Looking to increase your prayer life? You have to check out War Room Strategies: Developing Effectual Prayers for God’s Glory by bestselling author Michelle Stimpson. I am honored to speak to her about this exciting resource, which she is giving away for free.
What drove you to a more intense prayer life?
Initially, the burden was my marriage. I was just done. I was depressed, upset, felt used, defeated…all that! I was not suicidal, but I was to the point where I didn’t care if the Lord took me home because I knew I couldn’t stay in that marriage, yet I was torn because I had two small children and I didn’t want a divorce. I just wished the whole thing (our marriage) had never happened in the first place. Eight years of what I thought was a crazy marriage drove me to my knees in a way that I had never experienced before. It taught me to seek God and grew me up in my relationship with Him.
Recently, however, when my daughter became pregnant and extremely ill with hyperemesis gravidarum, I had to pray for an actual life—two lives, really—that took my prayer life to another level. I had to get over my own disappointment and judgment and the idea that I had been robbed of my newly earned “empty nest” days. (Our daughter was living away at college dorm, but she has since moved back home with us.) I had to focus on God’s Kingdom Agenda for every person He created rather than my feelings. Praying outside of my emotions and personal interests was key.
There was also some side drama (isn’t there always?) surrounding the pregnancy. Stuff that I recognized immediately as completely outside of the will of God (i.e., evil). But I couldn’t go into it flailing words around carelessly. I needed a strategy because, clearly, the enemy had one going against me. I sought the Lord. He gave me one. And now I’m sharing it with people.
In additional to being available as a print book for those who would rather purchase a bound copy, it’s also available for free to download and use. What was the thought behind this format?
Two reasons: 1) Two people in particular sowed into me while I was writing this book. They didn’t know exactly what they were doing, but they gave so spontaneously and unselfishly that it was clear to me: This book must be available for free. Most of what I learned as a new believer was given to me before I had enough sense to realize the importance of supporting ministries financially. 2) I am in regular contact with people who don’t have extra money, a car to get to a store, a credit card to order products, or even a permanent address. For a myriad of reasons ranging from being in rehab to homelessness to being unemployed, often the ones who can least afford a book like this are the ones who need it most. So, with cost out of the picture, there’s no reason not to know. Even if a person has to go to a public library, read it on the screen, and draw their own prayer boxes on a napkin, the opportunity to learn to pray effectually has been offered. I am humbled that the Lord used me for this!
What’s one of the biggest mistakes Christians make in prayer?
Two come to mind: 1) Praying amiss; 2) Not praying at all. Both are rooted in the fact that few of us actually spend dedicated time in His presence on a daily (or hourly or more!) basis. I say that not to condemn, but to invite believers to the sweet rest that we get in Him. The world has nothing to offer, really. Maybe a house, a car, a piece of red velvet cake. But none of those satisfies like knowing that you are privy to the private things of God through the knowledge of Him through Christ. When we know His heart, we know how to pray better.
About a year ago, I read a historical fiction book that took place during slavery times. One of the enslaved characters (who was still kind of in between Christianity, ancestor worship, and voodoo) prayed this prayer that was so unbiblical. It was something to the effect of asking God to come down from heaven and touch somebody and she was going to wear some kind of necklace…I don’t even remember it all. But given her circumstances and the fact that she had not been taught the true, freeing gospel (for social and economic reasons), nor could she read the Bible for herself, I understood where she was coming from. But the thing that hit me about her reasoning and her prayer was that many believers are still praying like that today. Making all these bargains and asking God to do what Jesus already did at the cross…it was eye-opening. We’re not in that woman’s position. We have way more opportunity to learn the truth and seek His face. We’re without excuse. The fact that so many still pray like that speaks to the fact that many of us are living on a hand-me-down religion. It’s time for the Kingdom of God to awaken and walk in everything Christ accomplished! I’m glad to be a part of the team J.
To get your free download of War Room Strategies: Developing Effectual Prayers for God’s Glory, visit www.warriorwives.club and click on Resources.