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

Dodging the puddles

Navigating through the mud puddles isn't always an easy task.

Navigating through the mud puddles isn’t always an easy task.

God will make a way for us through the deep and threatening places of life.

His people never had to swim in dangerous waters as God led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God split the seas and the rivers. They walked across dry ground to redemption from their Egyptian oppressors. When the people finally were ready to trust and obey God and enter the land, the priests stepped into the water in faith, and God parted the Jordan River to usher His people to the home He had prepared for them.

So why do we, as believers in Christ, stop in our tracks at a few mud puddles between us and the life God has for us?

If the Holy Spirit is guiding, there is no reason to fear. God will make a way through the muddy passages and sweeping oceans between us and where He wants us to be.

Perhaps we are facing chasms of doubt, or shadows from mountains of pain and grief threaten to hide the path before us. Maybe we are afraid to get our feet wet, to step through the waters because we may be swallowed whole. Do we turn back? Do we ignore God’s call to the other side?

God is good. He is kind, and His patience is long. God’s grace reaches farther than our fear and our failure. There is no risk to follow Him. He is with us for every step, and every leap over and around the puddles that threaten us. The very spirit of our Resurrected Savior is alive in us! God has redeemed us, and He will triumph over every circumstance. Holding His nail-scarred hand, we can take each step with Jesus, confident and secure in His love.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.”

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 16-19