I have to be honest, a year ago I never thought I would be writing a series on prayer, much less a month long, every day series! But it is where I find myself and after reading the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer 5 times now in the last year…it just seems where God is calling me.
I believe that there is power in prayer and I think with some time and practice we can have a flourishing, fervent prayer life. I wasn’t always convinced of that though, and for many years prayed for one selfish reason only – to get what I thought I wanted and needed.
When things didn’t go my way I became bitter. I believed that maybe God wasn’t hearing me, or even worse, I wasn’t worthy of getting an answer. Those lies permeated my thoughts and I started to push God away.
What I have discovered from studying the book Fervent is that the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us weary, bitter, distracted, frustrated etc. Anything to keep us from praying powerful prayers. Anything to keep us from a deep relationship and trust in God.
The enemy knows how powerful fervent prayer is and when we are praying in that power, we are a threat!
My prayer over the next 31 days is that we could do a little learning together. If you want to follow along in the book with me that would be wonderful. I will be sharing some of the lessons that I have learned about prayer in the last year and I hope you will share yours with me too!
I was originally sent the book Fervent to review and write a blog post about it. I read the majority of the book on a plane ride to Florida for a girls weekend away in September of 2015. Little did I know that the following 9 months would be some of the hardest, most difficult and growth-filled months that I would walk through.
I was challenged by the first reading, encouraged to dig deeper, but ultimately didn’t do anything to follow through. Nothing really changed, not at that point anyway.
Sometimes we have to hit our bottom before we can be humbled and broken enough to start doing something different. And early last Fall that is just where I found myself. I was desperate for change in my own heart and honestly tired of praying the same “rescue me” prayers.
They felt empty and they were. Desperate, selfish prayers because I didn’t want to be uncomfortable any more. I found myself in a battle in my marriage because of my angry outbursts. I had hurt those I love in a deep way and in those first few months things seemed pretty hopeless.
I prayed time and time again that God would change me and yet I would keep making the same mistakes over again. What was wrong with me?!
Sometimes when we navigate the waters of life we need a little extra help, and so we spent some time with a recommended Christian counselor and I also spent many lunch hours confiding in my pastor’s wife.
Can I just pause for a moment and say this…it shouldn’t even need to be said but it is something that I had to learn for myself. There is no shame, whatsoever, in seeking help if you need it.
My pride kept me isolated for far too long and my natural responses to life had become so flawed that having a third party involved was necessary and ultimately life changing. If you are there, don’t wait to seek help. There is no shame, just freedom waiting for you!
One day at lunch Marlene said that she had this vision of an antique key in her mind, that God had given me the key to freedom in Him…but I needed to make the choice to go ahead and use it.
As I read through Fervent a second and third time I realized that the book was that key for me. In a powerful way, Priscilla lays out the schemes of the enemy and a detailed battle plan on how we can stand firm and fight back!
When the ladies Bible study I am a part of decided to read Fervent together this summer, I woke one morning and started to write a 12 week study guide to accompany the book. It was fully God-breathed and was the push that I needed to dive in even further and do this series.
The first day of the study I brought an antique key for each of the women in the group. I wanted them to have a tangible reminder with them that they too have been given the key to powerful prayer.
I’d love to be able to sit across from you today and hand you a key to have in person. But since I can’t, consider this your virtual key. This is your invitation to walk forward in all that God is calling you to. An opportunity to develop a prayer lifestyle that will transform your home, your family and your marriage.
You may find yourself doing some hard heart-work, like I have, as you move through this book, but there is freedom and joy that will be discovered in the process. I can’t wait to get started!