Book Review: Power Through Prayer

“This man must be a Christian Philosopher or a poet,” those were my first thoughts after going through the initial pages of Power through Prayer by E.M Bounds. It’s not surprising to know he was an attorney (they have some background in philosophy) and a member of the Methodist Church. The man played with words in this 75-page book, which also carried a strong message and is very relevant for the period that we find ourselves in.

Power through Prayer admonishes readers/preachers/Christians to adopt a lifestyle of prayer. E.M Bounds, in the book, established the importance of spending quality in prayer, particularly, for preachers who have the mandate to propagate the gospel and win souls for Christ. He provided the likely effects of relegating prayer into the background and bemoaned the current practice which has been adopted by preachers – spend more time to research and less time in prayer when preparing to preach. The 20-short-chapters’ book challenges ministers of the gospel to spend long and quality time with God and see how that translates to the congregation. Bounds provided examples of past preachers who spent quality time with God and how that affected their ministries.

This is one of the most pertinent messages that the church needs currently. The book’s content reminds me of a Christian broadcast I listened to where the preacher also challenged Christians, especially, Charismatics to stop hiding behind tongues-speaking and ‘pray properly.’ In the broadcast, the preacher defined prayer as talking to God and knowing you are talking to Him. In other words, our mind should be fixed on the activity that we are indulging in. He made emphasis on the duration, which shouldn’t be as important as the quality and when Christians genuinely pray to God, we become conduits for the manifestation of miracles and the power of God. I could detect hints of E.M Bounds’ Power through Prayer in that broadcast.

The book was undoubtedly exquisitely written and if you a lover of poetry then this book is just for you. In my opinion, it could have easily been simplified into fewer pages but the flowery nature of the content did not permit that but it is still a great book and the message, very strong. The book is highly recommended for preachers or anyone playing a role in the Christ-ministry and for which, Christian bloggers are not an exemption. We can’t do away with quality prayer and expect to flourish in our various callings.

There were several amazing quotes in Power through Prayer and below are three of them:

  • “The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwashed flow.”
  • “Prayer is not to the modern pulpit the mighty force it was in Paul’s life or Paul’s ministry. Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.”
  • “A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon.”

Have you read this book? What are your opinions about it? Do share!

© picasion.com_9CWp

 

 

 

Book Review: Strategies for Prayer

Strategies for Prayer by Dag Heward-Mills is a 40-page book, very succinct, straight-to-the-point, yet, makes some powerful revelations on the need for Christians to pray and do it effectively. It can easily be read at a sitting, but, it is important to go through this book slowly, so, to digest its content and apply it to one’s prayer life.

The book, divided into four chapters, introduces the reader to the Daniel’s Principles of Prayer and also, The Timothy, Ephesians and Lord’s prayer formula. What the first chapter does is to admonish Christians, among other things, that they are never too big, blessed or busy to pray.  It primarily establishes the importance of prayer to the life of the believer.

In the subsequent chapters, the reader is introduced to the other prayer strategies/formula. The book also raises important subjects like the need to pray for our leaders, praying always and for long hours which also summarises the Timothian Prayer in Chapter 2 of the book. The other two chapters introduce Ephesians 1 and Matthew 6 as prayer guides/strategies for the Christian.

Bishop Dag, as an author, puts his points in plain language probably for easy memorisation. If you have ever listened to any of his sermons, you’d realise he writes just like the way he speaks – concise, straightforward and instructive. He also makes emphases on some of his points by relating them to his personal life experiences. As a reader, I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the scenarios he provided in the book. One of such was when he recalled his days as a medical student with a tight schedule but still made time to pray. On one of those occasions, he nearly walked into a wall because he was tired. Although this was easy to picture, it drives home the point that he consciously made time to pray and gave himself no excuse and looking at where he is now, that serves as a source of motivation for the reader.

The aim of the book was to ginger the reader to adopt praying strategies which will enable him/her to pray for long hours and that was successfully achieved. As Christians, we may have several reasons for not praying and even reading, the author recognises that, therefore, he provides several motivations in a few pages to help us adopt a healthy prayer life. This book is highly recommended for anyone having a hard time praying and for long hours. It is also great for Christians of all ages and for people who do not want to read huge volumes of books.

There were some powerful quotes in the book but below are three of them:

  • “My friend, if you cannot find something to thank God for, for at least ten minutes, then you have an ungrateful heart.”
  • “If you want to have peace and confidence in this life, spend time praying that the will of God comes to pass in your life.”dag

 

© picasion.com_9CWp

Book Review: In Pursuit of Purpose

What is your purpose in life? This is one question which we have all encountered at certain points in our lives. For instance, in a job interview, you may be asked where you see yourself in five years and before one gets married, couples are asked if they know each others’ purposes, hence, making this subject a very important one to both Christians and non-Christians.

Myles Munroe’ In Pursuit of Purpose, did a remarkable job to unpack this popular question, particularly, in making his readers understand why it is very important to know one’s purpose and pursue it. This 149 page-book was easy to read and had some of the most amazing quotes that made the reader pause, think through and meditate upon. It was also written in the simplest language and made use of relateable scenarios to emphasise on some of the basic points. If you have ever listened to any of Myles Munroe’s lectures or sermons, this book actually felt like you were listening to him while he spoke – in the same style to ginger you to get up and find your purpose. He also used biblical references to situate his point in scriptures.

