This is a bonus post! I was writing this out for my VIP's Friday newsletter and I realized it was going to be way too much for an email. So I condensed it for them and I wanted to share this more in-depth version with you guys.
We were created to crave intimacy. We want to be known, and we want to be pursued. People can never satisfy these desire. These are God-sized longings. The reason we lack the deep and satisfying prayer life we need is usually due to a lack of understanding of how God feels about you and how He sees you.
I am sharing five books that completely changed my prayer life. These books challenged me and stretched my understanding of God’s love and as a result deepened my intimacy with Him and increased my hunger to want to be in communication with Him.
Here are the five books and what I think you will take away from each. Also as a disclaimer, this post does contain affiliate links to the books on Amazon. Know that I value your time and trust, and I would NEVER recommend anything that I don’t fully love and stand behind. You can click any of the book titles or images to put them on your Amazon wishlist! Christmas is right around the corner, and you’re going to love these!
So yes I am going to start with the most controversial book first. I know tons and tons of people love this book, but there are also some people who hate it. Let m first just share what upset some people. For the first two-thirds of the book, the character that represents God is a woman…not just a woman but a black woman. *gasp*
But know that the main character had an abusive relationship with His father and therefore doesn’t take well to authoritative male figures so in His kindness God (who has no gender FYI) reveals Himself as a female for the sake of reaching the heart of the main character.
I LOVED this book. It completely changed the way I see God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I lost my first baby early in pregnancy due to miscarriage. This book was probably the most healing tool I’ve had. There was a part of the book where I was forced to acknowledge that I had blamed God and judged Him as not good when in reality He is good. He is always good. I wept, and I could feel the healing being released in my heart.
You’ll also learn that God like you. He's really fond of you. He enjoys communicating with you. That’s why prayer is incredible. God enjoys chatting with you. He’s also not angry. He isn’t mad. He joyful and at peace and He’s not disappointed in you.
This book is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It is probably my all-time favorite fiction book. It’s a retelling of the biblical book Hosea. It follows Michael Hosea as God tell him to marry a broken woman from a brothel. He brings her home and tries to love her, but her brokenness continues to get in the way.
What I love about this story is that it highlights the great lengths God is willing to go and the huge price He was willing to pay to win and woo our adulterous hearts. And He does woo by the way. He’s forever drawing us closer.
The book also communicates that your mess doesn’t scare Him. Your history doesn’t influence His love. The skeletons in your closet, the filth under your rugs and the habit you just can’t seem to break, frighten Him. He’ll never flinch or hesitate to embrace you.
The book is probably the best demonstration I have ever seen of God’s faithfulness. It makes the stories in the Bible on that topic so much more precious. He is so faithful even when you are not. His love for you never ceases to pursue you!
This changes the way you pray. You stop talking to a God who is always disappointed in you or super distant you instead you begin talking to a God who is crazy about you and who is always chasing after your heart and cheering you on!
This one played a role in saving my marriage, after a super challenging season where we were completely disconnected and solely focused on the others shortcomings and our victimization. God did some crazy stuff to help us fix our perspective on each other and also divorce, and then this book helped us learn what it meant to be loved by Him and then love each other.
A Love Worth Giving provides a much deeper understanding of 1 Corinthians 13 and the love that God has for you. You are so wildly loved by God, and You can only give away what you have received.
There is so much God is continuously lavishing upon you, and you can freely receive and then freely give away. This book will help you live with a constant awareness of how loved you are, and then it will help you reach out and love other better and stronger.
It impacts your prayer life by once again reminding you who are approaching in prayer. A God who is all of the things listed in 1 Corinthians 13 is who you are talking to. The way you pray for others will also change as you receive all that God has for you. You’ll realize all that God has for them, and you’ll want them to experience that.
This one is a classic! I LOVE this book. The Screwtape Letters is a collection of fictional letters written by a demon named Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood. It’s full of the older demon's “wisdom” to the younger demon. Now that may sound crazy, but it isn’t! It’s so good!
It’s an excellent reminder that you, my lovely friend, are powerful and your enemy knows it. Because of Jesus Christ, you are full of power and authority, and every demon of hell knows that and tries to keep you distracted and numb from all that is available to you in this life through what happened to you at salvation through Jesus Christ.
My favorite aspect is how much power there is in your faithfulness. It shifts and changes things when you choose to praise God even when you are in pain or when you decide to trust Him even after disappointments. According to the book, it is in those moments that the enemy knows “his cause is never more in jeopardy.”
This book makes your prayers bolder. You go from telling God all about your problems to telling your problems about your God and the authority He has bestowed upon you. You start seeing yourself as more than a conqueror and your prayer begin to be a declaration of partnership with God to watch your world change.
Also, I attached a newer and beautiful copy of this book that I am currently swooning over and it's actually on my Christmas wish list.
This one is more of a tool than just a book. Two years ago I started keeping a dedicated prayer journal. It truly changed everything. I was desperate for a more intimate and significant prayer life, but I was so lacking in consistency. It also was struggling to pray for the people I loved consistently.
Having a prayer journal provided the structure a “free spirit” like me needed to develop the needed routine and discipline.
Over time it became more than that. It becomes a memorial to the faithfulness of God to see you through difficult seasons and a record of victories to encourage you to press on when you're in difficult seasons.
Over the years I have developed a system that I go through that sets me up for great days. I am so passionate about everyone having a prayer journal that we have designed one! This journal is a mighty tool that both Mike and I have used and loved. Our journal will incorporate daily reflections, a prayer schedule and more. Our pre-sale opens November 1st, 2017 and you can click here for more information.
The Truth’s learned from these books changes the way we prayer because they remind us over and over how deeply and unconditionally we are loved. They show us that God is not mad, distant or disappointed in you and they remind you that you have the authority and that makes approaching Him way less scary, boring or tedious.
If you found this helpful or you think your friends or followers would enjoy it, would you consider sharing this out? It helps us to spread our message of hope and love further. There are share buttons on the screen to make it super quick and easy.
Lastly, are you a member of the Living For Love VIP Club? It is the best way for us to stay connected with you so we can keep you encouraged plus you gain instant access to our free Ebook - Overcome as well as prayer cards and other goodies. Plus you’ll be able to stay up to date with our prayer journal launch.
You guys are the best. Have an awesome weekend!
Remember you are blessed and be kind.
P.S. Stay tuned for an email that will have more pre-sale details and will go out Monday evening!