A Praying Life
|Connecting with God in a Disconnected World |
Paul Miller learned to pray through suffering and helplessness. Paul found himself in difficult situations he couldn’t control, and he could only cry out to his heavenly Father. It happened often enough that it became a habit, creating a rut between his soul and God. “We initially receive Jesus because we are weak,” Paul explains. “But somehow we forget that helplessness is also how the Christian life works.” Paul began bringing his messy life to the Father, and he discovered a Father eager to embrace the mess.
Paul and his wife Jill entered a new realm of helplessness when their fourth child, Kim, was born with developmental challenges. Diagnosed as autistic, via a microscopic chromosomal deletion called 1p36, Kim has worked hard to overcome her disability. Now 27 years old, Kim’s life has been a blessing to her entire family. The Millers have learned to see God’s story of love and redemption woven into their own.
Paul Miller and his family have struggled with the challenges of unanswered prayer, cynicism, anxiety and perhaps the greatest challenge to a life of prayer: living in American culture. “We are so busy,” writes Paul, “that when we slow down to pray, we find it uncomfortable. It feels useless, as if we are wasting time. Every bone in our bodies screams, ‘Get to work.’” Because it is uncomfortable to feel our unbelief, to come face-to-face with our cynicism, Paul believes we Americans dull our souls with the narcotic of activity.
After years of developing a personal prayer life, and several courses in the school of suffering, Paul Miller created the PrayerLife Study to teach others how to begin a private life of prayer. The study spawned a seminar by the same name and now a book: A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World (NavPress, 05/09).
Paul Miller’s work life has always revolved around teaching. He graduated from Temple University in 1975 and taught at inner city Christian schools in Philadelphia for three years. Then with a group of parents, he started Spruce Hill Christian School (K-8), an inner city, multi-racial school and served as principal and teacher for seven years.
In 1983 Paul began working with his father, Dr. Jack Miller, at what would become World Harvest Mission. From 1983 – 1996, Paul served as Associate Director, and the teacher also became a writer. He wrote several discipling courses including a popular course on grace called Sonship and a companion course called Discipling by Grace.
Paul earned his Master of Divinity at Biblical Theological Seminary in 1999 as has since served as the director of seeJesus.net, a discipling mission that develops interactive Bible studies. The PrayerLife Study and Seminar, upon which A Praying Life is based, is the second curriculum released by seeJesus.net. The first curriculum, The Person of Jesus Study, centers on what Jesus is like as a person and forms the basis for Paul’s first book, Love Walked Among Us (NavPress).
Paul has been married to Jill, known for her sense of humor and faith, for 36 years. They have six children, two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, seven grandchildren, three goats, two donkeys and two dogs. They live near Philadelphia.