Fervent Prayer (plus a book giveaway!!)

Fervent

How often do you pray? How do you pray?

Prayer is essential in our growing relationship with God. It connects us intimately with our Savior, and is where we receive power and guidance to have victory in our lives and fight for breakthrough in the lives of those we love.

Yet, when I consider those two questions, I know the answers are not what they should be. Can you relate?

After the recent movie War Room came out, star Priscilla Shirer released a book called Fervent, a Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer.

FerventIf you need motivation, inspiration and an action plan to get serious about your prayer life, this book is for you, just like it was for me. I needed a good kick in the pants to consider why my prayer life needed revival and how I could be more strategic and committed to praying for those I love and for my own freedom and victory over sin and Satan’s subtle attacks.

Shirer has written this book with a very personal, conversational style. You will feel as if she really is sitting next to you, talking with and encouraging you. That’s a good thing, because challenge and conviction is much better received coming from a dear friend who cares about you. And, trust me that you will feel both, in the best of ways, when working through Fervent.

Fervent addresses 10 areas of our lives as women that Satan will attack us and how we can fight against his schemes through prayer. Most books on prayer I have read focus on how to pray for your spouse or your children (and Fervent still does), but this book deals with much more personal areas I might not have even realized are battlegrounds. The ones I found to be on point were:

  • Attacks on our passion: Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your cutting edge? That your faith has grown lackluster and you don’t even know why? Jesus can and will restore you.
  • Attacks on our focus: It’s easy to lose sight of the real enemy we are fighting against. We must focus the battle on the enemy rather than those around us.
  • Attacks on our identity: We must see ourselves the way God sees us and not fall for Satan’s lies.
  • Attacks on our confidence: Satan loves to keep us battling in the past, and allowing what happened in our past to defeat us now. We must not fall for this.
  • Attacks on our calling: Satan uses fear to stops us from living in the center of God’s calling. Prayer helps us confidently step out in faith, and push aside the fear that can cripple.
  • Attacks on our rest and contentment: If you are feeling pressure to live up to everyone else’s expectations or fill your calendar to the brink, it could very well be Satan’s tactic to keep you exhausted and ineffective.
  • Attacks on our heart: Forgiveness is essential in living in God’s grace and power. Prayer helps us stay close to God’s heart.

Fervent was truly an inspiring read, that made me want to buckle down and commit to regular and focused time in prayer with God. I must be intentional in prayer, and each chapter gave specific Scriptures to claim in my prayer strategy.

There were only two aspects of the book that left me wanting more. First, Shirer uses her pages to focus mostly on the strategy of prayer and the battle grounds we face. While that is a worthy endeavor, for me there also needs to be a balance of the specific strategies with simply having a conversation and pouring out my heart to God. Sometimes just being with God is what I need most. Secondly, I was hoping for concrete examples and more of a “step-by-step” guide to creating prayer strategies. Perhaps Shirer chose not to include them, because that is a worthy exercise we need to work through on our own rather than copying someone elses.

Overall, Fervent is an eye-opening, challenging and life-changing book that I definitely recommend to you. It’s one to keep as a resource and come back to again and again.

That’s why I’m so pleased to offer you the chance to win a free copy of Fervent! Fill out this simple form, and one winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, Nov. 12.

For more on the book and to purchase for yourself, or for a woman of God you know would benefit or enjoy learning more on prayer, click here.

 

Fervent Book Giveaway

Always time for John 3:16

Lauren's verse

Lauren’s verse

Right in the middle of Sunday’s sermon, Lauren leaned over to me and loudly whispered, “How do you spell ‘world’?”

I glanced down ready to shush her, and saw what she was diligently working on.

Normally, Lauren likes to copy the sermon notes from the screen, because now that she’s in Kindergarten, words (especially ones she recognizes) are very interesting! But, she had abandoned her notes for a new, more important, endeavor.

On her little notebook paper, Lauren had written:

“For God so loved the”

And so, I whispered back to her: “W-O-R-L-D”.

I am sure the rest of the sermon was convicting and edifying, but God was giving me a lesson of my own and I watched Lauren sound out words and write out the most beautiful of verses, John 3:16.

On Lauren’s prompting, I spelled out a few more words, like “begotten” and “everlasting”. She was determined to etch out on paper what was already imprinted in her heart.

John 3:16 is always worth the time.

So this morning when Lauren came to me crying right in the middle of her devotions (the Bible App for Kids), I stopped what I was doing. We went to a private place and talked about what was going on. She was experiencing conviction. She had a dream last night that she had died and that scared her. She had been thinking about that and others she knew that were no longer here with us, and not knowing what would happen after death worried her tremendously. This scenario has occurred several times in the last few months. Each time I have shared with her how she can have peace and know she would be with Jesus, but she wasn’t ready to pray and begin her personal relationship with Jesus (and I did NOT want to push her).

This morning was different. Jesus has been part of her life from the beginning, loving her and gently drawing her to Himself. Lauren knew how she could have hope and be with Jesus forever. And so, before I could even begin to share the Gospel again with her, she burst out in prayer! She asked Jesus, with all sincerity and love, to come into her heart. As we continued to talk, she asked God to forgive her sins, she told Him that she believed in Jesus and His death on the cross, and in her own precious words committed her life to God.

When she opened her eyes, the only tears that remained were mine. Her eyes lit up as she smiled, because her fear had been replaced with God’s peace.

After a few joyous announcements to Daddy and her big brother, we had to make a few phone calls, too. That put us behind on the morning to get the kids to school.

And, none of us were concerned about that. Because there’s always time for John 3:16.