Overcomer Movie Books Review

This is the first book review I have done in a while. The LORD moved me into the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2016 and the ministry has required a lot of travel time, so the opportunity to review books and write about them has not been readily available. However, when the email came in about the opportunity to review the Overcomer movie related resource materials I knew I had to make time. I was already using Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study Defined with my female coaches, coaches wives, and female college athletes so I couldn’t resist the chance to check out the other books.

My heart was led to choose this study because we currently live in a day where the issue of identity is of great importance. How we identify is something that is being intentionally addressed today in every arena of life. There are even policies and procedures being put in place in the workplace and on school campuses across our nation telling us how we can and cannot identify ourselves and others.

Identity is under attack.

How have we come to a day and time that have so many confused and struggling with the core of who they are? I believe the Kendrick brothers and Priscilla Shirer address this very well in these Overcomer resource materials. In the book DEFINED the Kendrick brothers begin with teaching us how before Jesus ever began His three year ministry the Father made sure that He knew who He was. It was in knowing who He was at His very core that would allow Him to withstand the fickleness of humanity. Knowing that He was the Son of God, knowing that He was loved by the Father, knowing that He had a purpose specifically intended for Him would keep Him from being frustrated by the derisions or elevated by the applauses of man.

The Kendrick brothers point out to us that the very first attack Jesus would face after His baptism would be on His identity. In the wilderness Satan attacked with, “If you are the Son of God…” (Luke 4:1-13). If this is how Satan first came after Jesus wouldn’t it be because it was his strongest weapon of destruction? Wouldn’t Satan pull out the big guns for the One who saw him fall like lightening from heaven? It is no coincidence that God the Father reaffirmed the identity of Jesus before He sent Him out to fulfill His purpose. This affirmation would hold Him all the way to the cross and raise Him up from the grave. He would not be swayed by the words of man or the lies of hell because He knew who He was and He knew His Heavenly Father.

What about you? Do you know who your Heavenly Father says you are? Do you know your Heavenly Father? What about your kids? Do they know who they are? Do they know their Heavenly Father? I implore you to find the answers to these questions. Don’t wait. Start now. Order these books.

Wonderful would be great for an elementary age child even into middle school. I promise you could even take it and begin teaching the truths in it to your preschoolers as well. This would be a great book to pile up on the bed with your children and read as a bedtime devotional. Revealed and Radiant would be great for middle school and high school age children. Revealed for your young men and Radiant for your young women. I also recommend piling up on the bed with your teens and going through these books together. Our kids never get too old to have their identity affirmed by us. Let us remember that Jesus was thirty years old when His Father said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:17). At thirty years old, the Heavenly Father reminded His Son that He was His, that He was His beloved, and that He was well pleased with Him.

In this day of social media and identity attack we need to know who we are. We need to know who our Creator says we are. We need to know we are loved. We need to know that we have purpose. These materials will help us know this, and will help us make sure our kids know it as well. I highly recommend all of the Overcomer movie related resource materials for you and your family.

Wonderful
It’s almost field day, and Webster is worried. He can’t run fast, he trips on the jump rope, and his Frisbee always lands in a tree. How will he help his class get the medal? Webster is sure that God forgot to make anything special about him. 
Join Webster and his class as the whistle blows and he discovers a few God-given skills that just might save field day. This whimsical, illustrated picture book reminds young readers that they were each wonderfully made by God! 

Revealed
Who am I? It’s a question you might ask yourself a lot, and this book for teen guys and young men will lead you through an investigation to find the answers. You’ll learn that your identity is much more than your grades, your looks, or your athletic skills. The only One who truly knows you and defines you is the One who created you. Revealed will give you answers about who you are and where you’re going, leading you to uncover your true Christ- shaped identity.

