The foreword to this book opens with the phrase “It’s hard to pray”. This is often something I have felt, so I was challenged to read the book and reflect on my prayer life.
Paul Miller has a very open, easy to read style. The book starts by looking at why we don’t pray. He hold up a mirror to our cynical frustrated hearts. Then he goes back to basics: Praying isn’t about the prayers but about relationship with God. The book is full of examples and very honest stories from the author’s own family life. There are moments of great joy but it also faces the hard reality of prayers not answered in the way we would like. He speaks of messy prayers; God knows we have messy life so why do we think that God expects to have perfect polished prayers? Just babble to God with whatever is in your head and after you have shared all of that it will be much easier to just sit and be still in His presence. There is a stress on the importance of time spent in prayer but not necessarily huge chunks at a time. Take baby steps, starting with five minutes maximum at a time but do it regularly. Use little prayers throughout the day to develop more awareness of the presence of God.
On this great foundation he builds the middle section which is a great biblical exposition of why we should pray and why we can trust God to answer. The end of the book draws it all together with very practical tips which I have found useful and encouraging: prayer journals and prayer cards for example.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to reflect on where they are with their praying life. I look forward to chatting about to it to some of you.