Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Book Review: Your 100 Day Prayer

This book sounded interesting to me when I first saw it. I really liked its subtitle: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God. I liked it because I have often found myself doing just that ~ waiting on God. But the word in the subtitle that really caught my attention was the word "actively." Really? We can actively wait? This intrigued me.

Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God was written by John I. Snyder, a pastor, author, and conference speaker. He formatted this book into something like a daily devotional. There are 100 days of devotions. Each devotion contains a Scripture, commentary from Snyder himself on the verse and how it relates to everyday life, a prayer guide (what specifically to pray for that day), and a small section to journal your thoughts.

I like that Snyder is encouraging believers to be intentional in seeking God. That's important and, very often, lacking in the average believer's life. All of Snyder's commentary and thoughts seem to be right on the Biblical mark. And I actually really enjoyed reading what he had to say, as I found it all to be very Biblically accurate and also very insightful.

What I was not crazy for was that some may get the impression that if they read this book and pray the prayers for the 100 days, then by the end of that time period, they're guaranteed to have an answer to their prayer. That's just not how God works. We do not manipulate Him to get what we want just by praying in a certain way or for a specified period of time.

So, I like the content of the book, just not the 100-day premise. I think that it could be a good guide, especially for new believers who do not necessarily feel comfortable praying yet. It does really help with directed, intentional prayer. However, one thing that bothered me was actually right from the back description of the book. It states, "When the need is so great, so seemingly impossible that only God's direct intervention will ever bring it about, it takes a different kind of prayer."

This makes it sound like in order to get an answer to your prayer, you are required to pray in a certain way. This sounds legalistic and restricting to me. When I pray, I like to go to God as my Father and my prayer time is most easily summed up as a conversation with God. A time when I praise and worship Him, seek forgiveness, and offer up my thanksgiving and petitions. But I do this in a conversational style. I'm afraid that a description as such is on the back of this book, could lead the reader to think that in order to get a solution to the big problems in life, they must pray in a certain way. This is inaccurate.

In summary, I enjoyed reading each day's devotional thought. I also liked the direction offered in what to pray each day. What I didn't like was that the book could be misleading, leading readers to think that it's some sort of miracle prayer book that will offer guaranteed results after 100 days. Or it could mislead readers to believe that they must pray in a certain manner in order to be heard from our Father.

I'm not sure that I would recommend this to others. I think that there is some wisdom to be gained in the commentary/devotional portions. But I don't think I could give this to someone without being concerned with how it could potentially mislead them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

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