Fervent Bible Study Blog Introduction
Prayer. Is it your last resort or your first line of defense? Is it about taking God a list of to-dos or drawing closer to Him? One of the things that captured my attention in the introduction of Fervent was when author Priscilla Shirer writes, “This book is just not meant for pretty reading. It’s not for coffee-table curiosity and other such Cameo appearance. Think of it instead as industrial-grade survival gear.” (2)
Why? Well, according to Priscilla, “Because this is war. The fight of your life. A very real enemy has been strategizing and scheming against you, assaulting you, coming after your emotions, your mind, your man, your child, your future.” (2)
I’d like to start our discussion here. What is prayer to you? How is your prayer life? And do you feel or have you felt like you are in a fight for your life, your emotions, your family, your future?
Once upon a time I considered myself quite the prayer Warrior. My bestie used to say that God always answered my prayer. I guess my training really began 12 years ago as we started homeschooling. I left my full-time job and my husband found himself without a job. Prayer becomes a daily part of your life when you are struggling just to survive financially, when you are completely dependent on God for your daily bread. I saw God do the impossible, move mountains I thought were stuck, and open the heavens to pour down blessings. But then…then I watched two people I loved the most die. Prayers didn’t save them. And my husband had one too many heart attacks for my liking. It’s not that I stop believing in prayer, I just felt helpless against the war that was raging against me. I would pray for others, but not for myself and my family’s situations. I felt like I was losing the battle Satan was warring against me, so I stopped engaging. I called upon my prayer warriors to stand in the gap for me because, well, I was just exhausted. That’s when I found out the truth of why Priscilla says we need to pray on page 3, “Because life is just too impossible otherwise—yours, mine, everybody’s. We simply don’t have the luxury of playing nice with prayer.”
I’ve felt like life was impossible for far too long. About a month ago, a friend and I went to see Beth Moore live and that jump-started my spirit. A few weeks later, I stumbled upon my copy of Fervent. The book I was reading before it seemed like all hell broke loose in my life five years ago. And then the conora virus began to escalate. People everywhere were saying, “we need to pray.”
And I remembered.
I remembered the miracles, the provision, the blessings. All unleased in that season of authentic prayer. That’s what made me pick up this book again to finish it. I knew if I invited others on the journey, not only would I be blessed to see the glory in their life (I’m kind of a glory-of-God junkie), but I WOULD finish it this time and I would feel that rush of the Holy Spirit again.
So, what brings you here? What made you sign up for this study?
I loved on page 14 when Priscilla wrote, “We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. We pray because we’re serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.”
It’s like that saying prayer is the key that unlocks the door. We can’t do it on our own, but with God through prayer, we are victorious.
Here’s the crazy thing. Even though the healing of my best friend and father happened in heaven rather than earth, I saw God’s glory as He transformed, refined their faith before He took them home. The loss hurt, but God’s glory shone for all to see.
We are going to pray some big prayers in the next six weeks. We are going to start believing God for a lot. Even if answers don’t come as swiftly as we’d like or in the package we’d prefer, God can be trusted. He is able.
After Priscilla touches on the strategies we will be praying through, she shares the acronym PRAY that will help us keep our prayers anchored and strong. PRAY stands for:
P – Praise
R – Repentance
A – Asking
Y – Yes (referring to 2 Cor. 1:20 – “All of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding yes!”)
During this study, we will be writing out our prayers, but I also encourage you to write out the scriptures that stir something within you that are at the end of each chapter. In fact, if you are up for the challenge, I encourage you to memorize one scripture for each section. You don’t need to have it memorized by the time we read the next strategy. Write out your favorite scripture, place it somewhere you will see it, then recite it daily. Imagine at the end of six weeks if you have ten new verses under your belt that you could claim in prayer. That, my friend, is a powerful and effective weapon!
What a journey we are about to embark upon. As we move forward, I would love to know what jumped out at you in your reading this week. Also, I asked several questions above. Feel free to answer any or all of them.
What is prayer to you?
How is your prayer life?
Do you feel or have you felt like you are in a fight for your life, your emotions, your family, your future?
What brings you here? What made you sign up for this study?