Friends! Anyone besides me ready for the political hoopla to cease and desist? Who knows where we’ll be come November 9th, post-election, but the good news is the commercials will be off the air. Better yet, as our daughter-in-love, Diana, reminded us the other night, God will still be on the throne.
No worries, I refuse to talk politics. Even better news: There is one wonderful, blissful way to stay distracted from all of it: prayer. Fervent prayer at that.
I recently was blessed to read Anne Graham Lotz’ newest book: The Daniel Prayer—Prayer that Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. It’s become my favorite manual on prayer.
A forever fan of the Graham family, Anne in particular holds a special place in my heart. Years ago when we read The Magnificent Obsession—Embracing the God-Filled Life by her for Book Club, she agreed to Skype with us from her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Unfortunately a few days prior to that she learned her husband, Danny, had been scheduled for a procedure on his heart the very day we were to Skype.
He’s since gone to be with the Lord, God bless him and their family. At the time, however, he wasn’t in good health and this procedure was needed as soon as possible. Anne’s hands were tied. We, of course, understood.
Anne went above and beyond to record a video message for us, personally addressing our Book Club gals, that we got to show that evening. The fact she took the time to do that for us in the midst of all she was juggling still tugs at my heart.
Anne begins The Daniel Prayer by discussing the dire condition of our world. She says, “There are three reasons I believe God’s patience may be running out. One: We have willingly intentionally, deliberately taken the lives of almost 60 million children. Most of these abortions were not done for medical reasons, but for the convenience of the mother as a means of birth control.”
“Two: Our defiance of God’s institution of marriage.”
“Three: Our abandonment of the nation of Israel.”
Anne adds, “…it is especially concerning to see the United States of America, a nation founded on faith in God and dedicated to His glory by our first President and the Continental Congress, defy Him, seek to remove Him from public life, and rebel against His ways.”
Her solution? (Which is available to us all…) PRAYER. Prayer straight from Daniel in the Bible. (See Daniel 9:1-23) Daniel’s prayer gives us a beautiful model which Anne walks us through, giving us excellent examples we can use anywhere at any time.
The book’s divided into four parts: Preparing for Prayer, Pleading in Prayer, Prevailing in Prayer and Patterns for Prayer. It’s the Patterns for Prayer that are my absolute favorite. They include prayer that’s “centered, compelled, confident, contrite, and clear,” plus a prayer for battle.
She especially addresses (and warns us about) spiritual warfare. Throughout the book she gives beautiful Scripture to help us with our prayers.
She dots humor throughout each chapter which is a welcomed relief from the serious subject matter. I got tickled at her confession about having trouble waking earlier each morning to pray.
She finally marched out and bought an obnoxious alarm clock which so severely startled her and Danny the next morning, they nearly each had a heart attack! It was that same clock, tho’, that helped her conquer what she called her “blanket victory.” Hey, whatever it takes, right?
She said, “Prayer helps us anchor our faith in God. It’s like setting our spiritual compass so that regardless of the twists and turns during the day, the needle of our focused faith always turns to God.”
While the humor is fun, Anne’s pressing questions are not! (Oh, but they’re good medicine!!!) For example, she says, “When Daniel bowed his knees to God, it was an outward gesture that revealed his inner attitude of humility, reverence, submission, and allegiance to the One so much greater than himself or any earthly king or world ruler.”
Then she poses, “When was the last time you prayed on your knees? Try it. The difference your outward position makes in your inner attitude as you pray may surprise you.”
Anne believes the Daniel Prayer is “a 911 call for urgent help. The Daniel Prayer is storming the gates of Heaven with what Eugene Peterson calls ‘reversed thunder’—praying God’s Word back to Him…” (The prayers in the back of the book walk you straight thru’ Scripture.)
She shows us five characteristics of the Daniel Prayer we can all strive for in our prayers. Check these out:
Anne’s writing is so filled with passion, you’ll be beyond blessed by reading this. I’ve literally highlighted and dog-eared her book to death.
I’m praying she’ll make a Bible study from it, however, your small group could easily go chapter by chapter and turn it into one. It’s a resource you’ll return to over and over.
To close, let’s receive Anne’s encouragement from chapter 7:
This very week our Tuesday Bible study group was discussing the political frenzy surrounding us. We agreed to pray more and worry less. Thankfully at the same time Max Lucado wrote a piece about his prediction for November 9th.
Like only Max can do, his words bring further comfort: “Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.” (Don’t miss his article from 10/13/16 in the Opinion section of Fox News.)
‘Til next time!
P.S. Fun fact: I first learned about Anne Graham Lotz’ book thanks to an entertaining and educational interview done by Eric Metaxas with Anne on his show this past May. It aired on 5/9/16. You can listen to the interview by going to Eric’s website: www.metaxastalk.com