All of our (extra) church activities wrapped up this past week. We had our final gathering for our women’s Bible study. We had our final class on Jeremiah. We had our final class on Matthew, Mark and Luke. Our Wednesday evening dinners finished up. I know we all need a break to relax, have fun with the family and dig into personal study.
Still summer comes and I do miss seeing everyone for the extra time. I love having time with different people to learn with them. I love being able to share and have time to interact. I really do enjoy that extra time.
This year we read FerVent by Priscilla Shirer. It is a book that walks you through ten strategies for fervent praying. It has been a life changing book for me and for this class. Here is the summary for the wrap up.
I am here to wrap up our year and the last book FerVent. First of all thank you to each and every one of you! You have been an amazing and active group and I am so honored to be a part of this group. To see new people coming in, old people coming back and it is a fabulous community. I love that we can be open, share, ask for prayers and trust each other. So thank you for this past year.
This book really opened my mind a bit more to what the devil and his demons are capable of doing. I personally have always believed they were out there. I have always believed that certain areas of my life were overrun by demonic influences but I had no idea how to make it stop or go away. I would pray and cry out, but it was as if I wanted it to be an instant fix. When it would not be, I would just concede and struggle though. Then Sue brought this book to us.
Just a quick review of the strategies we learned in the book:
Strategy 1: Your Passion ~ Getting It Back When It’s Gone
Strategy 2: Your Focus ~ Fighting the Real Enemy
Strategy 3: Your Identity ~ Remembering Who You Are
Strategy 4: Your Family ~ Fortifying the Lives of Those You Love
Strategy 5: Your Past ~ Ending the Reign of Guilt, Shame, and Regret
Strategy 6: Your Fears ~ Confronting Your Worries, Claiming Your Calling
Strategy 7: Your Purity ~ Staying Strong in Your Most Susceptible Places
Strategy 8: Your Pressures ~ Reclaiming Peace, Rest and Contentment
Strategy 9: Your Hurts ~ Turning Bitterness to Forgiveness
Strategy 10: Your Relationships ~ Uniting in a Common Cause
When I look at this list there are pieces of all that stick out but for me the two most important ones are strategy 1 and strategy 2. If I don’t have my passion to be FerVent in prayer, the rest of them just pass by and I won’t be using or implementing any of these strategies! Then fighting the real enemy is very important to me. Prior to reading this I was really fighting others people and situations in my life, instead of praying and focusing on pushing those demons out of my life. For me if I am not focusing on those two, I find myself getting lost in the rest and not focusing on any of them! Do you have any that you have found you must focus on in order to do them all?
When we got to the end of the book, Amen, it was bittersweet. I was so happy to know that I had made it through this book and come so far. At the same time I had made it though this book and I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend.
I have come to learn that when you pray, when you are spending time with God, when you are focused on your relationship with Him you crave the time. You want to make time for it and you do make time for it. It isn’t something you push off to the side anymore and make, “if I have time I’ll get to it.”
There is also something huge that came from a combination of FerVent and Pastor Lew. Getting your prayers written down is so important. It doesn’t have to be long, it can be on scrap paper, sticky notes, in a notebook or even the notecards provided here. “Don’t just think it, ink it” is something I have learned lately. It is more likely to come to be when you have it written down in front of you. You won’t forget to pray for it. It won’t slip under the radar while God is working on an answer for you.
When you do PRAY you can use her steps and Lew’s on small pieces of paper. P=Praise R=Repent A=Ask (SO THAT=Lew) Y=Yes To God’s Promises. Pricilla gave us so many Bible verses to start claiming God’s promises with. Also when we were watching the movie, War Room, that handout was given with verses to start praying for specific people or locations.
My hope for each of you is that you will keep this book close. That you will continue to use it as a reference when you are not sure where to go or what to do. That you will wear it out, just like you wear out your Bible.
My hope for each of you is that you will, “Make prayer both your lifeline and your lifestyle. Continue to write His Word on your heart, on your hand, on those little pieces of paper I’ve given you, or on whatever scrap of notepad, sticky note, or stationary is your canvas of choice.” (Page 188)
Please also remember, each morning, put your armor of God on (Ephesians 6:10-18). Each morning you get up put on your Helmet of Salvation, your Breastplate of Righteousness, your Shield of Faith, your Belt of Truth, your Peace Shoes and your Sword of the Spirit. Be ready and be protected. Priscilla said, “The enemy always fails miserably when he mets a woman dressed for the occasion.”
Ladies I will truly miss you this summer. Remember that if you need prayers over the summer, please reach out to Sue so she can email everyone or post here so I can get it emailed out!
Love you all,
If you feel stuck in your Christianity I can’t suggest this book enough. I knew how important prayer was but I was not sure what I was doing. So often we are told prayer is important, but what do you do? Give thanks and praise, repent for what you know is wrong, ask God with a specific prayer so that you may glorify Christ and claim His promises.
Jesus talks about prayer in the New Testament. He tells you how to pray. Yet there were many times when He would go off on His own to pray to the Father and those prayers were never talked about. They were private. They were intimate. They were building up their relationship. That tells me, having conversations with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are really important for me.
If I were to go to a friend to talk about a situation in my life what would I do? I would tell them how thankful I was for certain things, I would tell them what lead up to this point, I would ask for help (with prayer or action) for a specific thing so that…….
So why over all this time has it been so difficult to transfer that over to my relationship with the most important person in my life? Mainly because I never thought about it this way. I would allow myself to get overwhelmed with doing things the correct way, and what if I am doing it wrong, and how do you do this? Instead of just thinking it, ink it, do it, just pray.
Develop your relationship. Go after it.
Do you wish that you had a stronger prayer life than you do? There are two things that have transformed my prayer life this year: FerVent by Priscilla Shirer and also the movie that inspired the book FerVent: War Room. If you are looking for a way to change how you pray, I suggest these two; a book and a movie.
Have you read the book FerVent yet? Did it change your life?
Have you watched the movie War Room yet? Did it change your life?