510rauf2lpL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Eldredge, J. (2016). Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority [Kindle Android version & Audible audio version].Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority

A book on prayer that actually works

Everyone has a reason to pray. We long to see God come through for us and those we love. But sometimes he doesn’t, and where does that leave us? Are we doing something wrong? Does he not hear? How come some people’s prayers seem more effective than others? Then we lose heart and give up on prayer—the very weapon God has given us to not lose heart.

If you are interested in prayer at all, you want prayer that works. That is the kind of prayer at the center of this book. When we discover that prayer is not just asking God to do something—prayer is partnership with God—new possibilities open before us. We are God’s sons and daughters, given the authority of Jesus Christ; we have a greater role in prayer than we ever thought. Greater power, too.

Look, let’s go ahead and name the elephant in the room—some prayers work, and some prayers don’t. Why does that surprise and irritate us? (p.4)

prayer is not as simple as, “I asked; God didn’t come. I guess he doesn’t want to.” (p.8)
So let’s be honest— some prayers work, and some prayers don’t. We might be embarrassed to admit that, but you know it’s true. (p.10)

Let’s face it, prayer can be confusing. Over the years I have heard so many different perspectives on prayer that it become hard to reconcile these differing views. To make it more confusing, sometimes we pray and God answers our prayers and other times He seems silent.

If you are looking for a book that will challenge your perspective on prayer in a healthy way and give you some insights into how prayer works this book would be a good recommendation for you. I personally feel Eldredge presents a balanced perspective on prayer in this book. One of the things I like about Eldredge’s prayer book is he tackles head-on some of the common questions about prayer that people have such as:

  • Do you pray once and believe you have received it or do you keep asking?
  • When we pray do we “move God’s hand” or are we aligning with His will?
  • Does God still heal today? Physically?
  • What does it mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?
  • Do we pray to God only or is the Trinity active in our prayers?

Not many books on prayer focus on the spiritual realm and how prayer intersects with it. This is something we need to be reminded of, because it is a lost reality for many. Eldredge reminds us that “We are at war.” Throughout the book Eldredge reinforces this understanding in various ways.

We Are at War. (p.17)
One alarm they repeatedly sound is that we are all caught up in the midst of a collision of kingdoms—the kingdom of God advancing with force against the kingdom of darkness, which for the moment holds most of the world in its clutches. (p.20)
Does this shape the way you pray—and the way you interpret “unanswered” prayer? (p.20)
The dragon has declared war on all those who align themselves with Jesus. The moment we were born, we found ourselves in the midst of a fierce battle. If this doesn’t shape your understanding of the role of prayer, you will find yourself repeatedly disappointed and disheartened. For one thing, prayer is not simply asking God to do stuff. Clearly. (p.22)
God is growing us all up. We find ourselves in the midst of a great and terrible war. (p.23)

Eldredge focuses throughout the book on informing the reader how to pray in a way that is more effective than just throwing prayers up into the air and hoping they get answered.

“Most people don’t even try to learn the ways of the kingdom; they just go about their days with a practical agnosticism, hoping things work out, tossing up prayers like they hope to score on a Jesus lottery ticket”

Eldredge reminds us who God is with a proper perspective on the many qualities of God including His grandeur and love, “You are talking to an immensely powerful, creative, generous, and intimate Person when you talk to God.” “Oh, how it helps me to remind myself, I am praying to the One who gave his life for me.”

Eldredge presents to the reader that in prayer, we are partnering with God. I love this perspective because it fits so much better how prayer works than other concepts I have read and heard. Eldredge reminds us of the “present” yet not “fully here” Kingdom of God with a perspective on Jesus’ power in this Kingdom. “Let that sink in; the relief of it will lift a mighty weight off your shoulders. All authority in the “heavens”—the spiritual realms— and all authority on this planet has been handed over to Jesus Christ!” Eldredge also integrates prayers of his own throughout the book to illustrate how to pray in various situations with bold authority:

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit— I ask you to open the eyes of my heart and grant to me a personal revelation on the truth of the authority given to Jesus, and how I really do share in that authority. Break this through to me.
Eldredge then moves into some specific types of prayers that are effective in different situations such as:
  • The prayer of intervention
  • Consecration: bringing things under the rule of Jesus
  • Prayer for guidance, understanding and revelation
  • Listening prayer
  • Praying scripture
  • Warfare prayer
  • Inner healing-Restoring the Soul
  • Physical healing

I have always been bothered by statements like: “prayer moves the hand of God.” This just doesn’t seem to align with the way I have seen prayer work in my own life. I was relieved to see that I am not the only one who has this perspective. Eldredge takes a chapter addressing fallacies like this one.

“Prayer moves the hand of God” has poisoned many dear souls. Simply apply this idea to any half-rate earthly father and you will see how vile it is:
Surely you understand that Jesus was not characterizing God like that judge. God is not someone you have to beg and beg in order to irritate enough to move his hand.
God is not a reluctant participant in your life, bothered by your requests, unwilling to act until he gets tired of hearing the sound of your voice. (p.94)
Eldredge also does well addressing daily prayer and what that looks like with a focus on “putting on the armor of God in prayer.” He also includes a chapter on the importance of PRAYING NOW…not just telling someone “I will pray for you” but actually pausing and praying for that person in that moment. Eldredge states,
If all the prayers that were promised were actually prayed, this would be a different world by now…Now is the time to pray, for now is all we really have.
In Eldredge’s chapter on “Listening Prayer” (Chapter 12) he explains how to pray in a way that is aligned with God’s will and seeking guidance from Jesus on what to pray. He says, “I want to live and pray like God’s intimate ally, so I turn my gaze toward God and ask, What do you want me to pray for her mother and father? Show me what to pray.” Unlike other writes I have read, Eldredge gets specific on how to listen to God’s voice in this chapter as well.
Prayer is not making speeches to God; it is entering into conversational intimacy with him.
We are meant to hear the voice of God. This is one of the lost treasures of Christianity— an intimate, conversational relationship with God is available. (p.142)
Eldredge ends the book with two of the most important prayers we can pray:
  1. We cry out for his return and the restoration of all things. “Come back— Jesus, come back,” ought to flow naturally and passionately off your lips every day. (p.229)
  2. “Pour out your Spirit, Jesus!” We pray for one last great harvest, like fire fighters rescuing every last life they can from a building about to collapse in flames. (p.230)

Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority