Prolific author Linda Evans Shepherd has written over 30 books, including WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO PRAY: How to Talk to God about Anything and WHEN YOU CAN'T FIND GOD: How to Ignite the Power of His Presence. Shepherd continues along these themes in her newest title, WHEN YOU NEED A MIRACLE: How to Ask God for the Impossible, where she combines these topics of talking to God (prayer) and asking God for a miracle (igniting His power/presence). Fans will not be disappointed in her latest treatment on developing an ever more intimate relationship with God.
"Shepherd does an excellent job bringing to light the various elements of effective and biblical prayer. Readers will find her text encouraging, enlightening and boldly challenging."
Shepherd, who has been dealt some terrific blows in her own faith walk, speaks and writes (and prays) of what she lives out day by day. Her book opens with the harrowing story of her brother’s accident from years ago when they expected him to die of his injuries. Instead, by God’s grace, he survived and astounded his physician’s pronouncements of an impaired future life. Shepherd also shares the trauma and heartbreak she and her husband experienced when their 18-month-old was in a car accident and fell into a coma for over a year. She details the agony they endured as well as the prayers she prayed for complete healing. Shepherd’s daughter did awaken quite miraculously when they placed her baby brother into her arms, but didn’t fully recover and lives with multiple handicaps, all of which served to press Shepherd and her husband closer to Christ. Now she recognizes that this tragedy and their enduring trust in God brought others close to them to a saving faith in Christ.
Following these emotionally-charged stories, Shepherd makes a promise to every person reading this book: “If you read this book until the end, you will experience miracles.” This is a bold claim. A gauntlet faith challenge, perhaps? Whatever it is, she means what she says, and writes and backs up her claims with powerful, scripture-inspired and scripture-filled prayers that cover the gamut of life. But before sharing her prayers for life-changing breakthroughs, she outlines the foundation for real belief.
Christ followers must believe God’s word is true, that God is sovereign and able to fulfill the promises found throughout the Bible and that He is willing and desiring to answer His children’s prayers. Shepherd makes a good point that the majority of Christians believe God performed countless miracles during the period of history when Christ was on the earth, but don’t really think He still performs them. Citing this discrepancy, Shepherd lists verse after verse about the blocks to experiencing miraculous breakthroughs of every type and how to work through each one.
In each chapter, Shepherd includes several powerfully expressed prayers for readers to begin incorporating into their daily quiet times of reflection and prayer. She discusses prayer from different angles, including blocks that hinder prayers; fighting the enemy; how unforgiveness halts healing and prayers alike; what intercession looks like and how it changes people’s lives; and the power of simple trust and praise in the face of uncertainty and defeat. Shepherd does an excellent job bringing to light the various elements of effective and biblical prayer. Readers will find her text encouraging, enlightening and boldly challenging.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on September 19, 2012