Radiant
Did you know that God’s light can shine through every facet of your identity? Radiant is an invitation for teen girls and young women to enjoy a candid conversation on identity with bestselling author Priscilla Shirer. You’ll hear reflections on life lessons she’s gathered from her teen years until now. She’ll show you how the light of God’s Word shaped her identity, and she’ll teach you how it can change and shape your life as well. 
The culture will try to define you, but this world is starving for something different that comes only from the creative genius of your God. You were created to reflect His light. . . . You were created to be radiant. 

Defined
At this very moment, what you believe about your own purpose and value affects almost every area of your life—including how you think and feel, the way you react to circumstances, and how you approach God and your relationships. But what is guiding your core beliefs? Are they healthy and founded upon solid truth? Or are they constantly shifting with the opinions of others or your own emotions? Based upon powerful insights from the scriptural book of Ephesians, and seasoned with personal stories and practical wisdom, Defined challenges readers to let the One who knows you best be the One who guides your heart the most.

The Overcomer Movie Resources can be purchased here: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product-family/overcomer

The Armor of God, Standing Firm in Spiritual Warfare Review

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I am reviewing another book by Gregory Brown from his Bible Teacher’s Guide collection. This book focuses on Ephesians 6:10-20.

Armor of God

In The Armor of God: Standing Firm in Spiritual Warfare, you will learn how to stand against the enemy’s attacks— protected by the full armor of God. This Guide can be used as a five to eleven week small-group curriculum, depending how the leader chooses to divide the introduction and the ten principles about standing firm. Every week, the members of the group will read a chapter or more, answer the questions, and come prepared to share in the gathering. Each member’s preparation for the small group will enrich the discussion and the learning.” (pg 11)

Brown’s studies are great for a small group. There is no homework involved other than reading the Scriptures involved and a short chapter. Each chapter concludes with four to six “reflection” questions to help you apply what you have learned. These questions are also useful for the small group leader in order to help open up the door for discussion each week.

This particular passage of Scripture is vital for all believers to know and understand. I have Ephesians 6:10-20 written out in my bathroom, kitchen, and office. I keep this passage posted before me so that I can always remember who the real enemy is and how I can defeat him. In our lives it is so easy to be convinced that the fault lies with flesh and blood. Satan wants to make those that God called us to serve, love, and share the gospel with our enemies. He is able to easily deceive us if he can keep us out of the Word of God and distracted from prayer.

Brown writes on page 89 – 90,

Paul talks about spiritual warfare in this final section of Ephesians. In Ephesians 6:10-17, he details the believer’s need to be filled with the power of God, and also to put on the full armor of God in order to stand against the attacks of the devil. The armor of God represents attitudes and actions that believers must practice to win on the spiritual battlefield. It includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footwear of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. No Christian soldier can win without them; however, even these are not enough. We must pray in the Spirit.

We can see Paul’s emphasis on the importance of prayer in two ways. First, he writes more about prayer than about any other piece of armor. He uses three verses to teach on prayer in the Spirit. Also, praying in the Spirit is the seventh piece of armor. In Scripture, seven is the number of completion. This means that one can be suited up with every other piece of armor and yet still lose the battle. Praying in the Spirit is a necessity.

Prayer is the energy and atmosphere in which we wage war. Believers must live in prayer at all times in order to win this spiritual battle. It is how we are strengthened in the power of God, and it is how we put on the full armor (cf. Eph 6:10-11).

It’s not enough to just have this passage of Scripture posted in my house. It’s not enough to just read it and quote it. I must understand the power in the meaning behind this passage. God’s Word is not an enchanting spell we quote and wave over our problems and hope for the best.

God’s Word is life. It is light. It is our only weapon to wage war with the enemy of our souls. To properly use a weapon we must be trained in it. We must have experience with it. In order to have confidence and strength with weapon we must know it and know it well.

When David stood before Goliath, Saul gave over his armor for him to wear. David, however had never been trained in this armor. He was unfamiliar with it. If he had attempted to face Goliath in this armor he would have been defeated. Goliath had been trained in this armor and had been around it for a long time. He knew the armor well. He knew the chinks in the armor and the weaknesses of it. He would have easily been able to manipulate David in and with this armor and destroy him.

