I really want all my friends to get this new book, just out from NavPress.
I think they will become better friends if they read it.
Actually, I have prayed that they will get it.
I have prayed more regularly and consistently since starting to read “A Praying Life”
I am not even finished with the book, but already see that very real result. And not only that. I feel a new delight in Jesus, and the love the Father has for me. I have a new freedom and delight in loving my wife and kids. Joy in all my relationships. And I didn’t even try to be better in any of these areas. It all sort of snuck up on me as I read. The author wasn’t being sneaky. He pretty much lays it out from the first page that he wants to help us learn to pray. And that Prayer really changes things.
It wasn’t sneakiness. It’s that I did not expect it to work. After all, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…or worse: you can’t teach an old fool new tricks.
The area I have always felt maybe the most foolish is prayer. I am not good at it. I don’t get it. I don’t feel comfortable discussing it. I have often wondered whether I fear unanswered or answered prayer more. I have forced myself, by desperation, to ask people to pray for me. But I am more personally comfortable with a discussion that tends towards cynicism, as we ask theologically, “Why pray?” and try to dissect God’s machinations of providence, grace and redemption. Discussion of prayer, rather than praying, is my spiritual comfort zone. Satan likes that. I don’t. But I have to admit to paralysis, as I don’t know what to do about it.
Cato the Elder said that a wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool can’t learn from anyone. We like that quote, but in our deepest parts, worry that there is then no hope for us in the areas where we are…well…fools. It takes wisdom to gain wisdom. A fool is stuck being a fool. And so we give up hoping to fix the areas where we know, but cannot admit, that we are fools.
Cato would agree that it takes more than wisdom alone to teach anything to a fool. That may be the brilliance of the book.
Paul Miller, in this new book about prayer, has a lot of wisdom and excellent research on the subject. But more than that, he allowed me to see (and relate to) his foolishness, disarming my defense mechanisms in a truly Christ-like way. That’s Jesus’ way, isn’t it? The power of becoming weak. Paul’s humility in sharing his failures and fears gives him boldness to then call me to task about similar things in my life. His openness is hard to resist, and smoothes the way to my heart, allowing the truth to be well planted. He then helps me see how it is in my relationships, and in the moment by moment parts of those relationships, that the fruit of my life is revealed. That revelation leads to prayer.
Being honest about my behavior in light of the important relationships ( Shyrel) and less important ( other drivers, for instance) makes me come to the point where I can’t help but cry out, “God have mercy on me, a sinner”. And all of a sudden, I am praying.
The negative motive is my sin. The positive is God’s love. Paul boldly reminds me that God loves me in an intimate, mystical, joyful way. God loves the people around me. God went to great lengths to be a part of our lives. That revelation leads to prayer! I want to be a part of this incredibly good work that God is about in my world. And all of a sudden, I am praying.
Praying is a natural outcome of spending time in this book, but the book is about LIFE.
But don't take my my word for it!!!! Buy it now!!!!