#4: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
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I purchased this book several months ago as I have been trying to have a more intentional and specific prayer life. Sometimes, I have the tendency to pray about things I want or need in a way that often has a “plan B” built in. For example, “Dear Lord, please provide X but if you don’t want to I understand and I only want it if it’s in your will anyways so here’s hoping…”
While it is true that I only want to function in the will of God, even if that means getting “NOs”, I also realized that I was praying this way more out of not wanting to get disappointed when my requests weren’t granted rather than truly wanting the Lord’s will to be done. Also, I realized that I wasn’t specifically praying for certain things in my life because if I prayed in a generic way then I could hold onto the generic hope I had for a future outcome. This type of praying really limits us. In reality, I think we often underestimate the power we have through prayer. Just look at the Old Testament prophets or the miracles of the New Testament. One prayer can change a life and we have dozens of examples, yet we often treat prayer as a small supplement to our faith when in reality it is one of our greatest weapons!
I’ve always loved the “Aha moments” that God provides in life. The perfect song at the perfect moment or a devotional that landed on the perfect day or even a fortune cookie letting you know that he is in the big and small things but until recently I’d never really asked for “Aha moments”. I also felt somewhat guilty asking God to wow me over my own trivial stuff when I had far more “important” prayers that needed answering. Like God, has some prayer limit or something…sheesh!
So, in walked this book which covers ten strategies for your prayer life including, focus, identity, family, the past, fears, purity, pressures, hurts and relationships. Each chapter tackles one of these strategies and how to specifically pray for that topic. Priscilla makes no qualms about the fact that we face spiritual warfare on a daily basis and she gives practical approaches to reinvigorate the power you have through prayer when the enemy gets rough. For me, she reemphasized how passionate my prayer life could and should be and why specific prayers can grow your faith and let me tell you I have seen a difference!
Don’t get me wrong…the Lord is not a genie. If you ask God for something He may say no or He may say wait because He is a loving father who knows what is best for you. However, He has no issue showing up and showing out! I have been working to pray for a few specific, albeit trivial, things in the last few weeks and WHEW! The Lord swept me off my feet. (Side note: Why are we shocked when the Lord answers our prayers? Like, is this not what you asked for?) And in the end, while I am SOOOOO thankful for the answered prayers it is also so wonderful to be reminded of what a personal relationship I have with the creator of the universe. He keeps the planets in orbit but He also takes time for me… and you!