HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TRULY MATTERS TO GOD? HOW DO YOU PRAY THAT WHICH MATTERS TO HIM MOST? TOGETHER, WE WILL BE FINDING OUT WITH THIS MONTH’S BOOK!
Last year, I set my reading goal for 10 books (excluding school books, sabbath school study book, and premarital counseling books). Thankfully, I reached my goal! It’s not much, but there were other priorities in between so it wasn’t too bad for the other readings I had to do.
This year, my goal is to surpass my previous reading goal. I don’t want to set a number because I want to read without feeling pressured about reaching a specific number. This way, I don’t feel I am reading to check-off another accomplishment.
To give you a little background information, since I was a child, I have always wanted to be a part of a book club. While I recently attempted to persuade my other book-loving-friends to start one, no one budged.
Therefore, through my blog, I started the “Eyes on Him Book Club,” which anyone is welcome to join! We’ll stay focused on reading faith-based books that draw us closer to Christ and to loving and understanding others. Leave a comment below with a book you recommend and subscribe to know which book is next!
I chose this book as my second book of 2019. My first one was “My One Word” by Mike Ashcraft. I will be writing about that one soon under the Faith category!
I will be honest by saying that I haven’t completed this book. It’s not because I don’t like this book. On the contrary, I love it so much that I want to take my time. Every chapter has so many important nuggets – I like reflecting on each of them and even praying some of her prayers. Just take a look at all these tabs and I am only on chapter 6!
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My plan is to update this book review as I go along without giving too much away. I will come back to update this post after every 5 chapters, or so. If you’ve read this book or are currently reading, please share your thoughts on it below!
Not What I Expected
By the title, you may think this is a book solely on prayer with bible verses to add to your prayers, ideas of prayers or praying to achieve worldly blessings.
However, it is about asking God for what truly matters: a heart after God’s own heart and sharing His message with others. Just to give you a glimpse of one of the author’s personal prayers:
When was the last time we prayed for that?? Honestly, I can’t remember when I last prayed to have a “deeper understanding AND appreciation of the Cross.” – emphasis added.
Currently, my prayers have been so focused on finding out what God wants us to do next, for God to bless my family/friends/the young ladies group and the small group for teens we have at church that I haven’t been thinking much about the Cross.
What a slap in my face. We can never think that all is well in our spiritual life because we may not be focused on asking God for what truly matters.
As I pray for what is to come into our lives (with the upcoming marriage, move, etc.), I haven’t been as grateful for the present and for the fact that all is well and will be well because Christ died for me and fulfills all of my needs: both the simple and complex needs that I have. Thankfully, this book is allowing me to realize this.
Preface and Chapters 1 – 5
Next, I will be giving my highlights and favorited parts of the text.
The author encourages us to be bold with prayer, to spend time in prayer, and to beware of Satan’s attempts to keep us from praying.
Satan is very cunning about how he cuts us short in our prayers and how he keeps our minds entangled so we aren’t focused or connected to the Holy Spirit.
She quotes another author who says,
I hope you have goosebumps upon reading that quote! Just think about your life and what you may be missing because your prayer and faith are lacking! I know I desperately need faith – in fact, faith is my word for this year! And I can definitely spend more time in prayer! I truly desire to have my life be one with His.
Chapter 1 – 5
Is a 7 hour prayer too long?
What caught my attention here was an excerpt she provides on a former Muslim, now Christian believer. He spends hours in prayers, sometimes even 7 hours a day in prayer. He’s been able to reach thousands of people.
She compares the time we spend creating materials and PowerPoint presentations, blogging and being on social media to the time we spend in prayer, again, asking God for what truly matters.
Which prayers is God more interested in answering?
Next, she reminds us of the many times the people in the Bible prayed and God answered more with a Yes than with a No, but somehow, we think Him answering “Yes is the exception and not the rule.”
Personally, I began to wonder how my prayers compare to those of the people in the Bible. And then I read further and she gave me the answer. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will mention this quote:
Another slap in my face. I felt so selfish upon reading that because my prayers do sound selfish – a lot about my family, friends, neighbors, church family, and God helping them. While it may not sound selfish, am I praying for their salvation? Am I helping Jesus by doing my part in leading them closer to Christ? Again, what about what truly matters to God?
Are we self-focused in our prayers?
Another favorite quote of mine is found in Chapter 3:
“When we remain self-focused in our prayers, it’s evident that we don’t truly understand God’s heart; we don’t see His tears of sorrow for the suffering and lost.”
My face is beet red now from all the slaps this book is giving me. I pray that my communication with Christ is more Kingdom focused. Within my family, I have numerous souls that don’t know the love of Jesus to the extent that I know. I need to be more focused in praying for their salvation, not just for God to help them with their needs.
Because of her prayer and realization in Chapter 4, I began to include the following in my prayers:
“Lord, you know what we need and when we need it. Have full control please, and help me focus on You instead of the cares on my mind. Please save us for your kingdom. Use us to lead others to you.” Amen.
What is Christ looking for in our prayers?
Chapter 5 answers the question above on a deeper level, but here it is summed up in a few sentences: “He’s looking for the sincere of heart; He’s looking for personal consecration…” because in the end it isn’t about us, but “[i]t is for the accomplishment of His purposes that we pray!”
Can you see why I am taking my time with this book? It is way too good to not be thorough. Plus, I want to grow my relationship with God. I can’t finish it in one night and expect that I will have a meaningful relationship with Him.
I will continue adding 5 or more chapters at a time. Stay tuned!