Fervent_10_God's Expecting You

Read

“This Means War” & “Opening in Prayer” (pages 1-24)

I watch my daughter fold her little hands in prayer at night to ask God for the things that matter to her. Safe travels to visit her cousin, for her daddy to feel better, and to thank Him for her friends at school. She trusts that God hears her, that He cares about what she cares about, and that He’ll answer her.

Some days I think she believes more than I do. Some days I know she does.

It’s not that my head doesn’t understand what Scripture promises us — that if we ask, seek, and knock, we’ll receive what we ask for {Matthew 7:7} — but in certain seasons my heart struggles to remember that my prayers make a difference.

Oh, friend, they do. Priscilla says on page 5 that “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth.” What a gift! What a weapon! What an amazing, life-changing, tool that I fail to utilize because I put my to-do list above God’s agenda for my day. In seasons where things are going well, prayer becomes a sad after-thought for me, something I do with my daughter at meals or bedtime, occasionally offering up a quick request for a good night’s sleep or for my family to be spared whatever illness is spreading through school.

I’m done with that. I want what Priscilla describes on page 8: “God’s plan for you is to move you into a position of impact by infusing you with truth and employing you in prayer.” I want to be a woman who impacts the kingdom of God through prayer — not because I’ve effectively crossed all the items off my to-do list.

I’m not kicking off this study or hosting the weekly live chats because I’ve perfected these strategies. Honestly, there might be a good chance that I need this book more than anyone. I have so much room to grow when it comes to effective, strategic, powerful prayer, and I’m ready to spend the next few weeks with a heart ready to receive whatever change God wants to do in my life.

You are welcome here if you have grown up with a legacy of powerfully praying women. You are welcome here if you have no idea how to talk to God in a serious, specific way. You are welcome here if you have known God for 60 years or 6 days. We are all works in progress and we are going to do this — together.

Download

Click here (or on the image below) to download your free prayer cards

Created to be used like the cards in the back of Fervent, these are yours to write down prayer strategies, keep track of prayer requests, and share with friends — however you need to use them throughout the study. Please feel welcome to print as many copies as you’d like!

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What’s Next

For Friday, read Strategy 1: Your Passion (pages 25-38) and join us here with Lisa-Jo Baker.

Then join Friday’s Live Chat with Crystal Stine & Lisa-Jo Baker

Join us live on Blab at noon EST as we talk about the introduction and first strategy, why we chose Fervent, and what to expect from the rest of the book club. To join us on Blab:

  • Go to https://blab.im/in-courage-in-courage-book-club-live-chat-week-1
  • Click “subscribe” so you’ll be notified when we go live
  • Blab is connected to your Twitter account, so if you have one, go ahead and set up an account
  • When we go live on Friday join the conversation by typing comments and questions in the chat box on the right side of the screen
  • Share the live chat, or your favorite quotes, with your friends by clicking the Twitter or Facebook icons on the left side of the screen
  • Don’t worry — you won’t be on screen!
  • Catch the replay on each Monday’s post here at (in)courage!

Discuss

Which of the ten strategies Priscilla lists on pages 15-17 do you feel you most need in your current season? Mine is a pretty solid tie between numbers 5 and 6. Let us know your answer in the comments!

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  • April Dawn

    For me, it’s strategy 9. Having a schedule so full that it seems there’s not much room left……and then when I look back at the end of the day, the things I’ve spent time and energy on do not match up with my priorities……so frustrating….

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      It does feel like there are so many days where I do so much to do so little. Praying for both of us today that we would discover God-filled agendas that bring fulfillment and not frustration.

      • April Dawn

        I just realized I was referring to Strategy 8! Lol!

  • Mandy Fouts Pfeiffer

    Mine is close between strategies 5 and 6, confidence and calling. I am in a place where I believe He’s asking me to step out in a big way and do something that’s been in my heart for a decade, but that’s when fear steps in. I just want freedom to push that out of the way and do what He’s asked me to with boldness to bring Him glory!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Yes! My word this year is “bold” so I really connect with this! Praying today that you would find that freedom to shine boldly and brightly for God!

