Fervent {Book Review}

Fervent {Book Review}

Fervent2

I sat in the driver’s seat of our bullet gray Kia Sedona in the school pick up line, windows open, mid-September sun beating down…

Neon yellow highlighter poised.

Many moms detest the school pick up routine, and I admit: I spend a lot of time sitting in the car.

However, it’s become a peaceful time spent doing something I normally need to intentionally carve out time for: reading.

My latest indulgence is one of my favorite authors and teachers, Priscilla Shirer. Here’s an except from her latest book, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer:

If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit–your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, anything or anyone except me. Because when you zero in on the most convenient, obvious places to strike back against your problems, you get the impression you’re fighting for something. Even though all you’re really doing is just … fighting. For nothing.

Within half an hour of reading a chapter in Fervent, I received a phone call. You know the kind. One in which the person on the other end is irritable, unreasonable, and just plain antagonistic.

Ordinarily, my reaction would be mutual irritation with the impulse to protest, followed by hurt and sadness over how little the person must care about me to speak in such a way.

However, newly armed with insights from Fervent, I considered that something deeper may be at play. While this person is certainly responsible for their words, the enemy would like nothing more than to initiate discord in my relationships. He can easily point out all the small events going wrong to stir up irritation in the caller and plenty of blame to inflame the conversation.

For my part, the enemy loves to hit me where I’m weak: taking things personally. Interpreting someone else’s displeasure or disagreement as a personal reflection of how much they care (or don’t care) about me.

This time, instead of getting all worked up myself, I refused to play into the drama, and I prayed against ways in which the enemy could be at work in the situation.

In other words, I couldn’t control that person, but I could pray for God to interfere with the enemy tempting them. That’s a strategy I can get behind.

Priscilla Shirer is a dynamic, funny, faith-filled woman. She speaks and writes with confidence and power. I enjoyed her book God Is Able, and I am enjoying Fervent as I apply it to my life.

Fervent is inspired by the movie War Room. I did see the movie. I shed many tears during it and left feeling inspired to intensify my prayer life.

However, (spoiler alert) I also left with a catch in my spirit about how neatly the issues wrapped up for the characters in the film. While the message of the power of prayer definitely came across, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would play to those of us who have had very messy situations in our lives. Whether as the result of our own choices or having circumstances thrust upon us, many people experience intense and complicated trials in lives, and they don’t necessarily resolve neatly–even with fervent prayer.

This is where resources like Fervent come in. Shirer gets more detailed about tactics of the enemy and strategies for focused prayer against them. It offers hope during the thick of battle–where most of us are. I appreciated the suggested scripture verses, pull-out prayer cards, and chapters devoted to the major areas in our lives that the enemy targets: our passion, our focus, our identity, our family, our past, our fears, our purity, our pressures, our hurts, and our relationships.

This is definitely intense subject matter, but I found it to be both helpful and hopeful.

You can buy Fervent from Priscilla Shirer’s website or on Amazon.

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I received a copy of Fervent in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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