If you are like me, you have stacks and stacks of books in your house. I have books in every room and many I haven’t read and those that I have, I probably will not read again. However, there are pencil underlines, notes in the margins, lessons attempted to be learned in their pages. I’ve decided in an attempt to get the books off my shelves and into the hands of others who may benefit from them that I will make notes in my blog and maybe some of them will touch you….then, the book moves on!
Notes on A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller
- Prayer is meant to be the conversation where your life and your God meet.
- When we slow down to pray, we are immediately confronted with how unspiritual we are, with how difficult it is to concentrate on God. We don’t know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.
- 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). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.
- Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God.
- At some point, each of us comes face to face with the valley of the shadow of death. We can’t ignore it. We can’t remain neutral with evil. We either give up and distance ourselves, or we learn to walk with the Shepherd. There is no middle ground.
- Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.
- If you are going to enter this divine dance we call prayer, you have to surrender your desire to be in control, to figure out how prayer works.
- Don’t just ask for spiritual things or “good” things. Tell God what you want. Before you can abide, the real you has to meet the real God. Ask anything.
- Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which…are just the opposite of what we were made for?” — Thomas Merton
- Guidance means I’m driving the car and asking God which way to go. Wisdom is richer, more personal. I don’t just need help with my plans; I need help with my questions and even my own heart.
- Until you are convinced that you can’t change your child’s heart, you will not take prayer seriously.
- I prayed because I was weak. I wasn’t trying to control God. I certainly wasn’t in control of (my child). I was simply praying God’s own heart back to him. I couldn’t imagine him not answering such a prayer.
- If the miracle comes too quickly, there is no room for discovery, for a relationship.
- When we suffer, we long for God to speak clearly, to tell us the end of the story and, most of all, to show himself. But if he showed himself fully and immediately if he answered all the questions, we’d never grow; we’d never emerge from our chrysalis because we’d be forever dependent.
- Living in our Father’s Story: To live in our Father’s story, remember these three things;
- Don’t demand that the story go your way. (In other words, surrender completely.)
- Look for the Storyteller. Look for his hand, and then pray in light of what you are seeing. (In other words, develop an eye for Jesus.)
- Stay in the story. Don’t shut down when it goes the wrong way.
- I want success, he wants authenticity.
- If we pursue joy directly, it slips from our grasp. But if we begin with Jesus and learn to love, we end up with joy.
- When we understand the story, it quiets our souls. It’s okay to have a busy life. It’s crazy to have a busy soul.
- Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don’t matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?
May God bless the author and the reader of this book and may God bless you, the reader of this blog!