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Since this subject is a very important one, as a reader, I wished Myles Munroe had delved deeper in revealing the ‘how’ to finding ones’ purpose. What the book did, generally, was to let readers know the importance of finding their purposes and pursuing them. The author did drop hints on how to identify your purpose and like most books on this subjects, he directs the reader to go back to the ‘manufacturer’ who has the ‘manual.’ Subtly, he mentioned that assessing one’s uniqueness, special abilities, talents and potentials would eventually lead us to finding our purpose but what I really yearned for, while going through those pages, was a more comprehensible insight into how to identify all which makes a person unique. This was very important to me, as a reader, because there are people who are more than four decades old, and are still clueless on what makes them unique, not to talk of having knowledge of their purpose.

Nevertheless, In Pursuit of Purpose made a great read, particularly, in motivating the reader to search for what their purposes were and not to follow what the world described as ‘success.’ The world’s definition of a successful person is measured by the amount of wealth they have accumulated or their fame or accomplishments. If you mistakenly follow these and gradually get to the top, you are likely to face some penalties which have been listed in the book.

As stated earlier, there were so many beautiful quotes in this book but my favorite three include:

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  • Be what you are. Capitalize on the natural skills and talents with which you were born, and don’t lose them. When others belittle your special gifts and try to remake you according to their plans and purposes, refuse to yield to domination.

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This book is a great tool for individuals who have identified their purposes or unique talents and are looking for that push to pursue them. In Pursuit of Purpose is also useful to readers who want to understand the importance of pursuing their call.

PS: For those still searching for their purposes, here are five tips on how to go about that:

  1. Read books on this subject – Myles Munroe’s In Pursuit of Purpose will ginger you to find those special abilities of yours.
  2. Pray about this subjectIn Pursuit of Purpose has that prayer which can help you identify that which is your purpose. God ‘manufactured’ you and has your ‘manual’ and He has the ability to reveal those special potentials of yours to you.
  3. Volunteer your services – One way to identify what you are good at is to volunteer your services and the church offers those grounds for you to experiment. You can join the prayer team and if you do not enjoy that, you can go and teach, if you still do not find your place in that team, perhaps, your calling is with children – join the children’s department. Through that you can find that which you do that gives you joy and fulfillment.
  4. Keep praying – Some people are fortunate to have prophets declaring their purposes to them. Others have had people, through visions, confirming their purposes. You may be in that category.
  5. Be Introspective – Look for that thing within you that you enjoy doing and when you are not paid, you still do it anyway. That thing that you do which other people have commended you on could be your special ability – and in there, lies God’s purpose for your life.

©picasion.com_9CWp

Book Review: The Spirit within & The Spirit upon

In a society where witches, diseases and sufferings are often glorified, one book that highlights the power of the Christian, puts us in our rightful place and is a must-read is Kenneth Hagin’s The Spirit Within and the Spirit Upon. Even without stating it directly, Hagin’s testimonies in this book is enough to challenge the reader to want to get to the next level in their Christian walk.

Using different biblical references, the author established how the Spirit of God comes to dwell within the believer when he/she accepts Christ. He goes further to speak of a deeper dimension which every believer must reach and that is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which empowers us unto ministry. To understand the author’s perspective on this subject better, Hagin started ministering in an era when accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior was all there was. Christians, in certain denominations, were content to be at that level but in this book, however, Kenneth Hagin allows the reader to understand why the believer needs the second dimension.

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If you know of any Christian who keeps glorifying sicknesses, poverty and witchcraft, perhaps, you may want to recommend The Spirit within & the Spirit upon. The author clearly makes us understand that when we become believers, such ‘sufferings’ no longer have power over us.

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However, the only form of ‘suffering’ a believer is permitted to have is when they are pushing the gospel. So for instance, a minister of the gospel may complain he is suffering when he is given a difficult congregation to pastor. This congregation may not flow with his doctrine on say, divine healing, and Hagin gives several scenarios of this kind of ‘suffering’ in this book. Note that such ‘sufferings’ shape the believer for the ministry.

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The 187-page book is simple to read and has the author’s testimonies which allow the reader to understand the subject matter. The Spirit within & the Spirit upon also makes the reader appreciate the work of a pastor and other church leaders. These people we see face so many challenges including loneliness stemming from being away from their families and even hunger. Hagin recounts an incident in his ministry when he and his wife were virtually starved by their hosts, who neither talked about food nor had anything edible in their fridge. For almost a week, the author battled the temptation of reporting the pastor and wife to the appropriate authorities but some reason, the Holy Spirit kept tugging at his heart not to do so. This section of the book also highlights the importance of walking in love as Christians.

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The Spirit within & the Spirit upon is highly recommended for anyone who:

  • has pastoral or ministerial ambitions, since it opens the reader up to what they need to succeed in the field of ministry.
  • has not accepted the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This book stresses on why believers need the second dimension.
  • wants to be reminded of how powerful he/she is in Jesus Christ. It makes the believer yearn to reach a higher level in their Christian walk where they can even communicate directly with God. This is a level we should all strive for – where we do not need ‘middlemen’ or fast and pray for 30 days to hear God speak to us.

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