I  think to many Christians are unaware that Satan knows the Word of God. He has been around it for a while. Just quoting it to him does not deter him in anyway…

But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Acts 19:13-16

David defeated Goliath because he came before him in faith and confidence in a weapon with which God had personally well trained him.  Beloved, can you comfortably and confidently wear the armor of God? How well trained are you in the weapons of our warfare?

This Armor of God study is a great tool to help you prepare yourself and to help you prepare others.

 

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I received this free for an honest review and amazon affiliate links have been used. Purchasing this study through the links in this post help support Proven Path Ministries.

Learning Leadership From Nehemiah

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I just finished reading through a new study by Gregory Brown and The Bible Teachers Guide on the book of Nehemiah. This particular book in the Bible is a great one to dig into concerning the topic of leadership.

Below is a couple of excerpts from the book. Brown writes,

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa… In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. (Nehemiah 1:1; Nehemiah 2:1)

Interpretation Question: What can we learn about godly leadership from the fact that Nehemiah started praying in December (Kislev; 1:1) but approached the king about Israel in April (Nisan; 2:1)?

Godly leaders are patient in waiting on God. It is clear from the text that Nehemiah heard about the problem around November-December (Kislev) and nothing happened until March-April (Nisan). He waited and prayed for four months to be used before God provided an opportunity to talk to the king. It is very possible to get in front of God. I almost wonder if that is what happened with Joseph as he shared his dream to his dad and brothers about them bowing down before him (Gen 37). It was not his time, and it only made his jealous brothers even angrier with him. Consequently, though the vision was true, he suffered for his unwise sharing.

Interpretation Question: What other godly leaders in the Scripture had to wait on God to be used?

The following quote spoke volumes to me…

Many of us have to learn to wait on God. Some of us may be waiting for a vision for what is next, waiting for a godly spouse, waiting to be delivered from a difficult trial. Yes, there is a time to be active, but there is also a time to wait, and we must discern the times. A flower dies if it blooms in winter.

Certainly, we can see that though Nehemiah waited, he was not inactive. He spent day and night in prayer for those four months (Neh 1:6).

This is the normal process for somebody who God is preparing to lead. He sends them into a waiting season, and in this waiting season, he prepares them for greater leadership. Even Christ waited for some thirty years and then forty days in the wilderness before he began his ministry. We should be prepared for this as well. We must learn to wait on God.

Application Question: In what ways has God been teaching you to wait on him? What makes this a difficult lesson to learn?

This book, similar to others in The Bible Teachers Guide, is written in such a way to walk the reader through the text of the Scriptures using the fundamentals of observation, interpretation, and application. The book is a great tool to help the reader understand the context of the book of Nehemiah as well as to help them see how it still very much relates to us today.

We are in desperate need of godly leadership in our day. We need it in our country, in our communities, in our schools, and we need it in our churches. However, most importantly, we need it in our homes.

Brown shares that, “This book can be used as a manual to follow in teaching, a resource to use in preparation for teaching, or simply as an expositional devotional to enrich one’s own study.

This book can be used to take you and others into a study that will be both convicting and encouraging. This would be a great study to be used to mentor young men. I could also see it being used with a father and sons. Of course we ladies are expected to be godly leaders as well! So I also would recommend this study for women and young ladies as well. I know this girl found it enlightening and inspiring!

To learn more about Gregory Brown and the resources available to you through his ministry please check out: his blog. At his blog you will also find a current giveaway available for Nehemiah: Becoming a Godly Leader through Goodreads!

 

Philippians: Pursuing Spiritual Maturity Review

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Gregory Brown has a new study releasing today. This book from The Bible Teacher’s Guide is another great tool in the hand of anyone seeking to grow in their personal walk with Christ.

If you are looking for a book to cause you to look deeply within yourself and to help examine your heart so that you can begin 2016 in a right relationship with the Creator of the Universe through Jesus Christ His Son, so that you might be able to better know Him and His will for your life, then I would recommend this study.

