I just finished this devotional book this morning. It took me longer than 30 days, but I think that my "day 30" was New Year's Day for a reason. Really for my own benefit (although I hope you aren't bored to tears by it) I will share my thoughts on "Passionate Prayer."
I got this book when we went on the babymoon in November. I wanted something to teach me how to really pray. I mean, I've been praying for a good 20 + years, but sometimes you just get the feeling that you're not doing it right. I never doubt that God is there, or that he hears my prayers, it just felt as if I wasn't praying correctly, because my prayer life felt very selfish or one-sided. I don't know how else to explain it, I just need a little boost in my prayer life and I sought out some resources.
So, enter "Passionate Prayer." I like this book - it did help me to revive my prayer life - but I wouldn't call it excellent or life changing - it's good. Here are some of my notes, personal reminders, etc. Maybe you will benefit from them as well:
- Prayer should also involve listening, not just asking. Seek God with a still and quiet spirit - and you may have to ask Him to still and quiet your soul. Prayer is the key to spiritual health. (Psalm 131:1 & 3, Revelation 3:20)
- Prayer can be defined as "keeping company with God" or "walking and working with Him." Prayer doesn't depend on me.
- The Father knows what I need before I ask. Jesus is my intercessor, the Holy Spirit is my helper/facilitator. [The Trinity may be a mystery to me, but it's not a mystery to God.]
- Don't be afraid to pray for a miracle, or something only God can do. God loves prayers like that.
- When I feel like I'm at the end, I'm actually at the beginning of something new and marvelous that God has planned. If God says no to my request, He is saying yes to something greater - His Will.
- Prayer preceeds revival.
- Look to the prayer life of Hannah, Nehemiah, Daniel, Paul, and of course Jesus for good examples of how to pray.
My prayer "hang up" is the whole "He will give you the desires of your heart..." thing. I know He will, if my desires mirror His heart and will for my life. I'm almost afraid to ask. It's like if he says no, then I know my heart is not in line with Him at the moment. The desires of my heart have included healing for loved ones, salvation for certain people, specific changes in life circumstances - and I can tell you I have asked these things and they have not occured. That's ok, God is still sovereign (see one of the bullets above) but the "no's" tend to wear me down. John 15:7, James 5:16, and 1 Peter 3:12 are examples of verses that are hard for me to accept. Why? The promises are awesome! I tend to be more realistic than optimistic, in my prayer life, this may hinder me.
But, for 2010, I will pray! I must pray! I won't survive without it!
Have a great January 1 and take a moment to pray - I can't think of a better way to start off a new year.