Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer -- A Book Review

I haven’t posted a book review in a while, and I assure you, it’s not because I haven’t read any good books lately. I’ve been busy enough that the task of sitting down and writing a review seemed too great. But, with this book, I had to make an exception. This book has changed the way I view prayer and has made me feel much more like a warrior rather than a worrier. That being said, I knew I had to share it with you.

About the Book:

s245152198296280689_p935_i2_w261.jpeg

You have an enemy . . . and he’s dead set on destroying all you hold dear and keeping you from experiencing abundant life in Christ. What’s more, his approach to disrupting your life and discrediting your faith isn’t general or generic, not a one-size-fits-all. It’s specific. Personalized. Targeted.
 
So this book is your chance to strike back. With prayer. With a weapon that really works. Each chapter will guide you in crafting prayer strategies that hit the enemy where it hurts, letting him know you’re on to him and that you won’t back down. Because with every new strategy you build, you’re turning the fiercest battles of life into precise strikes against him and his handiwork, each one infused with the power of God’s Spirit.
 
New York Times bestselling author Priscilla Shirer, widely known for her international speaking, teaching, and writing ministries, brings her new role from the 2015 film War Room into the real lives of today’s women, addressing the topics that affect them most: renewing their passion, refocusing their identity, negotiating family strife, dealing with relentless regrets, navigating impossible schedules, succeeding against temptation, weathering their worst fears, uprooting bitterness, and more. Each chapter exposes the enemy’s cruel, crafty intentions in all kinds of these areas, then equips and encourages you to write out your own personalized prayer strategies on tear-out sheets you can post and pray over yourself and your loved ones on a regular basis.
 
Fervent is a hands-on, knees-down, don’t-give-up action guide to practical, purposeful praying.

Priscilla-Shirer-Encourages-People-To-Find-Mentor-Put-God-Given-Gifts-To-Use-1068x712.jpg

About the Author:

Priscilla Shirer is a Bible teacher and conference speaker with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Also a popular author, her books include the New York Times Best-Seller, The Resolution for WomenOne in a Million, and Life Interrupted. Priscilla is married to Jerry with whom she founded Going Beyond Ministries. They have three sons and live in Dallas, Texas.

My Review:

I’ve read a lot of books on prayer, but this was, by far, one of the best. I love the way the author portrays her fervency about prayer and compels the reader to find the same. As I read, I felt my heart hungering and thirsting for a more heart-felt prayer life. I recognized where my prayers seemed shallow and like rote repetitions and felt the urge to connect with God more deeply. The author also conveyed the importance and power of prayer, which is something I think most Christians do not take into account. So many times, we think of prayer as something we’re supposed to do instead of realizing it is something we are privileged to do. To speak with the Almighty God. To lay our burdens at His feet. And to do so, knowing He has the power to make all things right. Not only that, but through prayer, we have the power to resist temptations and to live the lives we long to live for God’s glory.

If you’re struggling with your prayer life, or if you feel your time with God has grown stale, I highly recommend this book. It will change your prayer life, and in turn, your entire existence. Prayer is powerful, and it changes lives—especially the life of the one doing the praying.

Pray, Write, Grow -- A Book Review

pray,write,grow.jpg

About the Book:

If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing. 
If you want to improve your writing life, try praying. 

The two require many of the same practices, disciplines, and virtues. If you’re already inclined to both write and pray, you may as well figure out how they can help each other. If you’re experienced in one, you may find opportunities for personal or spiritual growth by trying out the other. 

This book offers life-giving practices that will help you grow in both prayer and writing and show how the two can work together to improve your craft as a writer and your spiritual practices as a person of faith.


About the Author:

edc-1500.jpg

Ed Cyzewski is the author of Coffeehouse Theology, A Christian Survival Guide, and other books. He writes about the intersection of prayer and writing at edcyzewski.com. He lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and two sons where they obsess over New York style pizza and organic gardening. Get two free eBook shorts and future book discounts by joining his newsletter: eepurl.com/dD6q. 