Brown writes:

One can’t know what is best if he/she doesn’t know the Word of God. It is a necessary component of a mature Christian’s life. They are constantly abounding in the knowledge of the Word of God.

We never peak in understanding the Word of God. The Word of God is “simple enough that a child can understand it but deep enough that a scholar can drown in it.” A mature Christian is not stagnant in his knowledge of the Bible. He is always seeking to abound in it, seeking to understand it more, seeking to teach it more, and seeking to obey it more.

Just as we can never have enough love, we can never have enough knowledge of Scripture. This is a characteristic of mature Christians. As they know God’s Word better, they are better able to discern what is best in all areas of life (cf. 1 Cor 2:15).

This study guide is filled introspective questions. It is written like a commentary on the book of Philippians and it is filled with historical and biblical context. Brown takes you from Philippians 1:1 to Philippians 4:23 and helps you to truly soak in the heart of Paul and the heart of God and the charge that God was using Paul to deliver to those that belong to Him.

Another quote from Brown reads, “Charles Ellicott translated Paul words this way: “My body will be the theatre in which Christ’s glory is displayed.” 38 This is a challenge for us each day. The reality is that Christ’s worthiness and beauty is judged by our lives. We either demonstrate the glory and beauty of Christ or we demean him. The world judges Christ by his followers.
Paul said this about believers: “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). We give off the smell of Christ. We magnify him by our lives. He also said to the Corinthians that they were a letter from Christ written for all to read (2 Corinthians 3:3).”

We live in a day here in America where the new mantra is “only God can judge me!” but the simple truth is that we are ALWAYS being judged by one another. Our children and our spouses and those we stand in front of in the grocery store line are watching us and experiencing us. Their experience with us will either cause them to glorify God or will cause them to doubt His very existence.

God created us to be open books for a world to read. Jesus saved us to be the light to the world. Whether we like it or not, we are the BIBLE that everyone that comes in contact with us will read. We are told to hide God’s Word in our heart because out of the heart the mouth speaks. Beloved, what does your everyday mouth testify about your heart?

If you are like me, and need to do some heart cleaning, then turn to the book of Philippians and download Gregory Brown’s study guide and let the water of the Word wash over you.

Here is a few of the chapter titles to give you an idea of how Brown will take you through the book of Philippians and help you ask yourself some pretty tough questions…

Signs of Healthy Church Members (Phil 1:18)

Marks of Spiritual Maturity (Phil 1:911)

Becoming a Mature Witness for Christ (Phil 1:1218)

How to Really Live for Christ (Phil 1:1926)

How to Live Worthy of the Gospel (Phil 1:2730)

How to Maintain Unity in the Church (Phil 2:14)

Unity through the Mind of Christ (Phil 2:511)

Work Out Your Salvation: The Process of Sanctification (Phil 2:1213)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4:23

The Perfections of God: Understanding God’s Characteristics (The Bible Teacher’s Guide)

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I am currently reviewing a work by Gregory Brown titled The Perfections of God:

The Perfections of God is an excerpt and an adaptation from the larger work BTG Theology Proper. It is a study of God’s characteristics including his love, goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, eternality, wrath, sovereignty, and much more. It can be used as a seven to fifteen-week small-group curriculum depending on how the leader chooses to divide the introduction and the fourteen characteristics.

Most every chapter of this book discussing the attributes (or perfections) of God is divided up into three parts. Brown discusses and teaches on the particular attribute and then he usually follows with a section of questions for application and then another set of questions for personal reflection. The final reflective thought of each chapter is an opportunity for the reader to enter into the presence of God in prayer.

The entire book is only 146 pages long so this is a very manageable study for anyone, regardless for how busy they believe themselves to be. This book would be a great tool in the hands of a someone who was teaching a class of new believers. It would also be a wonderful book for personal devotion time.

