Famous Quotes & Sayings

Paul E. Miller Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 50 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Paul E. Miller.

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Paul E. Miller Quotes 397034

Sometimes when we say "God is silent," what's really going on is that he hasn't told the story the way we wanted it told. He will be silent when we want him to fill in the blanks of the story we are creating. But with his own stories, the ones we live in, he is seldom silent. — Paul E. Miller

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We become anxious when we take a godlike stance, occupying ourselves with things too great for us. — Paul E. Miller

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What do I lose when I have a praying life? Control. Independence. What do I gain? Friendship with God. A quiet heart. The living work of God in the hearts of those I love. The ability to roll back the tide of evil. Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his. I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover. I move from being an orphan to a child of God. — Paul E. Miller

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Self-will and prayer are both ways of getting things done. At the center of self-will is me, carving a world in my image, but at the center of prayer is God, carving me in his Son's image. — Paul E. Miller

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The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. — Paul E. Miller

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Suffering is the frame, the context, where we learn to love. — Paul E. Miller

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I am starting to see there is a difference between "saying prayers" and honest praying. Both can sound the same on the outside, but the former is too often motivated by a sense of obligation and guilt; whereas the latter is motivated by a conviction that I am completely helpless to "do life" on my own. Or in the case of praying for others, that I am completely helpless to help others without the grace and power of God. — Paul E. Miller

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The glib way people talk about prayer often reinforces our cynicism. We end our conversations with "I'll keep you in my prayers." We have a vocabulary of "prayer speak," including "I'll lift you up in prayer" and "I'll remember you in prayer." Many who use these phrases, including us, never get around to praying. Why? Because we don't think prayer makes much difference. — Paul E. Miller

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Humility makes you disappear, which is why we avoid it. — Paul E. Miller

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Two days later after the visit to CHOP, Jill wrote, "Give me the faith to leave this with you. Please help her to talk." Then the journal goes silent. It would be ten years before Jill would have the faith and the energy to write another entry in her prayer journal. It would be twenty years before Kim would begin to speak, at age twenty-five. God left Jill in confusion in order to grow her faith, her ability to connect with him. To become like a child, Jill had to become weak again. — Paul E. Miller

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Releasing control of something I loved opened the door to communion with God. — Paul E. Miller

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Nothing clears out self-righteousness better than serving someone who is critical of you. — Paul E. Miller

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Our "in tune with my feelings" era believes that to be true to myself, to be authentic, means I need to act on my feelings. But the opposite is true. In fact, true authenticity means I maintain a trust through thick and thin. — Paul E. Miller

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God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden ...
The best gift of the desert is God's presence ... The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey. — Paul E. Miller

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If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You'll always be a little too tired,
a little too busy. But, if like Jesus you realize you can't do life on your own, then no matter how busy,no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray. — Paul E. Miller

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It is striking how many spiritual writers react to the specificity of real prayer. It runs deeper than Greek Neoplatonism and the influence of Buddhist spirituality. Frankly, God makes us nervous when he gets too close. We don't want a physical dependence on him. It feels hokey, like we are controlling God. Deep down we just don't like grace. We don't want to risk our prayer not being answered. We prefer the safety of isolation to engaging the living God. To embrace the Father and thus prayer is to accept what one pastor called "the sting of particularity."4 Our dislike of asking is rooted in our desire for independence. — Paul E. Miller

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Remember the point of Christianity isn't to learn a lot of truths so you don't need God anymore. — Paul E. Miller

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The quest for a contemplative life can actually be self-absorbed, focused on my quiet and me. If we love people and have the power to help, then we are going to be busy. Learning to pray doesn't offer us a less busy life, it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer business we can develop an inner quiet. Because we are less hectic on the inside, we have a greater capacity to love ... and thus to be busy, which in turn drives us even more into a life of prayer. By spending time with our Father in prayer, we integrate our lives with his, with what he is doing in us. Our lives become more coherent. They feel calmer, more ordered, even in the midst of confusion and pressure. — Paul E. Miller

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Imagine a husband who really loves his wife. He is attentive to her needs. He listens to her heart. He is her best earthly gift. How would she react if he said to her, "Don't ask me for anything. I'm your best gift." When I've said this at our prayer seminars, everyone bursts into laughter. The husband's love for his wife is not disengaged from responding thoughtfully and generously to her requests. If we separate our mundane needs (doing) from God's best gift, his loving presence (being), then we are overspiritualizing prayer. — Paul E. Miller

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Why is hesed love so important? Because life is moody. Feelings come and go. Pressures rise and fall. Passions ebb and flow. Hesed is a stake in the heart of the changing seasons of life. Words of commitment create a bond that stands against life's moodiness. — Paul E. Miller

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We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A need heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer. — Paul E. Miller

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If you wait, your heavenly Father will pick you up, carry you out into the night, and make your life sparkle. He wants to dazzle you with the wonder of his love. — Paul E. Miller

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Prayer is a moment of incarnation - God with us. God involved in the details of my life. — Paul E. Miller

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According to Jesus, acknowledging our neediness opens the door to genuine and lasting happiness. Religions usually talk about what a person has to "do", but Jesus talks about what we "can't do". He says that our weakness, not our power or what we bring to God, enables us to know God. — Paul E. Miller