  • Consuelo

    For me Strategy. 2, 6, 9, and 10. I am a place in my life where I am fighting for my marriage and my children like never before. . It’s a very hard battle. The enemy is trying with everything to destroy. But I am learning that God is the only way to fight the enemy.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      “God is the only way to fight the enemy” – yes! So beautifully said, Consuelo – and we’ll be keeping your family & marriage in our prayers as we journey through this book together.

      • Consuelo

        Thank you Crystal.

    • Beth Williams

      Consuelo,
      Praying fervently for you, family and marriage! It is through prayer and reciting scripture that we can fight the enemy!! He will not destroy this marriage!!!
      Father,

      You said where two or more are gathered in your name you will be there. I stand here in agreement with Consuelo that her marriage and family be restored. The devil will not win!! Help her today and save this marriage!
      Blessings :)

      • Consuelo

        Thank you for your words of encouragement and for your prayers. I truly need them. I have never reached out for my family issues. But I am realizing that there is power in numbers. I know that God is in control of this, and I am fervently praying and on my knees daily. Thank you again.

        Blessings to you and your family Beth Williams, my sister in Christ.

  • Kathy Pinkerton

    I identify the strongest with two strategies; 5 – against my confidence. This has plagued me my entire life! ie: … It took me years to attempt an ivy stencil for my kitchen wall, fearing that it would not be “perfect enough” when I completed it. Also, strategy 9 – against my heart. Betrayal by a friend/colleague/boss over 4 years ago continues to weigh down and limit my trust in others. The pain was so encompassing and I never want to allow a “friend” to possess that power over me again. I am wanting to concentrate on those two areas as we progress in this study. I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in this book club’s prayer strategies.

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Oh Kathy! I’m reading your comment right after I did my very first Bible journaling page – something I’ve wanted to do but have been too afraid to attempt because I was SURE I was going to ruin it somehow. I didn’t…and it was actually really fun. Praying today for hope and healing to be yours through this study.

    • Sarah Jo Burch

      Empathizing with the pain of betrayal, and the protective loss of trust that follows! <3 I've been there… it's so hard not to pull back from everyone, just because of what one person (or a series of people, in my case) did. Praying for you through this!

      • Kathy Pinkerton

        Sarah Jo :-) Much, much appreciation for your kindness, my heart and soul are touched! I can genuinely feel your prayers and they are soooo welcomed. Thank you!

  • Michelle Hunter Burns

    I would have to say #6, but also a close second would have to #9. Fear, doubt, and worry rule me at times, and I struggle to get from under their grip. But also, I do have some old heart wounds that need healing.

  • kristy

    I can see how most of the strategies play out in my life. But right now, in this season, 3 and 8 are the big ones. 6 is a strong contender too.

  • Beth Werner Lee

    #4&8 for me! I’m glad to be in this group. Thank you for the download file; it will be helpful since I bought the kindle (and audible!).

    • Jodi Koepke

      Me too! I downloaded the War Room app to write my prayers in. Will print off some of these to have a visual reminder up too!

  • Suzanne

    Strategies 2 and 8; these two strategies go hand-in-hand for me. I constantly feel pushed beyond my limits, unable to say no and feel badly when I do take time to rest that I lose focus on the real enemy. Busyness is a strategy the enemy uses to keep me from identifying the real culprit. Busyness says you’ll pray later when you have more time switching my focus to something other than prayer which is what my soul really needs to reconnect with the Lord.

  • Judy

    Strategy 3. I have dealt with rejection and loneliness all my life. I don’t have any close friends and I struggle with feeling “unloveable”. I know God loves me but I don’t see how He can use me for His glory.

