speaking and responding to me is the main way I connect with them, and God does not normally do that. Th
Bambi Moore
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book had some 3 star moments as well as a few 5. I loved the chapter on lamenting in prayer and I will be using some of the practical suggestions immediately. Overall a very encouraging book to integrate prayer into the very fabric of our lives.
Bill Stutzman
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
After hearing this book referenced in sermons from a few different pastors and friends, I added it to my reading list with modest hopes but not high expectations. I have long desired to grow in my prayer disciplines, but I am also wary of books I perceive to be "self-help" or systematic regarding such disciplines. There is no doubt that pitfalls abound in the genre, but Miller navigates the subject with wisdom and humility. As for me, I found my skepticism conquered by Miller's sound, sincere, a ...more
Oct 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Written in an engaging, conversational way. Very thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the chapter where he talked about how many of us separate our praying life from our daily,mundane life.
Aaron Beane
Jun 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
WARNING!!!! May cause liquid to flow from eyes. Miller’s theological acumen, mixed with his experiential grasp of his relationship with God through Christ came through on every page. Prayer is certainly the topic of the book, but what you get is what the entire Christian life looks like, namely, living in Gods world, before Gods face, for Gods glory, for Jesus sake. His stories that he weaves in are potent, and his authenticity is winsome. Prayer is never to be divorced from our real lives, and ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, 2017
Wonderful book on prayer. The stories about how God used prayer to transform him and his family were really beautiful. This book has been such a help and encouragement to me the past few months. I think I will keep revisiting it in the future.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book, transformative for my prayer life. This was my second time reading it - immediately following the first time!
Caroline Mann
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
When one of my best and most treasured friends, Annie, gave me this book as a gift, I felt conflicted.

I felt grateful because I know Annie doesn’t recommend books lightly. She has both excellent taste and a close attention for the preferences of friends.

I felt disheartened because of the title - A Praying Life. I have a hard enough time with a few minutes of prayer. A praying life? .....okay.... The thing is, I grew up in a Christian home and in a Christian community and prayer has almost alwa
Mackayla Headlee
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a part of a book club with some fellow Bible Study Fellowship leaders and WOW I could not have loved it more. It really makes you take a hard look at your prayer life, and re-centers you on the heart of what prayer is: a way for us to grow closer to God. I loved how vulnerable Paul is in this book. He has not had an easy life by any means, but he still boasts of the blessings he has received and the transformative work God has done for him and his family through prayer. He ha ...more
Ari DeBenedictis
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book over the course of 5 months, which for me, probably wasn't the best just because I forget things sooo easily. However, for the first few months, I read this with a friend which was nice to discuss stuff with.

One of my favorite things about the book was Paul's position about prayer. He didn't come across as arrogant or "my way or the highway" but instead took a humbling approach and explained his own struggles and how that transformed his prayer life. I really appreciated this a
Michelle Sauvageau
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
This book was packed with small take aways that can be incorporated into daily prayer life, as well as larger scale themes that explain why prayer is vital to our faith and relationship with God. Paul Miller was so down to earth in his struggles with prayer and also his examples of how prayer has changed his life, along with others in his family and ministry. This is a book I will be going back to at many points in my life.
Cara Putman
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a practical guide to prayer in the trenches of life. It will open your eyes to ways you can pray and truly surrender to God's will for your life. And the ways He will change you in the process. ...more
Christian Neufeld
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: deeper-insight
Great book! It helped me learn a lot about naked and honest prayers in the midst of difficult situations.
Robin Langford
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For years I have struggled with feeling hopeless to ever enjoy Real intimacy and effectiveness in prayer. I pray in fits and starts, sometimes consistently, other times not at all or grudgingly. Always, always, I want more, but have felt like I didn’t know how to put into action what I wanted to be true. “Trusting God” in this area has felt like laziness, not actually trusting.
For these reasons this book has been a breath of fresh air. He addresses some common barriers to consistency, Faith, an
Tori Samar
One phrase comes to mind whenever I think of A Praying Life: paradigm shift. I've read plenty of books that challenged, educated, stretched, encouraged, fascinated, or even annoyed me. But for all that reading, I have encountered very few books whose ideas were powerful enough to completely shift my perspective from one place to another. While I've had many books expand or tweak my thinking on an issue, I've had relatively few revolutionize it.

This book has the honor of being part of that small
Keller Hackbusch
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply wonderful.
Nathan Slonaker
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“self-will and prayer are both ways of getting things done. at the center of self-will is me, carving a world in my image, but at the center of prayer is God, carving me in his Son’s image.”
Ryan Watkins
This is an amazing book on prayer. It made me realize the errors in my own thinking that had fallen into something more stoic or at other times epicurean than Christian. I also highly recommend the author’s advice to start a prayer journal.
Demetrius Rogers
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
High performance, low pretension. That's what this book is to me.

Read it back in 2010, and picked up again this year and found it just as good and inspiring. Usually pragmatic books bore me. They seem too boxy, too predictable, perhaps, even too pretentious. But this book has a different feel to me. It's not flat and two-dimensional, it's pithy. And there's meat on the bones. And when I say meat I'm not just talking about proof texts - there's insight here. I love insight. There's depth here. D
Jenny Hartfelder
What an encouragement this book was. 💗 The early chapters began with a non-critical, yet accurate depiction of the sad state of most Christians' prayer lives. Let's just say that the description resonated with me. 🙄 🙈 And yet, as I continued to read and he described what a praying life can and should look like ... I realized that it hasn't always been that way. And slowly ... wrestling through those awkward feelings of "Ummm, it's been a while, God..." ... I've begun to pick back up that convers ...more
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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.”
“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.”
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