Extreme Prayer: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer
Greg Pruett is president of Pioneer Bible Translations and formerly ministered for 12 years as a Bible translator in West Africa. His latest book, EXTREME PRAYER, is a formulaic study of “extreme prayer,” which he believes has resulted in his organization’s amazing growth. Since he and his team adopted this model, Pioneer has doubled in size and now translates for 26 million people in 14 countries, covering 60 languages. Amazing is right.
Pruett shares his extreme prayer principle by initially telling his own story of extreme desperation some years ago when he was marching blindly through the jungle to escape from his dying ministry and marriage. It’s over, Pruett told himself as he trudged along aimlessly. He was angry with God for leading him to this small African village where he and his wife were to translate the Bible into the village’s language, only to feel like he had failed. And why? Pruett angrily interrogated God, “How could you let our mission die from such a basic thing as failure to live at peace with my wife?” He realized as he stomped along that it was no wonder he and his wife, Rebecca, were at the end of their marital rope. They had a screaming baby robbing them of sleep, and during the day carpenters pounded relentlessly on their ceiling. There was literally nowhere to go for peace.
"EXTREME PRAYER packs a real punch in this nifty and easy-to-carry-along text. Readers will find themselves doing some serious introspecting of their own as Pruett moves from one chapter to the next."
With night coming on, Pruett finally went home. There, he and his wife made a last-ditch effort to salvage their marriage by committing to a week away at a prayer retreat to cry out to God. Ironically, the baby came down with the mumps, and Rebecca became sick with some tropical illness. Pruett notes that they did manage to pray, though…on the way home.
For the next 12 years, they raised three kids in that village and saw their marriage blossom and their ministry take hold. All the while, God was teaching Pruett how to pray the extreme prayer --- the prayer that only the humble and broken can understand. Throughout this succinct book on praying, Pruett covers all kinds of situations and scenarios where extreme prayer is required, not optional. He teaches Christians the hows and how-not-tos of praying in the extreme so that God will answer.
Readers will learn about blank check prayers (accessing those whatever-you-ask promises); name power (God answers prayers in Jesus’ name); blind trust (prayers of faith and faithfulness); shameless (persistent prayer); the symphony (unified group prayer); from bobsled to rocket (specific prayers that build faith); forsaken (faith-filled complaints); and marching orders (maximizing Jesus’ prayer promise).
Each chapter opens with a story from Pruett that is sure to emotionally engage with the reader. He then spends ample time discussing the specific extreme prayer strategy before topping off with some excellent discussion questions (for solo or group study). EXTREME PRAYER packs a real punch in this nifty and easy-to-carry-along text. Readers will find themselves doing some serious introspecting of their own as Pruett moves from one chapter to the next. This book is for everybody who desires to see their prayers answered in audacious, life-changing ways.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on March 24, 2014