We are constant war. I don’t mean merely the physical wars that wage around the globe and are reported on by the news, but instead, I mean the spiritual war that wages global wide without cessation. Such a battle requires proper offenses and defenses that include a soldier’s uniform, tools for a ground war, and an air war capable of launching unseen strikes by leveraging our greatest advocate, the Lord. This air war, which is often overlooked but comes by the way of prayer is an integral piece to foreign and local missions, and a key piece to supporting the ground troops (the missionaries). To convey the depth of such a point, Biblical Ministries Worldwide has put together a book on that very topic.
The Prayer War is a book built the develops just what it means to be in a spiritual battle, conveying the intensity of what each believer is called to engage in. However, this book goes further to explain that in the context of missions and what it means for both those serving on the front lines and for those serving in support roles. This short book packs much content into 10 short chapters. After some initial introductory material establishing the spiritual battle we are in and the importance of prayer support in that battle, the following seven chapters expand on seven specific areas that every person can pray about for their missionaries (these include care, contacts, courage, clarity, conversions, Christlikeness, and co-workers) before finishing with some concluding thoughts in the final chapter.
From start to finish, The Prayer Waris a well-laid out and thoughtful book that considers the special aspects of the missionary life that require prayer support and sets readers upon ways to fulfill the prayer support role. There are three particular areas that make this book a worthwhile read:
Captures the Scriptural Life: First, the book captures points of Scripture and conveys them with understanding, conviction, and descriptions. It’s more than the author(s)’ thoughts about missions, prayer, and the interaction of the two, but instead is the conviction of God’s truth being lived out for the purposes of furthering God’s kingdom.
Captures the Missionary Life:Missions is what Biblical Ministries Worldwide is about and is what they are actively engaged with regularly. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see that this book captures the intricacies and nuances of the missionary life that are difficult to convey or explain. From discussions about the stress level to living in as a ‘third-culture’ family, readers can begin to gather a slight look into the challenges that missionaries face (whether in their home culture or their host culture).
Capture the Prayer Life: Finally, the book conveys the prayer life, not merely by describing that people should pray. Instead, each chapter comes with descriptions, explanations, and suggestions that allow readers to apply what is being taught. More than that though, it is immediately practical. While certainly some aspects may take planning and development, most of what is taught are things that prayer supporters can take action on in the moment.
These three aspects make The Prayer War a unique book capturing aspects not found elsewhere.
I confess for myself there were some minor elements that I would have preferred. One is there are points in which simple visual organizational tools would have been helpful. For example, each chapter concludes with some ‘points to ponder’ that would be helpful to have listed as bullet points and such. Furthermore, the book lacks clear citations. Often there are quotes spread throughout the book or sometimes some bold claims (i.e. that hundreds of thousands are coming to Christ in Indonesia, and some Muslim leaders say the number is far greater) that further citation would be helpful to have. One, this maintains integrity, and second, it allows readers to explore deeper if they so with. Please understand though, it’s not without citations. When using a quote, the author, and book from which that quote comes is listed, however, no details are listed, like page numbers, that would be helpful if one desires to go find that quote exactly or look at its content. Because of the lack of page numbers and citation details (in a footnote or endnote format) one would have to read the entire book in order to find the quote and its context.Both of these aspects are minor and hardly worth fretting about because the content is worthy of attention.
The Prayer War is thought-provoking, causing readers to look beyond what they think they know and instead get a picture of the missionary life with an emphasis on how to be more involved prayerfully. While any prayer is important and appreciated, sometimes we don’t realize what we don’t know and get caught up in routines. This book is a teaching tool that can help drive your prayer support for missionaries by giving you specific tools, options, and ways in which to be intentional in your prayer involvement. Therefore, I would urge all Christians, especially churches and missions committees who desire more activity with their missionaries, to be read the book. However, don’t just read the book, but read it prayerfully.
To purchase a copy of ‘The Prayer War’ in paperback or Kindle format, click here.
Disclaimer: Biblical Ministries Worldwide is the sending agency for my family and I. However we were not directly involved with the writing and publication of the book and neither was I influenced by them to write a specific review. Instead, the review is the result of my own reading of the book. Furthermore, while it can be argued that any support that our agency receives from the sale of this book positively impacts us, we receive no direct financial contributions from the sale of the book. In fact, the cost of the book has been kept to a minimum because the greatest desire is not to make money (although certainly costs are involved that need to be covered) but instead the goal is to get the book into the hands of others in order to impact the kingdom of God.