Book Notes: A Praying Life / 7 Steps to Becoming a Healthy Christian Leader

Here are some notes on two books I have read recently:

A Praying Life:
Connecting with God in a Distracting World

Paul E. Miller
NavPress, 2009
My Rating: *****

Do you really need another book on prayer? Yes, if it’s this one. Paul Miller’s book is challenging and encouraging all at once. His goal is to lead you to the place where prayer is a natural part of your life, where the circumstances in life that keep you from praying become the impetus for your prayers.

Miller goes deeper than most books on prayer in order to show us that our prayerlessness is rooted in the sins of unbelief or in misconceptions about God. By correcting these images with the biblical picture of the extravagant Father, Miller offers counsel that is both theological and practical. He continually reminds us of our dependence upon God. I underlined so many parts of this book that I had to sharpen my pencil several times. This book is a must-read!

Seven Steps to Becoming a Healthy Christian Leader
Doug Munton
VMI Publishers, 2004
*** 1/2

I enjoy leadership books written by pastors for pastors. Some books for the Christian leader only remind pastors of what it is that they should (ideally) be doing, which then leads to further feelings of guilt for not meeting the ridiculously high expectations of everyone around them. Munton’s book does indeed remind pastors of essentials, but he does so in an encouraging manner that understands the complexities of the pastoral role.

The seven steps are:

  1. Deepen your intimacy with God.
  2. Discover a vision of what could be.
  3. Develop a passion for reaching people.
  4. Sacrifice for God’s kingdom.
  5. Persevere through difficulties.
  6. Strengthen your people skills.
  7. Enjoy the journey.

This book has lots of helpful advice and some memorable illustrations. I wish Munton had dug deeper into how the gospel forms our expectations of health and leadership, but even as it is, the book is useful for church leaders.