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A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller
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A Praying Life Quotes Showing 1-30 of 153
“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
“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 requests; don't mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don't let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Sometimes when we say "God is silent," what's really going on is that he hasn't told the story the way we wanted it told. He will be silent when we want him to fill in the blanks of the story we are creating. But with his own stories, the ones we live in, he is seldom silent.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“If you wait, your heavenly Father will pick you up, carry you out into the night, and make your life sparkle. He wants to dazzle you with the wonder of his love.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“God also cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers. Jesus does not say, “Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“Prayer is a moment of incarnation - God with us. God involved in the details of my life.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Everything you do is connected to who you are as a person and, in turn, creates the person you are becoming. Everything you do affects those you love. All of life is covenant.
Imbedded in the idea of prayer is a richly textured view of the world where all of life is organized around invisible bonds or covenants that knit us together. Instead of a fixed world, we live in our Father's world, a world built for divine relationships between people where, because of the Good News, tragedies become comedies and hope is born.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“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.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NASB). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like claws in your brain. You feel pummeled by life. What does heavy-laden feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don’t even know where to start. You can’t do life on your own anymore. Jesus wants you to come to him...”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“God is a person, and his universe reflects his personhood. The closer something is to the character of God, the more it reflects him and the less it can be measured. Things such as integrity, beauty, hope, and love are all in the same category as prayer. You can tell their presence and even describe them, but you can't define them, simply because they are too close to God's image.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“When confronted with suffering that won't go away or with even a minor problem, we instinctively focus on what is missing,...not on the Master's hand. Often when you think everything has gone wrong, it's just that you're in the middle of a story. If you watch the stories God is weaving in your life, you... will begin to see the patterns. You'll become a poet, sensitive to your Father's voice.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer busyness”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“As we wait and pray, God weaves his story and creates a wonder. Instead of drifting between comedy (denial) and tragedy (reality), we have a relationship with the living God, who is intimately involved with the details of our worlds. We are learning to watch for the story to unfold, to wait for the wonder.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“What do I lose when I have a praying life? Control. Independence. What do I gain? Friendship with God. A quiet heart. The living work of God in the hearts of those I love. The ability to roll back the tide of evil. Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his. I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover. I move from being an orphan to a child of God.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“little children never get frozen by their selfishness. Like the disciples, they come just as they are, totally self-absorbed. They seldom get it right. As parents or friends, we know all that. In fact, we are delighted (most of the time!) to find out what is on their little hearts. We don’t scold them for being self-absorbed or fearful. That is just who they are.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God. Instead of trying to suppress anxiety, manage it, or smother it with pleasure, we can turn our anxiety toward God. When we do that, we’ll discover that we’ve slipped into continuous praying.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Even on especially hard days, I began to notice him everywhere, setting a table before me in the presence of my enemies, pursuing me with his love. Both the child and the cynic walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The cynic focuses on the darkness; the child focuses on the Shepherd.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A need heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
tags: prayer
“We know that to become a Christian we shouldn’t try to fix ourselves up, but when it comes to praying we completely forget that. We’ll sing the old gospel hymn, “Just as I Am,” but when it comes to praying, we don’t come just as we are. We try, like adults, to fix ourselves up. Private, personal prayer is one of the last great bastions of legalism. In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the nonpersonal, nonreal praying that you’ve been taught.”
Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“We don't know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual pwerlessness like prayer.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
tags: prayer
“The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You'll always be a little too tired,
a little too busy. But, if like Jesus you realize you can't do life on your own, then no matter how busy,no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes king of your life. But it has to be your life.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
tags: prayer
“One of the subtlest hindrances to prayer is probably the most pervasive. In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, competency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time-consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God. As a result, exhortations to pray don’t stick.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“Nothing clears out self-righteousness better than serving someone who is critical of you.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“If we separate our mundane needs (doing) from God’s best gift, his loving presence (being), then we are overspiritualizing prayer. If we ask nothing of God, we are left adrift in an evil world. Such a position may feel spiritual because it seems unselfish, but it is unbiblical because it separates the real world of our desires from God’s world. The kingdom can’t come because it is floating. By discounting the spiritual and physical worlds, Neoplatonism did exactly what the Enlightenment did. The only difference was Neoplatonism valued the spiritual while the Enlightenment valued the physical. So the church is influenced by Neoplatonism (the physical isn’t important), and the world is shaped by the Enlightenment (the spiritual isn’t important). Both perspectives stifled honest, person-to-person praying in the church.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“I am starting to see there is a difference between “saying prayers” and honest praying. Both can sound the same on the outside, but the former is too often motivated by a sense of obligation and guilt; whereas the latter is motivated by a conviction that I am completely helpless to “do life” on my own. Or in the case of praying for others, that I am completely helpless to help others without the grace and power of God.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“The quest for a contemplative life can actually be self-absorbed, focused on my quiet and me. If we love people and have the power to help, then we are going to be busy. Learning to pray doesn't offer us a less busy life, it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer business we can develop an inner quiet. Because we are less hectic on the inside, we have a greater capacity to love... and thus to be busy, which in turn drives us even more into a life of prayer. By spending time with our Father in prayer, we integrate our lives with his, with what he is doing in us. Our lives become more coherent. They feel calmer, more ordered, even in the midst of confusion and pressure.”
Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World

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