Courage: This is War

       As I sit at my desk on a sunny Sunday afternoon with humming birds flitting and playing right outside the window; I find myself reflecting on a new book I began reading yesterday evening. But first, let me say that I don’t believe in coincidences. Nope, divine appointments yes; happenstance no way. Because of this belief, I fully believe that my need to go into town to the bank to pay a bill that was due the next day and my daughter’s desire for a new translation of the Bible on Friday were no accident or coincidence.  During our trip to the bookstore, it was no fluke that we spotted a new book by one of our favorite women in ministry. Not even scheduled for release until August first, yet here it was not only available but also on sale beckoning to us!  Not a mishap or happenstance, no my friend; this was favor!
      After only reading the forward and Strategy One, I know without a doubt that this was a divine appointment for me. If you’re anything like me, sometimes life goes through rough patches. When that happens, sometimes we weather it with grace and other times we can tend to let what’s happening in our life, health, or the world zap us and drain us of our desire to push forward; to march on. In those times, it is easy to fall prey to marking time or even consider just quitting since it just seems too hard. Most of us are quick to realize it is no real option and usually after a short time resume our march forward. Other times we can get stuck marking time. When we aren’t moving forward, whether on not we want to admit it, we are really loosing ground. We think we are standing still when in fact we are actually retreating because the world around us keeps going even if we do not. 
     One look at the headlines around the world and you can see everything is moving faster and life is changing at warp speed. Technology has put information at our finger tips. Things change fast and social media is full of posts and blogs about this or that subject. Information can be helpful and good but much of what I am seeing lately is also very polarizing. Almost warlike. In many circles, it just isn’t ok to have a different opinion than someone else. There are battles over politics, religion, flags, historical statues and much more.  While it’s important to know current events, events such as those above can be discouraging and draining on us. World or local events are not the only things affecting our lives; our health, wealth (or lack of) and relationships also can be a drain. Lord help us if they all converge at any given time.  Sometimes we feel like casualties of the constant battle around us. At least I do.
   That brings me back to our trip to town. Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer seems like just what the doctor ordered for me; for such a time as this (if you will). There are ten strategies for the battles that we face. Unlike any other book on prayer I’ve read, this one outlines a battle plan using prayer and I can already see benefits after just the first step. Whether we realize or acknowledge it or not, the Christian life is a war and we have a real enemy that wants to take us out. (John 10:10) We also have a real hero who wants us to be victorious because He has already bought and paid for our victory! Our enemy is not flesh and blood! It is not that surly person that keeps driving you crazy. Normal strategies are seldom effective when things just keep coming at you; but I can say first hand prayer works and I believe the information and techniques in this book will be perhaps the best prayer journey to date because it not only informs but draws a plan of action. It outlines tactics of the enemy and effective ways to combat those tactics. As I begin this journey, I am confident that it is a great tool for life and can develop  a prayer warrior in each one who dare to read its pages…more to come.  Keep the faith.
Grace and peace to you!