Extreme Prayer Brings Extreme Answers
From the very beginning of his book Extreme Prayer: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer, Greg Pruett, pulls readers in with his honesty and transparency, sharing how his marriage and cross-cultural ministry in West Africa would have failed except he says that “God honored our decision to pray instead of giving up.”
The Pruetts found themselves struggling to live in a small African village with no modern conveniences, hand-washing cloth diapers with no running water or washing machine. Trying to live in a difficult land and culture took energy enough, but the Pruetts also faced the pressure of translating the Bible among a people who traditionally followed the Qur’an.
Pruett says, “I believe God took me out on a limb and sawed it off because he wanted me to find out that He is real. . . He wanted me to learn than when it comes to success or failure, prayer is vital.”
Throughout the remainder of Extreme Prayer, he shows readers how to tap into the power of extreme prayer in the midst of desperate and heart-hungry moments. Pruett doesn’t just spout platitudes; instead, he shares tried and true lessons he learned himself through twelve years of cross-cultural ministry and then as president of Pioneer Bible Translators since 2007.
Initially, I was a little concerned reading some of the chapter titles like “Blank Checks,” “Name Power,” and “Blind Faith.” So many Bible teachers have misused these principles and turned them into a “name it and claim it” theology. Others have suggested that if one prays and is not healed from an illness, he doesn’t have enough faith.
Pruett himself said he based the idea of extreme prayer on the study and application of Jesus’ scriptural promises to do whatever we ask when we pray in His name. So, I was pleased to read that Pruett qualified his statement by saying, “Praying in Jesus’ name´ doesn’t mean asking for a Ferrari and tacking on the magic words ‘in Jesus’ name.’ It means presenting requests that resonate with Jesus’ character, praying ‘for his name’s sake’ prayers that advance his plans for the earth—in other words, proclaiming Kingdom of God-oriented prayers.”
At another point, Pruett says that faith in God results in extreme answers to our extreme prayers. Again, I was a bit concerned. But not for long! Pruett said, “Just because our prayers are not answered as we expect does not necessarily mean our faith is the problem,” and he goes on to address reasons we might not get the answer we expect. I guess I shouldn’t have questioned a Bible translator’s accuracy in interpreting biblical principles.
Overall, I found Extreme Prayer to be highly encouraging as well as motivating. All the way through, Pruett maintained a kingdom focus, showing readers how to prayer big prayers that line up with God’s Word and His desires. I can't wait to put these principles into practice my own prayer life and experience God in new and exciting ways.
If you’re looking to strengthen or freshen up your prayer life, I guarantee you will enjoy this book and grow from it. I’d even recommend that small groups or ministry teams read, pray and study through Extreme Prayer together. At the end of each chapter are some great questions for personal reflection and group discussion.
About the Author
Greg Pruett has been president of Pioneer Bible Translators, based in Dallas, since January 2007. Greg, along with hiw wife, Rebecca, and their three children, lived in West Africa for more than twelve years, where they completed a translation of the entire Bible into the Yalunka language and shared Christ’s love with a people who traditionally follow the Qur’an. Connect with the author at http://pioneerbible.org/ or through his blog at http://pioneerbible.org/presidents-blog.
Published 8 months ago by Laura Langley