 


My Review:

I'm not sure what I expected from this book, but after reading its description, I was intrigued as both a writer and a Christian.  I was delighted by the clear, informal writing used by the author, making each chapter easy to read and understand.  There were a few resources mentioned that I was unfamiliar with and had to look up, but otherwise, the book is well-laid out and informative.

As a writer, I was encouraged by the reminder that everything in my life--good and bad--can be writing material.  Writing about my struggles, fears, growth, and the like has the potential to help others who are going through the same things.  The book also reminded me not to overlook the importance of informal/non-work-related writing, such as journaling.  Sometimes writing things out helps us get to the place where we find a solution.  These were powerful and much-needed reminders.

As a Christian, I was particularly encouraged by the fact that a wandering mind doesn't have to be a bad thing.  I tend to get so frustrated with myself when my mind wanders, especially during my prayer time.  But as the author points out, if the mind is wandering to it, it's obviously something that needs to be prayed about.  Instead of berating myself, I can use that mind roaming as a prompt to pray about the situation to which my mind wandered.  This realization was such a blessing, and I know it will significantly impact my prayer time for years to come.

Even if you're not a writer, I believe every Christian should read this book.  Though I may not agree with everything within its pages, it has provided several elements to help me grow both in my spiritual walk and in my writing craft.  Overall, the book is a short read but well worth the time.

Behold the Man - A Book Review

About the Book:

behold the man.jpg

Encounter the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in this culmination of the Jerusalem Chronicles.

How could Jesus—who preached righteousness before God, and love and mercy toward neighbors—be so hated and pursued? To the Temple officials, he was a threat to the livelihood and authority of the priesthood. To Herod Antipas, he was a threat to his ambition to be the King of the Jews. And to the Roman overlords, he was seen as a dangerous threat; a man who commanded an army of the common people. He could heal wounds, offer miraculous provisions, and even raise from the dead. If Jesus had accepted popular acclaim and become an earthly king, he would have been unstoppable.

Jesus’s last days are explored through three people who interacted with him: Governor Pilate, for whom Judea will either make or break his career; Pilate’s wife, Claudia, desperately seeking aid for her much loved, crippled son; and Centurion Marcus Longinus, caught in the middle between loyalty to the Empire, love for Claudia, and an ever-increasing belief in Jesus as the Son of God. After encountering Jesus, none of them will ever be the same.


Thoenes.jpg

About the Authors:

Bodie and Brock Thoene are best-selling authors of over seventy works of historical fiction. Their timeless classics have sold more than thirty-five million copies in twenty-three languages and won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards. Visit them online at www.thoenebooks.com Facebook: Bodie-and-Brock-Thoene Twitter: @BodieThoene


My Review:

If I had to sum up my thoughts about this book in a single word, that word would be "Wow!"  Behold the Man is the third book in The Jerusalem Chronicles series and details the backstory of Pilate's wife, Claudia, and Marcus, the centurion who came to know Christ.  With a mixture of historical facts and fabulous fiction, the authors weave a story of action, intrigue, and passion.  The miracles of Jesus and his last days before the crucifixion come to life through the eyes of several characters whose stories intertwine with His.

This isn't a book you read.  It is one you absorb.  It evokes so much emotion that I felt like I was living it.  I discovered new levels of dislike and anger toward Herod, Pilate, and Caiaphas, as well as a renewed love and appreciation for Jesus Christ, the Lord of all.  My heart ached during the mock trial, beatings, and crucifixion of Christ, and as I read of His final moments, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing.  Fortunately, that sadness was turned to rejoicing in the epilogue when the writers told of the resurrection of my Lord.  Talk about a happy ending!

If you enjoy Biblical fact and imaginative fiction, you'll love this book.  In fact, if you're anything like me, once you start, you won't want to put it down.  I'm eager to read the other two books in this series and probably many more books by these authors.  It is not often that I give a book a five-star rating, but if I could, I would give this book even more than that.  It was truly that good!