    • Jessica Richards

      I can definitely relate to your post, Judy. I told my husband this exact thing Saturday. I pray right now that God reveals Himself to you and shows you how much He loves you and that you feel loved and valued. I also pray that He puts people in your path that can be your friends and prove that the enemy is lying. You are loveable! You were made in God’s image. ❤️

    • Beth Williams

      Judy,
      God can use anyone He chooses! You may be a seed planter by simply supporting a ministry. The Bible is full of “unlikely heroes” God chose to use-Rahab prostitute, Paul persecuted Christians, David was lonely shepherd, The woman at the well-had five husbands and living with someone-yet she told town of Christ and many believed. Those are just a few. Know that we all love you!! Praying for God to send you one good friend!!!
      Blessings :)

  • Robin

    For sure, Strategies 3 and 6…When I don’t realize my true identity, I am unable to walk fully in God’s calling. This has been a struggle for me for many years, but I think Strategy 1 is where the healing begins. I lost my faith in the power of prayer after praying Scripture over two areas of my life and seeing those areas all but destroyed. I began to believe that my prayers really didn’t make a difference. The enemy has kept me silent for long enough! As I learn to stand strong in prayer, I believe the other areas will fall into place.

  • Stephanie Ravencraft

    Strategies 2, 4, 9, and 10! This subject of strategic prayer is God sent for me in this season. Major problems with family relationships have caused anger and bitterness and even unforgiveness, which I struggle desperately with. I need to help my husband with this because our children are causing him to question his prayers too. Just last night he told me that he felt the more he prayed for them the worse they seemed to act. We both need a perspective change. That’s my word for this year, Persepctive.

  • Ina

    Strategies 4 and 6 I am trying to reconnect my son and his daughters without success and I am trying to find my true purpose.

  • Jenny

    All of them, but the most are my passion, my identity, my focus, my schedule. I read these strategies and just felt like “been there, done that, and got the t-shirt” but not really a t-shirt but the scar to prove that I have fallen in Satan’s trap. Praise God for his faithfulness and love that he never left me.

  • Tianna

    For me its Strategy 6 i constantly have anxiety and worry

  • Joyce

    For me it is 3, 4, and 5. I struggle with my past and the fact that God has forgiven me and sees me differently!

  • Jessica Richards

    Mine are strategies 1, 5 & 9. I continue to struggle with the feeling that God is counting all the times I fail in one day. I feel like I can’t have a close relationship with Him because I fail constantly. This makes me avoid prayer altogether at times. Also, I have the “root of bitterness” in my heart because I have been carrying around too many hurts for far too long. I am praying that I can let these things finally go and be able to start a new chapter in my life. I’m tired of feeling like this! I am so thankful for this study to help me determine what needs to be done. :-)

  • http://www.wingsopen.blogspot.com Paula White

    Seriously I could relate to every single strategy. What an eye opener to the strategic satanic attack against my life and family!

  • Debra

    I feel strategy #6 is where I get hit hardest. Then it appears once the struggle is real, it affects my focus #2 and inevitably my passion #1 wanes. Definitely ready to develop some intentional, strategic prayers to counteract.

  • Amy

    Oh my, it feels as if every single strategy has been used lately. Ha! I hadn’t thought of just how pervasive the enemy has been in my life until reading this. The strategies that really struck home currently, though, are 3, 4, and 6. It’s just been in the past year that I’ve let myself see how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life, how shaken my confidence is, how aimless I feel with my calling, and how my connections with others in my family and outside of it have really broke down.

  • JeanneTakenaka

    For me it’s strategies 1 and 6. Thanks for this, Crystal. As I’ve worked through a disappointment regarding a calling I believe God’s given me, I find myself doubting and discouraged. Which affects my passion for prayer. It will be eye-opening, I’m sure, to be sharing about the things God teaches and does in me (and each of us) as we walk through this book together. :)

  • Kay Card

    I look at each of the strategies and can see the enemies hand trying to infiltrate my life. He so desperately wants to keep us separated from God. The enemy tells each of us that we are not worthy of God’s love, but we are worthy of God’s love. The areas where I’m really struggling are strategies 4, 5, 6, and 9, these are areas of my life are where I have the most difficult silencing the enemy and boy does he know it. I’m looking forward to diving into each of the strategies to help improve my prayer life, so that I can draw closer to God so I can find out what he has in store for the next season of my life.

