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A Praying Life, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: "Where we are headed" | Week of March 18, 2018


Americans tend to be highly task-oriented. We like to get stuff done. Unfortunately, approaching prayer as one more thing to check off our list misses so much of what God desires for us in prayer. Paul Miller presents a radically different picture in chapter 2 that better captures God's heart in prayer:

"A praying life feels like our family mealtimes because prayer is all about relationship. It's intimate and hints at eternity. We don't think about communication and words but about whom we are talking with. Prayer is simply the medium through which we experience and connect to God." (Page 8)

Do you pray in order to know God better? Or, like many of us, do you pray because it's something you know you ought to do, or because you hope to get something out of it? Those are task-oriented approaches. They make it about the prayer, not about your relationship with God, and they get in the way of God's desire for prayer because He wants you to know Him. "In prayer, focusing on the conversation is like trying to drive while looking at the windshield instead of through it." (Page 8)


In chapter 2 of A Praying Life, we learn that a praying life is aware of God's story and integrates the details of our lives with that story, revealing our hearts and giving birth to hope. As a church, we've been studying Daniel on Sundays since February, and in the second chapter Daniel faces an impossible task: interpreting the king's dream without even hearing what the dream was, and facing the death penalty if he can't. In Daniel 2:20-23, we see Daniel pray in a way that expresses Miller's characteristics of a praying life listed above. Take a minute to read his prayer, and look for those four elements: God's control, Daniel's details, Daniel's heart, and Daniel's hope.


Is there something you're facing right now that feels bigger than you can handle? Taking the knowledge of God's loving power you read about in Daniel's prayer, talk to Him about your heart in your current situation. What are your fears? Your doubts? Your stumbling blocks? Next, reach out in hope, thanking God for His sovereign goodness, and ask Him to help you put your hope in Him.


There are many in our church who are facing hardships that are bigger than they feel like they can handle: cancer, divorce, loss of work, death of a loved one, and many other hard things. Ask for God to give them hope and trust in Him as they face those circumstances.


Read the story of Daniel in the lion's den (Daniel 6) with your kids. Ask them why Daniel prayed to God even though he knew it would get him in trouble. Pray together that God will grow their faith to trust God even when life feels hard.

Tags : prayer, devotional