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Just finished the intro, chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Praying For Your Elephants by Adam Stadtmiller. I went into this book with massive skepticism. My skepticism was so massive I had trouble walking past people, because of the gravitational forces. Everyone has seen them, the prosperity preachers like Joel Olsteen and Joyce Myer, diluting or out right lying about the Gospel and having millions of well meaning or hurting people thinking that if they just say it then God has to do it.
Chapter one kicks off with a wonderful narrative and sets the stage for a very honest look at a verse in Luke.
Luke11:9 – 10 So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
This verse admittedly has alluded me for a long time. Can I really ask for anything? What if what I am asking for is selfish and sinful? So many questions. Adam Stadtmiller takes the time to really break it down. Showing very clearly in scripture that this has no place in our prayer lives. God wants us to pray and ask for those thing boldly he wants us to pour out those desires to him and he promises to answer how he sees fit even if it means a big no! He also shows how the act of asking strengthens our relationship with the father. Chapter 1 also took the time to really flesh out, be it very briefly, that asking prayer is just one kind of prayer.
Chapter 2 proved to have a significant amount of “rubber on the road”. Willingness is put in a light that it is foreign to the western mentality. See the question becomes: IF God is willing to hear and answer ANY prayer I pray, then what am I WILLING to pray. See if you are willing to pray anything, inside of God’s will, and we believe he will answer then would you be willing to, for example, pray that your addiction was exposed so that you might get help? Perhaps in a moment of clarity you see how proud you are, you might ask God to humble you knowing full in well that it will be painful but ultimately full of joy and furtherance of his Glory and kingdom.
All together I am happy to be reading this book. My prayer life has already began to improve and my prayer list is long. I will be posting chapter by chapter reviews of Praying For Your Elephants by Adam Stadtmiller as well as other books I am reading.