The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer by Jack Hayford {Book Review}

The Secrets Of Intercessory Prayer – Unleashing God’s Power in the Lives of Those You Love by Jack Hayford is a a powerful read which is aptly titled and delivered well that which it promised. Beginning with Chapter Ones’s “A Divine Invitation to Partnership” and our call to partner with God in prayer, to the final chapter “Having Done All, Stand” Pastor Hayford divides and conquers the obstacles to our intercessory prayer lives and leads us on to new hope to persevere in prayer. 
As a Moms In Prayer leader and one who desires to have a healthy personal prayer life I read a lot of books on prayer, and  this is one of the most practical books on intercessory prayer I have come across. Specifically challenging the hearts of those who desire to intercede for others by first examining their own hearts toward those whom they pray, makes this read immediately applicable. I found myself pondering the points and reflecting on steps I could take immediately apply with regard to addressing and assessing my own prayer “attitude”. Oh my heart was rejoicing at the wisdom presented in this book and I pray that every Christian would read and apply it. I intend to share it with my Prayer Partner and Co-Leader and then would like to read through it again. 
I really liked the way Believers were called out for some of the self-righteous and holier than thou attitudes  that pollute and permeate Christian circles which can hinder prayers being answered. I appreciate also the way I was convicted in the chapter “Praying For Someone You Don’t Want To Pray For” because God so often calls me to do just that. The reminder that “God does not sign off on people who sign off on Him” is a reminder every single professing Christian needs to remember. Loaded with powerful quotes worth further reflection and practically applicable to the life of all who desire to intercede effectually and effectively for their loved one, I highly recommend this book.
I received this book for free from Chosen Books in return for the purpose of review. The opinions expressed are completely my own.
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When To Speak Up & When To Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler {Book Review}

Would it be too forward of me to say, every Christian should read this book? Well let me take it one further, then. I think everybody should read this book if they have a mouth and intend to use it. Dr. Michael Sedler has clearly and sensitively articulated guidelines, steps and practical solutions for using that tiny little member of the body called the tongue in a manner which fosters growth, understanding and clarity. The title of the book absolutely grabbed me, but then it also delivered. The principles that are shared in this book are simple, concise and powerful. The examples he gives are authentic and he goes on to share not only wisdom but a few personal hard earned and learned lessons.

The opening dedication of the book includes this statement: “I pray this book will encourage each reader to be a to be a voice in the wilderness of life: a voice of reason, of passion, of encouragement of leadership, but most of all, of love and grace.” I believe Dr. Sedler does a good job of communicating, coaching and exhorting how to make this happen in real life.

Some of the topics covered (listed on back of book):

•    the cost and purpose of silence 
•    why to check motives when talking to friends, family and authorities
•    how to ask good questions 
•    ways to deal with anger and resentment 
•    how to overcome pressure to remain silent

Drawing directly from specific instances in Scripture and the lives of well known Bible figures, he extracts useful directives which we can concretely put into action in our own lives. I loved the examples of communication effectively or ineffectively explored with reference to David, Abraham, Nicodemus, and Jesus. I also appreciated his use of other examples from history and his professional and personal life.

At the end of every chapter there is a “One Final Thought…” which captures the essence of the take home for personal application. This is followed by two pointed questions for personal reflection. Just enough to bring it home! One of these from the end of Chapter 9 really stood out to me and reflects the power of these brief but well thought out statements. It says, ” Before approaching an individual regarding a problem or area of frustration, take the time to pray and be sure you have a right spirit. If you do not have time to pray, you do not have time to communicate with others. (emphasis mine!) Talk about a take home lesson which would benefit all of us!

I appreciated how he also pulled from the pages of history to make the points about speaking out and keeping silent and the impact to others. Dr. Martin Luther King, Corrie, Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Churchill as well as Hitler, Stalin, Khomeini and bin Laden. We see the power and possibility expressed when people speak out for good or evil. We see the importance of wisdom, courage and hope that must speak out for truth and what happens when fear silences the voice of righteousness and reason.

I found this book to be one of the best I have ever read on communication, and highly recommend it.
Not only does Dr. Sedler have a clear grasp on scripture and  a background in Social Work, he is an Ordained Minister with varied experience which shines through in this work. In addition to all this his own personal testimony is an inspiring journey of one Jewish man’s pilgrimage for truth. I so appreciate hearing ho God reveals himself to individuals and Michael Sedler share his journey and conclusion in the final section of this book.

Simply put, you will not regret owning your own copy of When To Speak Up & When To Shut Up – Principles for Conversations You Won’t Regret.

Visit the author’s website: www.michalesedler.com
I received a copy of this book from Chosen Books in return for a Review. 
All opinions expressed are my own.

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