Monthly Archives: February 2016

Pray Like You Mean It – Fervent Book Review

Standard

fervent

This week I want to share with you one of my recent reads, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. If you are looking for a book that will challenge you to grow in your prayer life, then I highly recommend this one.

I loved Priscilla Shirer’s Breathe study, which teaches us about honoring the Sabbath and learning to rest. So when I saw the email introducing this book, I knew this was going to be a great guide to prayer.

 Inspired by the movie War Room, Shirer polled a large cross-section of women asking them which areas of their lives they felt were most under attack by the enemy. She clustered the responses she received into ten general categories. Those categories then became prayer strategies, which focus on the areas of passion, focus, family, identity, and past, just to name a few. Each prayer strategy area spoke directly to my heart, oftentimes to current situations I was experiencing. Each chapter gives encouragement to keep fighting along with Scriptures to pray over each area specifically.

Priscilla Shirer takes on the role of tell-it-like-it-is sister girlfriend. Imagine that you’re sitting across from her in your living room drinking your favorite coffee or tea. She shares personal stories of breakthrough and overcoming obstacles for each prayer strategy. She invites us into her story so that we can be encouraged to fight for our story.

She admonishes us early on in the book to take off the gloves and fight the enemy with precision, rather than “[fling] words and emotions in all directions without any real consideration for the specific ways the enemy is targeting us and the promises of God that apply to us.” She reminds us to focus on the real enemy – not our family, husband, friends, or foes, but the enemy of our souls.<–Click to tweet. She urges us to declare WAR. Simply put, she encourages us to fight fire with fire. The fire of kneeling in prayer. The fire of partnering strategically with the Holy Spirit for what is rightfully ours. Going boldly and confidently before the throne! COME ON SOMEBODY!

Fervent helps women take back their rightful territory through heartfelt prayer. <–Tweet this.

Each chapter includes a list of scriptures to pray over each area of your life. Ephesians 6 is woven through each chapter as a connecting thread. We pray on our full armor of God so that we are able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. As a bonus, the paperback copy offers something not available on the e-reader: perforated notecards in the back of the book that you can pull out and write down your specific prayers for each of the strategy areas. You can post these in your War Room, or anywhere you will see them and be reminded to pray each day.

I encourage this book for every woman who wants to dig her well deeper in the area of her prayer life. You won’t regret it. And while you’re recovering your God-given territory, bring a sister-friend along with you. This book is even better when studied with your tribe.

Lord, I pray that women will be encouraged to humble themselves, fall on on their knees and pray, regardless of what their current season looks like. Lord give us a boldness and a courage to fight fire with fire, to put on our spiritual armor and declare your Word over each area of our lives. Thank you that you hear every prayer and you see every tear. I pray that you will bring comfort, peace and strength to your warrior princesses as we walk each day with you. Give us the strength to fight in strategic prayer for the people and the territory that you have given them. Give us spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear. We give you all the glory and praise even now before the battle is won! In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

 

Devotion

Standard

Shortly after Lent last year, I felt God pulling on my heart strings, saying, “Come away, my beloved” (Song of Solomon 8:14). I read an article in a Christian magazine that encouraged readers to “dig our wells deeper” in Him. It reminded me of this scripture:

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:7 NLT

As much as I was drawn to digging my well deeper, I balked at the idea of doing another fast. I had grown weary during my Lent fast, and was eager to be DONE with fasting. God showed me through the course of my fast that although I was obedient in completing the fast I did it begrudgingly – not with a cheerful heart as He would have liked. I felt convicted. My devotion and prayer life had become stagnant and stale, and I was in needed of something new. God confirmed that it was time to “dig my well deeper in Him,” so I decided to fast from social media for 150 days. Yes, you read that correctly.  In place of surfing online, I chose to read and meditate on one Psalm per day. It was an amazing, eye-opening adventure that taught me a lot.

Prior to this fast, most of my quiet time generally incorporated only reading one or more devotions written by others. Great tools for sure! They usually include one or two scriptures followed by the words of a modern day author. I started to feel overwhelmed by the words of others and wanted to hear directly from God. I felt like God wanted me to focus more on his Word than what other people were saying about his Word. <—Click to tweet.

The greatest lesson I learned was that I don’t “need” a specific devotional written by someone else. If I seek Holy Spirit wisdom in prayer before I read, He will highlight passages to me and give me an understanding of the Word. I love that! I would never have grown in this way had I not done this fast, which is pretty cool.

I realized that over time as I read more and more scripture, I was able to recall it in moments of difficulty and use it aso to encourage others. My faith grew stronger & I grew stronger because I was standing on the truth of God’s Word. <—Click to tweet. I was filling my reservoir with the Word so that I could draw upon it on the hard days and in the difficult seasons. And for that I am truly thankful.