Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Anything: A Prayer

I love when I stumble across books in good timing. Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen is one of those books. To put it briefly, the book is about Allen and her husband's realization that they were simply living lives of safety and comfort, while a whole wide world raged around them. On the day Allen and her husband felt this, they prayed "Anything," telling God they were willing to do exactly what He needed of them - anything at all. The book summary from Amazon gives a good definition of what such a prayer means: "Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters." 

What I enjoyed about this book was Allen's passion for her discovery and her willingness to discuss all the journey led her through and is still leading her through. Her life turned upside down and she wouldn't trade a minute of it. Adopting a child, writing books, and starting IF: Gathering, a group that equips women to live out their callings, are all things she'd never imagined doing, but is what was in store for her when she handed over her life for something bigger than herself. None of it came without cost though and she showed how the bad can work for good and how sometimes it's just a matter of faith that all will work out that gets you through.

Her book gripped me and made me realize that this is a prayer I'd like to pray and yet, I'm not sure I can. Am I really willing to pray "all in" like that? I think I am, but I also think I am still stuck in a position of wondering what I have to offer, so I'm unsure where that leaves me at times. I did enjoy her great insight though, especially this: "What no one sees about my life is that I am simply a product of years and years and countless hours of people depositing God in my life–eye to eye, in living rooms and classrooms and over coffee....I was in the back row–yes. But I was also in a season of preparation that I didn’t even realize was happening for a time I couldn’t even fathom."

I guess I am in that place more than I think. A point at which a new season of life is upon me and who knows where it will lead. And so I keep Allen's prayer and experience in the back of my mind as much as possible.

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