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While our world is reluctant to call something evil, it has also grown cynical about the possibility of unselfish love. The denial of Satan's existence comes out of a mind-set that denies the reality of the spiritual world. But if the world is purely material, then all action is interpreted as self-centered and we have no basis for love. The denial of evil eventually leads to the assumption that there is no love. — Paul E. Miller

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Anxiety is unable to relax in the face of chaos; continuous prayer clings to the Father in the face of chaos. — Paul E. Miller

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We don't know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual pwerlessness like prayer. — Paul E. Miller

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God doesn't like to be experienced. He wants to be known. — Paul E. Miller

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When I begin praying Christ into someone's life, God often permits suffering in that person's life. If Satan's basic game plan is pride, seeking to draw us into his life of arrogance, then God's basic game plan is humility, drawing us into the life of his Son. — Paul E. Miller

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Learning to pray doesn't offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer busyness — Paul E. Miller

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All of Jesus' teaching on prayer in the Gospels can be summarized with one word: ask. — Paul E. Miller

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One of the subtlest hindrances to prayer is probably the most pervasive. In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, competency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time-consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God. As a result, exhortations to pray don't stick. — Paul E. Miller

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If we separate our mundane needs (doing) from God's best gift, his loving presence (being), then we are overspiritualizing prayer. If we ask nothing of God, we are left adrift in an evil world. Such a position may feel spiritual because it seems unselfish, but it is unbiblical because it separates the real world of our desires from God's world. The kingdom can't come because it is floating. By discounting the spiritual and physical worlds, Neoplatonism did exactly what the Enlightenment did. The only difference was Neoplatonism valued the spiritual while the Enlightenment valued the physical. So the church is influenced by Neoplatonism (the physical isn't important), and the world is shaped by the Enlightenment (the spiritual isn't important). Both perspectives stifled honest, person-to-person praying in the church. — Paul E. Miller

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To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit ...
A praying life is just the opposite. It engaged evil. It doesn't take no for an answer. The psalmist was in God's face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope. — Paul E. Miller

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A thankful heart is constantly extending grace because it has received grace. Love and grace are uneven. God poured out on his own Son the criticism I deserve. Now he invites me to pour out undeserving grace on someone who has hurt me. Grace begets grace. This — Paul E. Miller

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The only way to know how prayer works is to have complete knowledge and control of the past, present, and future. In other words, you can figure out how prayer works if you are God. — Paul E. Miller

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When you realize that death is at the center of love, it is quietly liberating. Instead of fighting the death that comes with love, you embrace what your Father has given you. A tiny resurrection begins in your — Paul E. Miller

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God is a person, and his universe reflects his personhood. The closer something is to the character of God, the more it reflects him and the less it can be measured. Things such as integrity, beauty, hope, and love are all in the same category as prayer. You can tell their presence and even describe them, but you can't define them, simply because they are too close to God's image. — Paul E. Miller

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When confronted with suffering that won't go away or with even a minor problem, we instinctively focus on what is missing, ... not on the Master's hand. Often when you think everything has gone wrong, it's just that you're in the middle of a story. If you watch the stories God is weaving in your life, you ... will begin to see the patterns. You'll become a poet, sensitive to your Father's voice. — Paul E. Miller

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As Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, "If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" (Matt. 5:46). In other words, if I love only when I feel like it, then I've really not understood love. — Paul E. Miller

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Until you are convinced that you can't change your child's heart, you will not take prayer seriously. — Paul E. Miller

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The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes king of your life. But it has to be your life. — Paul E. Miller

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As we wait and pray, God weaves his story and creates a wonder. Instead of drifting between comedy (denial) and tragedy (reality), we have a relationship with the living God, who is intimately involved with the details of our worlds. We are learning to watch for the story to unfold, to wait for the wonder. — Paul E. Miller

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The praying life is the abiding life. Many Christians hit a wall when they connect abiding with asking. They freeze, thinking, If I were abiding, then I would get my prayers answered. Abiding feels elusive, like a spiritual pipe dream. Abiding is anything but disconnected from life. It is the way life should be done, in partnership with God. — Paul E. Miller

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Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life. — Paul E. Miller

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Prayer mirrors the gospel. In the gospel, the Father takes us as we are and gives us his gift of salvation. In prayer, the Father receives us as we are because of Jesus and gives us his gift of help. — Paul E. Miller

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Because cynicism misses the presence of the Shepherd, it reverses the picture in John 1 of light invading darkness. Like Saruman in The Lord of the Rings, cynicism looks too long into the Dark Lord's crystal ball. Its attempt to unmask evil unwittingly enlarges evil. Increasingly, we are returning to the world of pre-Christian paganism, where evil seemingly has the loudest voice and the last word. — Paul E. Miller

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Everything you do is connected to who you are as a person and, in turn, creates the person you are becoming. Everything you do affects those you love. All of life is covenant.
Imbedded in the idea of prayer is a richly textured view of the world where all of life is organized around invisible bonds or covenants that knit us together. Instead of a fixed world, we live in our Father's world, a world built for divine relationships between people where, because of the Good News, tragedies become comedies and hope is born. — Paul E. Miller

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Prayer is asking God to incarnate, to get dirty in your life. Yes, the eternal God scrubs floors. For sure we know he washes feet. So take Jesus at his word. Ask him. Tell him what you want. Get dirty. Write out your prayer requests; don't mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don't let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day. — Paul E. Miller

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Oddly enough, many people struggle to learn how to pray because they are focusing on praying, not on God. — Paul E. Miller