It is vital for a Christian to understand the attributes and character of God because in this knowledge we can better interpret the Scriptures and we will be able to walk through the trials of life with confidence in our God. Yes, this book will be beneficial in the hands of the newest believer, but it will also be helpful to someone who has been walking with the Lord for many years and simply needs to be reminded of who He is in all His glorious perfections.

Many times in the Scriptures our God calls us to remember…

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:1-8

If you are at a place in life where you need to remember… then this book will be a great place to start.

If you are at a place where you are just now getting to know… then this book will be a great tool to have alongside you as you open the pages of His Word in the Bible and begin the beautiful journey into the intimate knowledge of our God.

Climbing With Abraham

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I am in the midst of reading through a new book, Climbing with Abraham written by David Ramos. This is a thirty day devotional focused on the life of the patriarch used by God to begin a nation.  The nation of Israel was brought forth from a man who never thought that he would have a child until the voice of God called him out.

Ramos’s devotional picks up in the end of Genesis 11. His first devotional caught me as he pointed out how Abraham’s story began before Abraham even was. Abraham’s story was and is bigger than him and so is ours. Ramos points out in this first devotion how God did not bless Abraham just for Abraham’s sake, but for the world’s. This was a perfect beginning for this thirty day devotional because it turns your heart away from “what can I get out this devotional” to “what can I learn through this devotional.”

Each devotional focuses on a specific point in Abraham’s journey. Ramos carries us through the life of Abraham from Genesis 11 to Genesis 25. The book’s final devotional takes us to the beautiful truths in Romans 4 concerning grace, faith, and salvation taught to us through the example of Abraham’s recorded life.  This last devotional brings full circle the insightful take away point made in the first devotional, “My story is part of a much bigger story” (page 7).

This book is a short easy read from devotional to devotional. No more than five to ten minutes a day to cover each devotional and that’s if you choose to take the extra step to read the cited Scriptures that are used to write the chapter (which I highly recommend by the way). Not to mention it’s only $0.99  on Kindle and less than $5.00 for the paperback! The paperback would be a great stocking stuffer or dirty santa gift for this coming Christmas season.

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The Battle Plan For Prayer

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This past Monday morning as I listened to my Bible study lesson with Phil Waldrep he made the statement that demons can assess our spiritual condition as they can tell when we have not been praying. I know this to be true. The spiritual forces of darkness are not ignorant of our weaknesses and the enemy of our soul is always lurking about seeking whom he may devour.

Evil is always looking for the open door.

Usually when I review books I try to bend them as little as possible and keep them as new as I can because I usually give them away to someone else to be blessed by them. However, when I opened up The Battle Plan for Prayer I grabbed my pen… this one was staying with me.

Prayer has been difficult for me for a while. I have shared that before here on my blog. It was during a forty day fast as I was trying to find my footing with my God again after a very rough couple of years that He chose to bring both my Daddy and my Sister-in-Law home to Him. I cannot begin to explain to you the storm that blew across my soul during that time and has been waging since… yet my roots have held.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
and whose trust is the Lord.

For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Beloved if you are going to be able to stand firm through times of drought and still be able to bear fruit you must be a man or woman of prayer. You must know how to pray according to the will of God and not your own whims. Had I not been firmly rooted in the Word yesterday, I know that I would have not been able to stand in the storms of today.

I haven’t seen the movie War Room yet, but I have read several of the books affiliated with it and I must say that thus far this one has been my favorite.

688669: The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick

 

The Kendrick brothers take the topic or prayer and look at it through the headings of: Enlistment, Basic Training, Conditioning, Strategies, Targets, Ammunition, and Reinforcements. Whether you are a seasoned prayer warrior or a brand new baby believer, this book is an excellent tool to revive, enhance, or begin your prayer life.

The book is meant to be gone through slowly and purposely. The goal is to read a chapter a day. Each chapter is just a few pages long. Read, meditate on the Scriptures shared, and by all means pray. Really pray.

Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

Matthew 26:41

Even if it feels like your prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling… pray anyway. Pray in faith. Pray in faith that the God who promised to hear and answer is able and faithful. His ears are not deaf and He gathers the prayers of His saints… every single one.

Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 8:3

I received this book free for an honest review… and I am so very grateful that I did. Do I recommend it? Yes, yes indeed I do.

Teaching Your Preschooler To Pray

PPM-3.jpgIt happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Luke 11:1 

I am continuing my reviews of books on prayer based by the new movie release War Room. This week I am sharing about a book written by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, the producers, writers, and directors for the movie War Room.  This book is written to help teach preschool age children about prayer.

The book is

Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place is a book containing a cute story of a little boy searching for his perfect place to pray after he realizes that he sees his mother talk to God in a specific place every day.  After he struggles to the find the just right place, his parents talk with him about how he doesn’t need a “perfect place” for God to hear him because God hears his prayers any time and every place.

The treasure of this book is the prayer poster and stickers in the back. This  poster can be hung in your child’s room or on the refrigerator for all to see.  You can use this poster to teach your child to pray specifically and purposefully. My favorite part is the “God answered” stickers. This can help you to teach your child to not just pray specifically and purposefully, but also expectantly.

It’s important to help our children see how and when God answers our prayers. If we don’t do this, then they might become adults who throw words up to God, but never give Him credit for the answers. God isn’t our psychologist that sits quietly and listens while we talk it out. He is our very present help in our time of need.

How often do we give credit to answered prayers to “luck” or to another person, or to our own ability to “figure it out”? How many times have we completely missed that God answered a prayer because He did it so smoothly and gradually? Perhaps this is a book not just for our preschoolers… but for we grown-ups as well.

688683: Peter"s Perfect Prayer Place Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick

 

More War Room inspired book reviews to come!

Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer

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For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

I am reading Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. If you follow my Proven Path FB Page then you have probably already noticed several postings that are excerpts from this book.

In her research to write this book, Priscilla polled a large section of women asking them where the enemy seemed to attack them the most. After she interviewed these women she sat down and came up with a top ten list of what she believes is Satan’s favorite strategies against us. As I give you this list, read through them and see if you recognize any of them as direct attacks that you have personally experienced.

Have you experienced him strategically attacking:

  1. Your passion for prayer and spiritual things
  2. Your focus of who’s the real enemy
  3. Your identity in Christ
  4. Your family
  5. Your confidence
  6. Your calling
  7. Your purity
  8. Your schedule
  9. Your heart
  10. Your relationships

Priscilla begins chapter one with these words…

If I were your enemy, I’d seek to dim your passion, dull your interest in spiritual things, dampen your belief in God’s ability and His personal concern for you, and convince you that the hope you’ve lost is never coming back– and was probably just a lie to begin with.

Each chapter begins with an “If I were your enemy…” and the rest of the chapter is written to help you see how the enemy has possibly snuck in and deceived and discouraged you. Then the chapter closes with Scripture references that are directly related to fight that attack. Beloved, we are given an amazing weapon by our God. We are given His Word. The Sword of the Spirit, is sharper than a double edged sword. This Sword is best wielded as an upward thrust from our knees.

When you don’t feel like praying is when you most need to pray. When you can’t pray is when you most need to get in fighting position… on your knees. Prayer has been a struggle for me for over a year now.  Staying focused. Staying “fervent”.

Staying… just staying has been so very hard.

I have never before in over thirteen years ever just rolled over and tried to sleep through my meeting time with the Lord… yet here in these past several months that’s where I have found myself… just wanting to “oversleep”. Yet, I have discovered that attempt after attempt, that even if at the last minute, my feet have hit the floor and I have come to our place even if it’s just to sit and stare and wait. Romans 8:26 has been my lifesaver.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

Praying has been a struggle, but I just keep showing up, everyday, at the same time, in the same place, that I have met God every day since we became so acquainted.

