I received a copy of The Essential Guide to Prayer: How to Pray with Power & Effectiveness by Dutch Sheets from Bethany House in exchange for a review.
While a lot of books already exist regarding prayer and a praying life, Sheets manages to deliver new material. Most of this comes from examples he has uncovered and analyzed. He notes the importance of lifting up requests and how they get answered accordingly.
Especially pertinent for today’s world involves the note to play the role of a watchman. This means not only praying for protection when in danger but always praying for safety and deliverance. These requests save people when they may not even realize it. Sheets shares an example of a man saved from harm after praying for protection when he didn’t even know of the imminent danger around him. Sheets reflects on this deliverance writing, “We shouldn’t assume that we need to pray only when warned. Jesus told us to pray daily for deliverance from the evil one,” as a way to maintain a “proactive watchman prayer” (130). This reminded me to pray daily for my health and safety, perhaps starting with a regular recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Another practical reminder Sheets gives his readers relates to pray using Scripture. He reminds us to find the appropriate verses for our situations and to use them to confess, declare and make requests to God. This gives a foundation and power to intercession. Sheets also uses 1 John 5:14-15 to note the confidence we can have that God will answer prayers as they align with His will.
Overall, this book provides good reminders as well as evidence through stories and Scripture to back them up. It gave me some notes to reflect upon to improve my own prayer life as I move to intercede.