Handle With Prayer Book Review {and a $10 Family Christian gift card giveaway}

Handle With Prayer by Charles Stanley
I had the privileged of receiving a copy of Charles Stanley’s book Handle with Prayer. I did receive a gift card for this Handle With Prayer book review, but all opinions are my own. Prayer has always been a struggle for me. I know we are called to pray and I am always trying to improve my prayer life.
Most of this book I found very helpful in aiding me with different ideas about prayer I never considered. The book is divided up into  eleven chapters with a study guide at the end.
Throughout the book the main theme is that God should be our main focus, not our requests. The most important thing is that we are made into the likeness of Christ.
I found the chapters on fasting, answered prayer, and why my prayers are unanswered to be the most helpful. Fasting is something I’ve never done before. I have given things up for lent, but that is different. I think it would be good for me to at least give up one meal. I’m always afraid that with my health it might not be a good idea to go longer. I do see how often I think about food, and that the time could be set aside to put my focus on God rather than food. This book definitely gave me a new perspective on the subject.

The chapter on answered prayer really intrigued me . It started out with the scripture Matthew 7:7-11 where it talks about asking and you will receive. I have always wondered how to apply this to my prayer life. It seems like it’s saying all you have to do is ask and you get it. I have not known this to be true in my own life very often, at least not right away.

Stanley explains that there is a little more involved than just asking for something. Once again God is more interested in making us like Him. We need to seek his face not just his blessings. He goes on to talk about how He always measures our desires against what is best for us. We need to be in a position to allow him to answer our prayers. We are to be specific so we know God has answered us. I had never thought about it this way. I think I have a tendency to pray too vaguely.

We also need to remember that the ultimate goal is to glorify God. We need to keep our eyes on this instead of the blessing. It is always God’s pleasure to answer our prayers, but He’s not going to act like a genie granting our every desire. There are some prayers I have prayed that I’m actually glad God said no!

I was really looking forward to reading the chapter on unanswered prayer. I  lost a child many years ago and at the same time came down with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I had prayed many prayers and so did hundreds of others. Would God not think that it is best to heal her and not make her suffer? I was disappointed that he did not address these kinds of prayers as opposed to “less important prayers” I know that everything is important to God, but I’m referring to life and death requests. Stanley does mention that there are some things we will never know.

 One of the things that Stanley mentions is that our family relationships may be blocking our prayers. I had never thought of that. The bible does mention  in I Peter 3:7 where Peter talks about husbands treating their wives well, so their prayers won’t be hindered. This of course goes for other family members as well. If we can’t get along with the people under our roof how do we except God to bless us or answer our prayers?
All in all I enjoyed this book and agreed with a lot that was in it. It definitely made me think about aspects of prayer I had never considered. I am looking forward to applying many of these principles. How is your prayer life?
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