Priscilla made a statement in this book that truly resonated within me. She said, “whenever your passion in prayer is weak or missing, realize that it is God’s work both to give it and then to fan it into a flame inside you. Which means you cannot manufacture it on your own. Your enemy, however- coy as he is- wants to burden you with a blame for not having something that didn’t originate with you in the first place.” Then she goes on to say, “So go to Him to get it back. Don’t try to regain it yourself. Don’t set your hopes on other people or circumstances to fuse it back into the fiber of your being. Trust God’s care. Only His miraculous work can make it bubble back up to the surface where it belongs. And He is more than willing to do it.”

So I’ll just keep showing up and wait on Him to restore what the enemy has stolen.

In the mean time, Priscilla’s book has came just in time as my eyes and heart have been reminded of what the enemy had been able to distract me from in these past many months… my Heavenly Father’s love for me.

In the back of the book there are pages made available for notes and also for preparing your own strategic attack against that slimy serpent of old. Our prayers are our strategies and the weapon of our warfare is His Word.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4

So my friend, if one of those top ten up there in that list is a place of struggle in your life… it’s not a freak accident… and it’s not the fault of flesh of blood. It’s your enemy. Make no mistake, he’s after you and he’s after those you love and he’s after your testimony for the Lord. He wants to see your witness and legacy destroyed. He’s not playing games. So we can’t either.

If you need help becoming fervent again or becoming fervent for the first time… then I recommend this book and the Scriptures that she pulls out for you.

Prayer Works: Prayer Training and Strategy for Kids

PPM-3.jpgI am in the process of reviewing several books that are inspired from the new movie War Room. One of the books I am reviewing is a book that is focused on helping a parent teach their child how to pray with power and purpose. One of the greatest tragedies that our culture has committed is the lack of expectation that we have placed on the ability of our children in spiritual matters.

We have raised this ridiculous and almost imaginary bar on what we expect our children to be able to do by the time they enter our states mandatory age for public education, yet we convince ourselves that there is no way they could grasp the gospel and its power of salvation. We push them to recite their ABC’s and count to 100 and be able to distinguish shapes and colors and seasons and to master the writing of their name and the reciting of their telephone number and address and their ability to utilize glue sticks and scissors. We expect them to have mastered the art of t-ball or soccer and to remember and perfectly execute every single play we have ever taught them in the midst of the stress of playing a fast paced game against friends while parents scream at them and each other from the stands by the time they are six year olds, because after all they have been playing this game since they were four…

Yet, they will be ten years old and still only able to say “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hands we are fed. Thank you God for daily bread.” or the newest musical version of “God our Father…”

These are great introductions to meal time prayers when our children are just beginning to learn to speak, but it is not sufficient to help them stand up against the tools of Satan that will begin attacking them the moment they step into the doors of kindergarten or perhaps even the tools of Satan that have been, are, or will be coming against them in their own homes. This is not the world that I grew up in. The heat has been turned up and if our children are to be able to stand in this day, they must learn how to pray.

The book Prayer Works does not just tell your children what praying is, but it goes over the who, what, when, where, why, and how’s of prayer.  Think about it, what greater gift could you give your child than to teach them how to stay in constant communication with their Heavenly Father. Praying is something that we need to be taught concerning. Our God has shown us that in His Word.

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Luke 11:1

And parents, if praying is something that you need to be taught as well, then get this book. Sit down with your children at bedtime (or anytime) with this book and learn together. Each section is only a few paragraphs long. Then the section closes with some application questions that will open up discussion and an opportunity to pray. In the back of the book you will find a prayer journal. You could write in these pages. You could tear them out of the back of the book. You could use them as an example to start your own prayer journal book. Mine is a simple spiral bound notebook that I can pick up at the Dollar Tree.

Below are links to the book at CBD and Amazon. I hope you will pick it up and use it to help teach your children how to pray and to build a lifelong practice of praying with power and purpose.

 

688690: PrayerWorks: A Prayer Strategy for Kids PrayerWorks: A Prayer Strategy for Kids
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick with Amy Parker