Monday, January 31, 2011

Sun Stand Still: A Book Review

Sometime before Christmas, I joined a program called Blogging for Books through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing group. It is a great program! Basically, I get free books just by reviewing them on my blog. If you like to read, you should sign up!

The first book I read through the program is Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. The words on the back cover caught my attention:
"This book is not a Snuggie. The words on these pages will not go down like Ambien. I'm not writing to calm or coddle you. With God's help, I intend to incite a riot in your mind."
I thought it sounded like a great, Christian book, and I was curious to see just how convicting the book would be.

The title of the book comes from the Old Testament in Joshua 10:13. In this verse, Joshua had the audacity to ask God to make the sun stand still during battle, and God made it happen. The entire book uses that verse as its theme, comparing the things in our lives to this battle.

My impression of the first half of the book was that it did not dig very deeply into the issues of faith and prayer. I was expecting to be deeply shaken and convicted, based on the title and the snippet on the back cover, but that did not happen right away. In fact, I struggled to make it through the first 10 chapters.

However, I'm glad I trudged through it, because I felt that the best part of the book was the second half. Furtick delved much more deeply into the topics of faith and audacity in prayer, two main themes of the book. He gave a lot of real life examples of how and when to pray a "sun stand still prayer."

I felt convicted during the last 10 chapters because of Furtick's great balance between writing about radical faith and practicality. He provided many real-life examples of "sun stand still prayers" that God had answered, yet he made sure to include a few chapters warning that God doesn't always answer our prayers just the way we want Him to.

For me, chapter 14, "Pray Like a Juggernaut," was the most powerful. In this chapter, Furtick takes a look at some of the more common and generic terms we may use in our prayers. For example, he addresses the use of phrases like: "be with me today, God," and "If it be thy will, Lord." He challenges Christians to look at these phrases and change them to something more specific and faith-filled. My prayer life has changed now that I've eliminated some of the phrases he mentions.

Overall, this was a good read. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to take a closer look at their prayer-life. However, if you're looking for a book that's going to shake you to the core, inspire you and convict you in every area of your life, this book may fall a little short. I guess I was expecting something more like Francis Chan's Crazy Love, which completely changed the way I live my life.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this Review.

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