There are so many books out there on the topic of prayer that have encouraged and inspired so many people to draw nearer to God. Prayer is such a vital part of the Christian life and is integral to our faith, so I was excited to read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, a woman who has displayed immense faith as I’ve watched her from afar on social media.
While Fervent is written specifically for women, I think that the truths in this book are applicable to men too. The truth is, no matter our gender, we can all struggle in our relationships, our families, and our identities. We might be overwhelmed with shame from our pasts or shrouded in unforgiveness and bitterness toward others. Fervent reminds us who God is and who we are, and give us a plan so we can take up our rightful weapon of prayer and wield it intentionally.
I appreciate the immense practicality of Fervent. This book doesn’t chide you for not praying enough or launch into a complex theological discussion on how prayer works, but kindly leads you through a framework for praying. A structure is given for us to follow and we are then given the freedom to paint inside of those lines as we see fit, praying for some of the greatest areas of need in our lives. Without any shame or condemnation, we are invited back to our good and loving God who longs to spend time with us, no matter how long we’ve been away.
“We’re not perfect. We all struggle. We can tell from the fatigue we feel and the stiffness in our spiritual joints that we haven’t always taken good care of ourselves. But prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are “new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). Prayer is how we start to stretch and feel limber again, feel loose, ready to take on the world. And when we start applying prayer to particular muscle groups—like our confidence in Christ and His victory over our past—our whole body and our whole being start to percolate with fresh energy, with the blood-pumping results of applied faith.” p.100-101
In Fervent, Shirer acknowledges that there are times in our lives where we don’t want to pray. Or, if by some miracle we muster up the courage to utter a few words, they sometimes feel hollow. We wonder if our prayers are effective—maybe it would just be best not to waste my energy any longer. There’s no judgment for those who are in that space, but a simple invitation to return to a praying posture, knowing that God will meet us there. There’s an acknowledgment of our daily realities and the struggles we face, with an encouragement to lift up our eyes and pursue God even when it feels awkward or uncomfortable.
If you’re looking for a deeply theological book on prayer, Fervent is not the book for you. However, if your prayer life feels stagnant or not as joyful as it once was, this can be an excellent book for you to spend some time with. Or if you’re so overwhelmed by life and don’t know where to begin praying, this book can help target you on some of the most important areas in our lives.
Whether you’re a man or woman, seasoned prayer warrior or first-time prayer, I believe that Fervent has encouragement and wisdom for you to gain. If nothing else, it will remind you of the goodness of God and his accessibility to us day in and day out.
Have you read Fervent?
How have you cultivated a regular prayer practice in your life?
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