  • Sarah Jo Burch

    Right now, I’d say strategy 1. And not just passion for things I’d consider inherently spiritual, but passion for *anything.* I’ve had periods of depression off and on for years, but the timing of this most recent bout has been entirely too targeted to be a coincidence (big decisions and big change for our family, being a small group leader for our church’s study of Priscilla’s Armor of God book… let me tell you, nothing makes the enemy attack your peace like spending a week studying and praying about peace with a group of like-minded women!)

  • http://lifeinthespaciousplace.wordpress.com Carly

    I think 1 and 3 are the ones for me right now. I’m enjoying the book so far and think it will be really helpful. I’d never really thought before about the idea of the devil having strategies against us and that if we can understand those it can help us have strategies to fight against him. I think I often try to fight in my own strength with worldly weapons and forget how important prayer is because it’s a spiritual battle.

  • tntrash

    I was like woa…I have more than one or two…. glad I am not the only one who needs a lot of help…lol. Mine are 4,5,7, & 9. My husband and I have been in marriage counseling and our last session is next Friday. I am nervous because the enemy is strong and I am not sure my husband believes he(the enemy) has as much influence as he does. I am praying all the time, but sometimes feel it’s not enough. I was so excited to find this book club and got my book today! Looking forward to being able to learn how to pray where it feels it is making a difference. :) Will be praying for all of you as well.

  • A Lamp For My Feet

    I have strategies 3, 5, 8, & 9 all in a dead heat! Busy season of my life. Can’t wait to dig into this book. Praying my prayer life will be magnified!!!

  • Jodi Koepke

    Strategy 1, 5, 6 and 8. I can definitely see times of all of them over my life too. 1 and 8 are very related for me right now as there has been a constant barrage of illness and other sleep disruptions for the past 3 weeks.

  • Dennise

    I would have to say Strategies 1, 2 and 8 are my most challenging. I have been working on focusing on what my priorities should be, according to God, and trying to be mindful of not over crowding my day with things that will steal time away from what matters most…

  • Jennifer Langley

    I think #1 and #8 stood out most for me in this season. I feel like I have lost a bit of the passion of pursuing what I have been called to do and I struggle with finding rest and being able to say no. I am kind of overworked and overdone. I hand these struggles over to the Lord but it is so easy to pick back up the familiar and for me it is especially hard to discern when to say no. Sometimes this burdens my family as I commit us to too much or am gone too much even though we homeschool and I am here all day. Gone every night of the week is taking its toll.

  • http://alovelylittlewardrobe.com Carrie

    I’m leaning on strategy 3 & 6. I struggle with my insecurities and fear. Sometimes I feel paralyzed to believe what He has for me and how He has created me to bring glory to Him.

  • Selina

    All of them!

  • Tracey Bradshaw

    For me I would have to choose strategy 5- Against Your Confidence of 7- Against Your Purity. I feel like I am always either being reminded of my past mistakes and if not just reminded then pulled back into a life I had put behind me. This often makes me feel like I am not acceptable to God and that there is no possible way to be forgiven. My head knows this not to be true, but my heart often has to play catch up.

  • Jacinta Warner Wuerth

    Mine is #3. I have struggled with allowing others to define who I am. Over the recent months, I have realized that I haven’t see myself as a “daughter”. And therefore haven’t asked or sought like a daughter would. I’m learning and so thankful for a Father who redeems what has been lost.

  • @i_am_his_Eph1

    First of all, I love this book!!! Thank you for choosing this book for
    the book club. I just happen to come across this post on Instagram 3
    days ago and I already had the book just waiting for me to dive in! I
    can relate to several strategies in the book. Personally I struggle with
    Strategy 2, my focus. The enemy is always messing with my perspective! I
    admit I am a prayer warrior but I haven’t learned to pray strategically
    using Gods Word as a weapon. I am so excited to wear out my journal and
    dog ear it with years and hours spent in fervent prayer!!

