Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets

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This is one of those books that takes you on a whirlwind ride, challenges everything you ever believed about prayer, raises some questions about the author's ideas, and hopefully transforms your prayer life.

I know that sounds like an oxymoron when you question the writing and yet it challenges you, but it's true. Dutch totally rearranged my thinking on prayer. I know my prayer life has been lacking for awhile, but I want that to change. Dutch talks about prayer that creates a boundary of protection around people, prayer goes between man and God and allows God to work. Sometimes, is it true, that God is simply waiting for someone to pray so that He can work, but nobody does? This was a challenging thought for me and at first, I wanted to write it off. But.... There's a verse in Ezekiel that says how God was looking for someone to build a wall and stand in the gap for the people, but no one could be found, therefore He poured out His indignation on the people. That has haunted me since I read it. Are people going to hell because I am not praying?

He had a lot of other good points in his book. He is from the charismatic Christian circles, so some of it I wanted to just chalk up to their style, but in actuality, I think some of it just stretched me too much and I don't want to think about the fact that God might call me to be that radical.

Whatever the case, I am purposing in my heart to improve my prayer life, to recognize more fully that we are in a spiritual warfare, that I am to be a watchman, and I am called to intercede.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed the book. Two things I wasn't sure about in the book and would love some opinions from people who have read the book. One, he never addresses unanswered prayer. All of his prayers seem to get answered. And two, he can almost give the idea that you have to pray according the Dutch Sheet's instruction book or it won't work. He gave an example of someone who had prayed for years, but was doing it all wrong and after listening to him speak, they changed their way of praying and in just a short time, the person had been saved. I think Dutch has some points about being specific and asking God to meet and pull down strong holds of addiction, etc. but I don't think there's a right and a wrong way to pray unless of course you are asking for things clearly outside of God's will or with very selfish motives.

This book was given me by Bethany House for the purpose of reading and writing a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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