Friday, March 25, 2011
Impressed with the Ludy's books on relationships, I was intrigued when I saw they had written a book on prayer also. I've enjoyed many Ludy books over the past couple years, as I find they have a way of wrapping solid Biblical truth into easy-to-understand language. Their writing is compelling, without being overwhelming.
Leslie uses the introduction to explain why when Christians pray right it is more like a wrestling match than the simple spouted off prayers that most of us are used to. "Christianity has confused catching mice with the real work of the kingdom," She states, "which is more like hunting lions. We've lost the sacred work of prayer. And we no longer know how to wield the power of God in this world. Lions, bears and blaspheming giants are having their way in the church today, and it is high time that we start doing something about this travesty."
As you can see, they don't pull punches. But the Ludy's never do.
Eric takes the first chapter, setting the foundation of the book by explaining which two generations he calls "the generations of mighties." Historically (Biblically) he tells us there are two generations that stand above the rest in their commitment to the Lord, and in their great acts of valor. What do these generations have in common with us? What can we learn from them? And what do those generations have to do with learning to pray? These questions are introduced in the first chapter, and explored in depth through the entire book.
I really enjoyed how Eric and Leslie took portions of the old testament, a part of the Bible that many writers and Christians are unfamiliar with, and make it just as integral a part of this book as new testament heroes. They take snapshots of heroes of the Old Testament (many of which are unfamiliar to most of us) and put a magnifying glass to their commitment to Christ. Not only do they use the entire Bible--not just the parts that are seen often--they fill the pages with quotes and lessons from the lives of more recent heroes of the Faith such as George Muller, Mary Sesslor, and Corrie Ten Boom.
Another part that I loved was the way Eric and Leslie divided the writing portions. Eric took the first part of each chapter, usually the lions' share, and spent it introducing and supporting another Biblical concept about wrestling prayer. Leslie took the second portion of the chapter, and used it to both support Eric's portion and to put street shoes on it. Eric built the supporting structure, Leslie fleshed it out in real-world practicality. I think the book was much more effective with that style of teamwork than it would have been had they written the book in a single voice.
Wrestling Prayer exceeded my expectations. It challenged me to rethink my priorities and place prayer in a much higher place. The Ludy's reminded me that most of the time it isn't the Bad but the Good that is the enemy of the best. While there may be nothing sinful in the way we choose to spend our time, if we don't have time to pray--really pray--than our priorities are in the wrong place.