One Book. One Afternoon. The Fight I Will Not Loose.

FERVENTEarlier this week I had a bit of time and decided to get caught up on my fall reading list. This particular day I had been doing some housecleaning and was processing the events of an absolutely incredible weekend with friends and family. With the kids at school I took advantage of the peace and quiet at home and decided to curl up with a book by one of my favorite authors.

I had no clue what I was in for.

I was about to identify the source of some very serious ills in my life and was about to launch all out war against that source. War. That day. With fervor.

The book is Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer.

Let me say this. I knew better. Priscilla Shirer is the truth. The daughter of a well-known Dallas preacher, she is on a very important assignment from God to teach others about the goodness of God. She’s a wife and a mom first, but y’all, she can teach the bible.

She grew up in the Dallas area and still lives here with her family. My happiest of days have been when I’ve run into her at Starbucks or Panera or Target. There is a peace about her like no other.

Priscilla Shirer's new book is a guide for any woman
A chance meeting at Panera Bread a couple of years ago could not have prepared me for the war Priscilla Shirer was about to lead me to this week.

But y’all, when she needs to, she will abandon that peaceful nature in order to fight the enemy. She will call him by name, tell him she knows what he’s up to, and demand in the name of Jesus that he stop.

And if he doesn’t, well, I’m sorry for him.

In this book, she teaches us (you and me) how to do the same. No matter the attack.

As I started reading her personal accounts of enemy attacks in her life, I started to feel a little queasy. Some of the exact things she has dealt with have also surfaced in my life. Some of the things I am going through now — and praying about now — but not with fervor or anger or with the understanding who I needed to launch war against.

Not only has Priscilla launched war in real life, she’s also done it on the big screen. As one of the leading actors in the movie War Room, she played a character who learned the necessity of fervent prayer. (If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it.)

In the book, Priscilla outlines the following ten ways in which the devil will launch attacks in our lives:

  1. Your Passion
  2. Your Focus
  3. Your Identity
  4. Your Family
  5. Your Past
  6. Your Fears
  7. Your Purity
  8. Your Pressures
  9. Your Hurts
  10. Your Relationships

By number 4, I was raging with anger because this one affected my kids the most. By number 6, I was in tears, and by number 10, I called him out and committed to fervent prayer in my own life.

And don’t worry, she gives us the tools and prayers and scriptures that we all need to call out the enemy.

This book taught me that in all of the drama going on in my life, in all of the confusion, and in all of the despair, I had been fighting the wrong people. I needed to be fighting the enemy, not the people. And I needed to fight him with consistent prayer.

So I changed my perspective. I am now praying daily for:

  1. My career.
  2. My kids’ relationships with each other.
  3. My kids’ in their personal struggles with independence.
  4. My parenting relationship with my ex-husband.
  5. The physical health of members of my family.
  6. The elimination of the hardness on the walls of my heart.
  7. Forgiving myself for my past sins.
  8. My ability to thrive in a romantic relationship.
  9. Consistent and sustainable financial income.
  10. My kids’ future as productive members of society.

And every day, I address these with specific scriptures and regular conversations with God. Even if I’m tired. Even if I’m not feeling it that day. And even if the very people I’m praying for have gotten on my last nerve.

Because this war, my friends, is not with people, it’s with the devil.

Would you like to win a copy of Fervent? I have two copies to give away, courtesy of Lifeway/ B&H Publishers! Click here to enter.

Disclosure: I am a Lifeway/B&H blogger and received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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They Have Her Back

friends and family are the crux for one christian authorLast week I did something I had never done before. Ever. I went to a local church, on a Thursday night, and heard one of my favorite authors teach about the Bible. I want to say this now and publicly…if you ever have the chance to hear Priscilla Shirer speak…go! Quick, fast, and in a hurry. And if you can’t get to see her in person, read her books, or read her blog. She has great things to say…and even though she digs deep…it is always applicable to my life.

The Three Amigos even know about her. Their main concern is that I do not act like a groupie when I go hear her speak. In true mom-of-tween fashion, I told them I did act like a groupie and probably embarrassed them, especially since I asked her to sign my copy of her most recent book. And then I got the triple eye roll.

While I was impressed with Priscilla’s sermon, what I really noticed as a mom of three kids is that she would not have been able to host that event without having great friends who have her back. Her three boys were there helping with the community service project attached to the event, and of course, she needed friends watching them!  (She was kinda busy, you know, preaching and all).

Then, her ministry staff selected a group of women to be VIPs for the night. They prayed with these ladies, escorted them throughout the event, and just loved on them. I couldn’t fathom how she orchestrated that…ummm…again, when she was also ministering to a few hundred of her other closest friends.

So here’s what I noticed…her friends were strategically located so they could jump in and help when needed. They were also fully present…not just in attendance, but fully present. They helped with the line of people who wanted to take photos or get an autograph. They stood next to her…not to have a piece of her…but to help her give a piece to others.

They had her back.

And that my friends, is a component of true friendship. Being fully present and ready to step in wherever your friends need you to…even if it means you are helping give your friend’s time to someone else…and not you. I’d love to share with you an interview that some of my friends did on an internet talk radio show yesterday…it seemed to go right along with the theme of having someone’s back.

Tune in here for the recap on demand. Click on the link for “On Demand” and the “Mocha Mob” show. Tell me about your friends…do they have your back, and more importantly do you have theirs?