Disclaimer: I am one of the tiny minority that did not see the movie War Room. That is because I think the original Star Wars was the last movie I saw in a theater. Okay, that’s not true, but we rarely watch any movies and even more rarely do we go to the theater. That said, everyone I know who did see War Room thought it was great.
I have, however, read several books by Priscilla Shirer, who starred in the movie. I admire both the content she writes and the way she writes it; clear biblical teaching in a chatting-with-a-friend voice. Her book Discerning the Voice of God is a worthy read, and so is her newest, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer.
War Room centers on the power of praying with precision, and Fervent is somewhat of a tie in to the film. Carrying the war metaphor into this book, Shirer illuminates some of the strategies the enemy of our souls uses to distract and derail our prayer life.
The book opens with a brief but essential look at our enemy; who he is, what he can do and sometimes more importantly, what he cannot do. This is critical anytime the subject of warfare is addressed. When it comes to difficulties in our lives, Christians can tend to fall into one of two camps-everything is spiritual warfare and the fault of the devil or nothing is spiritual in nature. A biblical and balanced view of what we’re dealing with is the first weapon we have to overcome the strategies he employs against our prayer life.
What are those strategies? Each chapter details how he comes against:
- Your passion
- Your focus
- Your identity
- Your family
- Your confidence
- Your calling
- Your purity
- Your rest and contentment
- Your heart
- Your relationships
While some books on prayer leave room for you to figure out your own strategy and practices for prayer, this one does not. Core to her vision for effective, war room-like intercession is the writing of prayers, something she learned from her grandmother. This will work for some people and not others. There is leeway in how you write your prayers; short notes, bullet points, lots of journaling, etc., and she leaves that for you to work out. The point of writing helps both keep you focused and have a tangible reminder of what you’ve asked and especially how God answers.
If your first response is that you would never do that, you may change your mind once you’ve read the book. Her encouragement on the why of the practice is as instructive as the why of prayer-and may address some specific reasons why you struggle in the area of consistent, effective prayer. If you don’t, you will have still gotten some great teaching on two very important topics.
Priscilla Shirer is a good Bible teacher, connecting the scripture truth to practical application in a clear, informative voice that makes me think of a cross between a cheerleader and a drill instructor. Sometimes the tone is “You can do it!” and sometimes “C’mon, let’s get to it!”
I’m finding Priscilla Shirer to be an author I glean a lot from with a little effort. I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t want to have to work hard to glean understanding from a book, I want it direct and to the point-Fervent is both. If you want some ammunition to help you do effective battle in prayer, this book is a great place to start.
Read well, friends.