I’ve never seen a more audacious start to a book. I'm telling you... the nerve of this guy. At best, his words come across as outlandish, but at worst, they might even be irresponsible. When I first picked up Secrets of a Prayer Warrior and flipped to chapter one, page one, this is what I read:
“I love to pray – and what is more, I get what I pray for.”
That was my first impression of Derek Prince.
His words puzzled me. At first, I didn’t know how to take them. Admittedly, they didn't exactly coincide with the words I would’ve used to describe my own prayer life. Far from it. But he spoke with such confidence that I couldn’t help but being intrigued. He piqued my interest, to say the least.
Okay, Mr. Prince... Have it your way. But in case you had any doubt where the conversation was headed next, here's a painfully obvious follow-up that you now have everyone in the room wondering. You get what you pray for?
His answer was actually much simpler than I imagined. Ironically, it made all the sense in the world. According to Prince, the key to getting what we want in prayer is not by praying at the right time or saying the right words. If that were the answer, that would leave the door open for us to manipulate the system. Rig it. Figure it. out. Instead, the key to getting what we want in prayer is in praying the things God wants us to pray. It's simple, really. If you pray what God wants, you'll get what you want.
“When we pray for anything, we need to begin by asking ourselves, Am I praying for this thing because I want it, or because God wants it?” says Prince. "As we come to God in prayer, we need to begin with the understanding that He wants us to do so. Remember, God wants us to pray and get what we pray for.”
The truth is, God wants us to get what we pray for because He wants our hearts to align with His. This fact is made plain in a number of places throughout God's Word, including a passage in John's first epistle:
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." -1 John 5:14
But Prince doesn't just give the ambiguous command of "pray for God's will" and leave it at that. No. He also teaches his readers everything else the Bible says about prayer, and then encourages them to take the things it says to heart. Things like:
Pray with reverence.
Pray with a heart of gratitude.
Pray for your government - whether you voted them in or not.
Secrets of a Prayer Warrior challenged me to take a serious look at how God's Word told me to pray. In full transparency, after reading it there were a number of things I had to adjust in my prayer life. And it wasn't just what I was praying for, but also how and why.
Much to my dismay, this book did, in fact, help me get what I was prayed for. It worked like magic. By the time I had turned the final page, however, I found it was my prayers that had done the changing, not God's ability to answer them.
I pray you experience the same.
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