Fervent


A Wolfe Stew Book Review

Our Wolfe Stew Book Review today is on Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. As it’s our first nonfiction book, we needed a new layout.  The beginning will look the same: Target Audience and Simple Summary. The middle differs, however. We’ll delve into Purpose, Organization, Unique Features, Writing Style and Personal Takeaways.  But then, we’ll wrap it up the same way, by sharing our Favorite Quotes, a section About the Author and recommended Websites to Explore.  There is no danger of spoilers, as it’s an expositional book, so spoiler alerts are omitted.  And now, without further ado, let’s proceed to the review.

For whom this book was written.
Any Christ-following woman, but especially those longing to strengthen their prayer life.

A concise summary that entices without spoiling.
Are you ready to engage in fierce battle praying against the enemy? With Shirer as your drill sergeant, you’ll assemble a complete arsenal of fully operational, strategically targeted prayers in no time!

Briefly describes why the author wrote the book.
As denoted on the cover, the purpose of the book is to create, “A woman’s battle plan for serious, specific and strategic prayer.”

The way the author arranged thoughts.
Shirer polled women and determined areas Satan frequently attacks.  Then, penned a guide through each of these attacks, chapter by chapter, providing examples of how he attacks along with verses to use in defense.  Finally, she charges you with crafting your own strategic battle plan armed with God’s word and zeal.  The areas of attack identified are: passion, focus, identity, family, past, purity, pressures, hurts, and relationships.

What set this book apart from the rest?
  • Prayer cards you literally tear out of the book, craft your prayer on, and tack on the walls of your War Room.
  • A memorable prayer format using the acronym P.R.A.Y.
  • Insight into the probable thought pattern of the enemy regarding each strategy.
  • Relevant verses to weave into your personalized and strategic prayer arsenal.

Details regarding the author's unique voice.

Shirer is a straight-forward, no nonsense, chatting across a coffee table type of writer who draws on many of her own experiences.

Quotes and excerpts that highlight some of our favorite parts.

Quotes

  1. “Even prayers that begin with the blunt edge of willpower, dragging your heart along kicking and screaming, can soon begin to shine with the cutting edge of hope, faith, and passionate confidence in Christ” (Shirer, 35).
  2. “Genuine freedom and renewed fervency are waiting for you on the other side of forgiveness,” (Shirer, 161).

Excerpt

This excerpt comes from the chapter titled, “Hurts.”

Then came 2 Corinthians 2:5-7 
Forgive. 
Comfort. 
Obedience. 
Outwitted. 
Designs. 
God and I - we went round and round while I debated with Him (and without Him) the necessity of this bit of conviction. Because maybe, maybe, if forgiveness had been the only thing on the table, I might have been willing to oblige a bit easier. I did, in fact, at His insistence, forgive her. In my mind, at least. Set her free from the debt I thought she owed me for making me feel so awful, so uneasy, for so long. I thought the Lord, seeing my sincerity in drawing up an internal declaration of forgiveness toward her, might cut me some slack and just forget the other part. You know, that part about offering comfort…to her?
But, under the circumstances, under the specifics of His conviction, I knew He wanted more. He wanted me to show comfort to this one who had offended me. This was the only way I could be “obedient in everything” …in this thing. And I knew it. No, my flesh didn’t want to give this person the time of day, much less the dignity of a response. But my resistance to what God’s Word and command were saying clued me in beyond any doubt that I’d allowed a root of bitterness to spring up within my heart. And it was choking out some stuff I missed and that really mattered to me. And this was the part that was by demonic design (Shirer, 154-155).

What we learned and will remember regarding this book.

Spiritual Warfare is Real

I realize that in choosing to read a book about preparing for battle in the spiritual realm implies I already accepted spiritual warfare exists. And I did, in the theoretical sense. But this book revealed to me how spiritual warfare impacts every part of my life, not just the areas of tension. Indeed, the battle rages strongest in areas I’m ignoring.  When I push my spirituality to the side, Satan is winning. That’s the first chapter: passion – and Satan is really good at putting a damper on it. It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized just how much passion it takes to wage a continual war against the enemy in every facet of my life.

Keep this Book as a Reference

This book is not one of those, “I read it. It changed my life. Here, you have it so it can change your life too,” kind of books. It’s more the kind you want to clear out space for in your personal library so, as problems arise, you can get this book out to aid you in crafting a specific prayer for your unique circumstance.  And, perhaps even one you should flip through from time to time as a guide in a spiritual welfare tune-up. By choosing to do nothing, by ignoring spiritual warfare exists, Satan is already winning.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers discourse that relates.

A short biography on the author.Raised in a household of faith by Pastor Tony and Lois Evans, Priscilla continues a life in pursuit of God. She describes herself as a wife and mother (to three boys) first and foremost, with a ministry that impacts women worldwide.

Priscilla and her husband, Jerry, jointly own Going Beyond Ministries, a company whose vision is to “[Teach] the uncompromised truth of God’s word so that others might know Him and experience His power.”  To seek fulfillment of this mission, Going Beyond Ministries offers conferences, books and Bible studies.  You might have even seen her in a few movies: War Room, I Can Only Imagine and Overcomer.

Fervent, a 2016 Book of the Year Winner, is one of several books Shirer's written for an audience of Christian women. Shirer also offers numerous Bible studies and even a young adult fiction series titled, The Prince Warriors.



Recommended online sites related to the book.
  1. Ministry – learn more about who the Shirer’s are, what they believe and what they do.
  2. Resources – a full listing of all available resources
  3. Connect – a blog, podcast, social media, and other contact information.
  4. Events – see opportunities to attend an event near you.

Before you go, we'd love to know:

  1. If you've read this book, what part was most impactful and why?
  2. If you've yet to read this book, what part intrigues you about it the most?


With love and prayers,
Offering samplings of life by a husband and wife.

Interested in reading more of our thoughts on things?  Then you're looking for our Reviews page.  This is where we share all our thoughts on things and look forward to hearing your thoughts on things too.



References

  1. Going Beyond Ministries. www.goingbeyond.com/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2020.
  2. “Prisilla Shirer.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 14 Feb. 2020 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priscilla_Shirer Accessed 23 Apr. 2020.
  3. Shirer, Priscilla. Fervent. Nashville, B&H Publishing Group, 2015

Picture Credits

  1. Priscilla Shirer photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
  2. Theoden and Aragon photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND



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