Today's post was written by Paula Mason. She is married to Matt and homeschools their three children: Hunter (14), Will (11), and Ellie (8).
I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. That is why I am always on the lookout for good books, and when I find one, I don’t like to keep it a secret. I would love to share one of my favorites with you.
You don’t have to be a Christian for long to find out how difficult praying can be. In fact, “how do I pray?” is often one of the first questions a new believer will ask. It’s also a question that even the most seasoned saints can face during their walk. That is why I was thrilled to come across a book on prayer that was both an inspirational read and a practical help. It has both given me a new approach to prayer and immensely encouraged me in my prayer life.
Paul Miller’s A Praying Life has become a staple on my bookshelf. I have read it a couple of times, referred to it often, and plan on reading it again. It is an easy read that includes helpful illustrations and personal anecdotes that make Miller and his family dear to your heart. He honestly discusses common struggles with prayer, then arms you with teaching and tools to help you overcome them.
There are five main headings in the book: "Learning to Pray Like a Child," "Learning to Trust Again," "Learning to Ask Your Father," "Learning to Live in Your Father’s Story," and "Praying in Real Life." In the midst of these, he deals with issues like cynicism, difficult prayer Scriptures, and unanswered prayer. He offers hope in times of suffering and reminds parents of how very important it is to pray for our children. Most importantly, this is a wonderfully gospel-centered approach to prayer that takes the struggles that often keep us from praying and uses them instead as a catalyst for prayer.
“The very things we try to get rid of – our weariness, our distractedness, our messiness – are what get us in the front door! That’s how the gospel works. That’s how prayer works.” –Paul Miller, A Praying Life
We live in such a distracting world. As we fight to prioritize, may we be women who first seek our daily bread from our Father who loves us and is faithful to meet our needs. May we always remember our dire need for a Savior, and how important seeking Him is to our daily walk. May we all live “a praying life.”
I’ll be praying for you.
If you would like to learn more about prayer, Pastor Jim Shaddix is currently teaching a sermon series at our church on Why Pray? The Urgency of Mission Critical Communion, which has been absolutely fantastic, and Pastor David has an earlier sermon series on prayer entitled Lifeline: Power Through Prayer.