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The Ultimate Conversation: Talking with God Through Prayer Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I considered myself a prayer warrior of sorts but this book has helped me see that I've only scratched the surface of this powerful resource and it excites me to know it can be so much more than it already is. I like that Stanley emphasizes that prayer is simply a conversation with God, and of course, that means we have to listen as well as speak.
The chapter that touched me the most was How God Uses Silence. I think many believers are challenged by prayers that seem unanswered or when God seems absent from the situation. In this chapter Stanley outlines six ways God uses silence: to get our attention, to prepare us to obey him, to reveal sin, to grow our trust in him, to train us to hear his voice, and to teach us to persevere. Jesus taught that at all times we ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18), and this was an important point for me knowing that God's timing is not like ours, nor are his ways comparable to our ways. Through perseverance our motives are purified and in the waiting we allow God to arrange our circumstances for the best possible outcome.
Another chapter that helped me gain better perspective on prayer was Talking to God on Behalf of Others with valuable insight on praying when we don't know all the details or how to pray specifically for someone's situation. In this chapter I learned that I can pray for someone in a way that is, as Stanley says, "general in its appearance but profound in its application." In other words, even if I don't know the details of someone's situation or what God intends to do in a person's life, I can still pray for His will to be done.
I liked this book for its practical yet inspiring and easy to understand teaching on the subject of prayer and the biblical examples used. It would be a valuable resource for Christians who wants to tap into the power of prayer more effectively while revolutionizing their faith and ability to approach the Lord in a meaningful and personal conversation.
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
Stanley reminds us that our perception of God is crucial to our prayer life. He helps us see who God is through Scripture, using the example of Nehemiah. "Nehemiah's story shows us that you and I have the greatest effect when we have an ongoing conversation with the Father and humbly submit to His direction." (55)
He assures us that God is speaking to us today. It may be a whisper or the internal prompting of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that God has His own timing but He will reveal His plans to us.
Stanley reminds us how important it is to learn to hear God's voice. "God speaks to you and me through every situation, but hearing Him is dependent upon our anticipating and paying attention to His instruction." (76)
Stanley uses Jesus' life and teaching as examples of intimacy, showing that interaction with God does not have to be challenging or confusing. Our conversation is centered on God.
We don't pray to get things from God. "The most important things to the Father are strengthening our bond with Him and enjoying profoundly satisfying and transformational fellowship." (132) That's why we pray.
Stanley includes other teachings, such as dealing with childhood experiences, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, how God uses silence, overcoming obstacles, praying for others, and praying for our heart's desire.
What an encouraging book on prayer. There is much here for the new Christian and the seasoned one as well.
Sometimes we forget how much the Father desires conversation with us. Stanley has done well in reminding us how important the intimate relationship with the Father is.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
At a time when people are experiencing unrest, chaos and uncertainty and desperately searching for answers, Dr. Stanley tackles the subject of the hows and whys of prayer, a subject he has written about before in his books, "Handle With Prayer" and "How to Listen to God." As good as those books have been in the topic of prayer, "The Ultimate Conversation" is possibly Dr. Stanley's best book so far.
This all-in-one guide about intimacy with Christ, discerning God's voice, praying for others, winning your battles and finding your purpose is full of simple steps that will guide you into an intimate relationship with the Father above and beyond what you have experienced before. This book will take time to read if you want to truly benefit from the guidelines set forth. If you truly desire a relationship with God beyond a superficial experience, read, underline, study and implement the suggestions Dr. Stanley makes. Study the Scripture and start your prayer time in expectation.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."