I wasn’t planning on writing today, and I actually don’t have time to, but this morning I just know I have to write.
I never really devote a blog to recommending a book, but I just HAVE to do that with this book. I ordered it on Kindle not really knowing what it was. I read a book a week and believe that Heaven will be made of libraries – not really, but it would be fun. People ask how I read so much – lessons, friends. Older kids, means waiting through piano, violin and other things of that sort. Anyway, from the moment I opened this book, I knew there was something different about it. God has been speaking to me a lot about prayer lately. I’m not going to lie, the word ‘prayer’ is not something that usually draws me to a book. I’ve seen it change my life and other’s around me, I’ve seen God do amazing things through it and I do pray, but sometimes my prayer life is – can I say it? bland. When something is happening and I am aware of the fight, you can bet I am there, but the other 80% of the time? I am MIA – at least in the fights that matter. “God, thank You for this day” and the like is a good start, but it’s not exactly the stuff I want the bulk of my prayers to be. I definitely pray – but the heartfelt, passionate kind? That is missing so much of the time.
I have become increasingly aware of the fight we have on our hands. The enemy is not some little nice guy who leaves us alone unless we bother him like I have heard. Look at the suffering of humanity and you know it’s true. You don’t have to look around much to realize that he hates us because we’re image bearers. All of us. He is hell bent on keeping us from coming too near to the One who will cause us to see. When we see, we are dangerous to the enemy’s plans both in our own lives and the lives we come into contact with. We are image bearers and a reminder of a better world in the past and a better one coming. We’re made for so much more and his strategy is to keep us from knowing. He keeps us disoriented, sedated and busy. As my eyes are being opened, I’m dumbfounded at how often I am just kind of ignorant, busy and uninformed.
This brings me to the book. God has been really speaking to my heart about prayer. After He began speaking, our pastor started a series on prayer. Coincidence? I think not. Kindle then suggested “Fervent” to me by Priscilla Shirer. The title “Fervent” on a book about prayer really grabbed me. Sometimes I avoid a book like this because fervent prayer can equal guilty for me sometimes, but because God had been speaking to me about this very subject, I just knew I had to read it. From the second I opened the book, I knew that this was no ordinary book. In fact, I promptly ordered a paper copy because this one is full and I knew it would need a highlighter, bookmarks and writing along the sides. This is actually the first time I have done this. I highlight and note on my Kindle, but that was not going to suffice for this book. In fact, I even put it down until I could get a journal dedicated to this book and prayer. If I haven’t convinced you to read it yet – maybe this will 🙂 This is adapted from page 3 of the book. Page THREE and it’s already this good. I did change the wording to make it my own personal declaration. I am taking everything from the book as is except changing the ‘we’ to ‘I’ to make it personal as well as removing ‘Not if’ from the beginning of each line. The first line as written reads,
We simply don’t have the luxury of playing nice with prayer.
Here is the rest with my small changes.
I want things to change. I want to be free-from whatever is keeping me held down and held back. I want my heart whole and thriving and deep and grounded…different. I want to reach my destiny and experience God’s promises. I want my husband and children living out what God has called them to do and be and become. I want a fence of God’s protection around us. I want to bear the unmistakable mark of His favor upon us. I want the devil and his plans to go back to the hell where they came from. (page 3 from “Fervent”)
Therefore, I will pray.
These things will not happen unless I do. Let that sink in – things will not change unless we pray. They just won’t. We need prayer to give us His perspective on things. Without it, we will continue to operate based on what WE can see and that is not very much sometimes. We need HIS eyes and HIS heart for every situation we’re in. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re in a situation because we’re too sedated. We think the fight with our husband is just us. We think our children’s struggles are just something flawed in our parenting. We think our internal distress is hormones, or past hurts etc, BUT THERE IS SO MUCH MORE GOING ON. Understanding that is the very first step to a fervent prayer life. Who fights when there is nothing to fight? I think if we understood what was really going on – what is at stake – we would get down on our squeaky knees and do a lot more fighting there. So, friends, let’s start fighting. I know I have a little prayer journal that has a few pages written on that I want full of thanking, fighting and victory when this year is done. I want to live this year with eyes wide open.
**If you want this book and I HIGHLY recommend it – and a journal, and a highlighter, and a pen, and and a nice cup of coffee. Oh, and maybe some knee pads. – you can order it here