  • Reginia Boling

    Mine are #5 and #6. I know that God is wanting me to step out of my comfort zone in order to serve Him and others more, yet each time something either comes up or I talk myself out of it. Latest Example: while I am honored and super excited to be serving as a Prayer Cha during VN in a few weeks and one of my group meeting duties was to lead the opening prayer. I was so gripped by doubt and panic that I did not attend the meeting at all! In my heart I have felt so much guilt about letting my team down by not being faithful enough to say one simply prayer in public. I have always had severe issues with public speaking and while I have prayed about the past few months, I let my anxiety overwhelm me yet again.

    I am so very determined to be victorious in overcoming the devil and not allowing him to keep me down this way!! I do know that God has some fabulous plans for me and I plan on working on letting him lead me, whether it be privately or in front of a crowd.

  • Jessica Dorn

    4, 2, and 1 …oh and all the others too!! I found this so enlightening….to read his nasty tricks and schemes. To be able to recognize the ways he goes about hurting me. Hes been at trying to destroy my marriage, and hoping that it will cause me to lose my focus and passion. I tell you what! Im here to do this study bc satan will not stop me from leaning into God!

  • Ana Brooks

    Oh, goodness, they all seem to be what I need. ;) I think 2, 7, and 10 would have to be the ones I most need?

  • Frances

    #3- my identity. As I went through Advent in December it became clear to me that this is an area where God wants to speak to my heart and so “daughter” has been my word this year. It affects everything, really!

  • Melissa Henderson

    For me, 2,5 and 6, but, I can relate to all of them.

  • Judi

    I have serious health challenges … my health is a full-time job. I had 3 huge surgeries in 2011 and 2013. I may need another surgery soon. My husband faces surgery in 2 weeks. Our marriage has been in trouble for a very long time and is very unhealthy. Emotionally, I am more than empty. Physically, I have daily constant pain. We need HIS provision in every way. I need heaps of grace. (I just finished Priscilla’s study on the Armor of God.)

  • Beth Williams

    Crystal,
    I torn between 1, 3 and 5. Too often I hear “not smart, not good enough, dumb, etc.” and tend to believe those lies. Yes I hear him reminding me of past failures, wrong turns, etc. I think oh well it’s to late or I messed up to much! He is super at keeping me busy and tiring me out so that at the end of a day I haven’t prayed or spent time with God like I should.
    Blessings :)

  • Jenn

    It is tough to just pick one but if I had to choose I would say it needs to be #1. I have been passionate about things before and I remember what that feels like. Even on the days where it was tough to “feel” it, the greater burning desire always overshadowed any doubts I may have had. I was my passion for prayer to be that way!

  • Trudie

    I see mention of a war room app. I can’t find one on my iPad. Does it go by a different name? Thx

  • Anna H

    Just catching up – mine is a pretty close tie between 3 and 5. I’ve had a professional setback (I just can’t seem to pass the test I need to to continue on with my studies) and it has shaken me in ways I didn’t know were possible. And instead of running to prayer and God, I’d rather hide under the covers all day and ignore the outside world, which only throws me deeper into the pit. It’s time for me to tell the Devil “no more”!

  • Jessie

    I can identify with all 10. If I had to choose just one it would be difficult. #s 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9 would be the top ones.

  • http://kidscrunchandchrist.com Sabrina Scheerer

    Oh to pick one strategy….I don’t think I can pick!! They all ring so true for me! I’m not sure what that says about me…..I know I’ve been going through a tough season since the beginning of the year and I feel like satan has been attacking in all these areas, or I’ve been letting it get to me in all of them. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this book as it is obviously what I need right now!!! The introduction was inspiring! I am motivated and ready to get to battle!

  • Kim V

    The timing was great for me. After the holidays and before the great weather starts is a great time to do some mental spring cleaning. I will be coming back to these posts and rereading them as needed.

  • http://www.wingsopen.blogspot.com Paula White

    I want you to know these prayer cards have transformed my prayer time. I come back again and again to print them out. Thank you so much!