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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

BOOK REVIEW

THE PRAYER ODYSSEY

BY DAVE EARLEY

SUBMITTED TO DR. DAVE EARLEY

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT

OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLETION OF PLED 520-B01,

BY

JASON LOCKE

LEESBURG, IN

JANUARY 29, 2012

Introduction

The practice of prayer is by far the most important spiritual discipline that one can develop as a Christian. It is the communication with God that one finds their place and answers to their questions. It is also in prayer that one realizes that they are not in control but God is and He will do what is best for His children. Jesus thought that prayer was so important that he would go off to be by himself in order to commune with God (Luke 5:16). If the Son of God had to do this in order to be renewed then how much more does mankind need to do this in order to be renewed? If one really looks at the life of Jesus they will discover that He had to refresh himself often in his ministry. He often had to seclude himself in order that he would be able to perform His miracles and deeds.

Dr Earley asks the question if one truly believes that God can do things bigger than they can? Do they also believe the following questions that God can do things better than they can, that God can do things faster than they can, that God can do things more effective than they can?1 The answer that most Christians would give is Yes the problem is that in far too many cases their lives reflect the answer is No. If one truly believes that God is who He says He is then ones actions will reflect that. The Prayer Odyssey: A Journey to Effective Prayer by Dave Earley is a tool that can be used by Christians to develop a more effective prayer life. The use of this book will develop a deeper relationship with God if practiced. It is a must read for any Christian that is looking for ways to develop a solid prayer life.

David Earley, Prayer: The Common Denominator of High-Impact Leaders. Course Video

Summary

The book is divided into five major sections: Daily Prayers, Growth Prayers, Difference-Making Prayers, Depth Prayers, and Stretching Prayers. The books introduction lays the foundation for the 31 chapters being the 31 different flavors of Baskin Robbins ice cream. Each prayer represents a different perspective (flavor) on prayer. Earley starts out with a chapter on intimacy prayer describing how God wants to be ones Abba father. That it is alright for one to want to crawl into the lap of God and let Him surround them with His arms. The second chapter describes the solitude prayer where one follows the example of the Lord and secludes themselves for a time to recharge their energy. Chapter three describes the idea of simple prayers. It is the ongoing continual conversation with God.2 Chapter four describes praying for wisdom. It is based upon Solomons prayer in 1 Kings 3:7-9. The fifth chapter describes success prayers where one asks God to grant them success in their endeavors.

Growth Prayers

In the next seven chapters Earley describes prayers that will help one to grow in their relationship with the Lord. He describes such aspects of being thankful for all that God has done (Chapter6). He describes how one can truly be set free from the bondage of sin (Chapter7). He describes how one can go about laying ones burden before the Lord and letting Him solve it (Chapter 8). Earley describes a prayer that allows God to search the innermost parts of ones soul and draw out any iniquity (Chapter 9). Chapter ten

Dave Earley, Prayer Odyssey: a Journey to Life-Changing Prayer (Shippensburg, PA: Treasure House,

2005), 30.

describes a prayer of King David over how sorry he was for his sin with Bathsheba. In chapter eleven a prayer of singing is described for those times that one is in a place of gloom to praise the Lord for being who He is. The final chapter in this section describes the selfish sin where one asks for the Lords blessing based upon Luke 11:5.

Difference Making Prayers

It is in these chapters that Earley describes ways of praying that can move God to action. Particularly note worthy are chapters 14 describing the send me prayer based upon Isaiah call. The other chapter that is noteworthy is chapter 19 the Spiritual Warfare prayer. The chapter outlines that there are times when one is under attack they must be resilient and pray against the enemy. Earley also describes prayers that are for standing either with fellow believers in agreement on something or interceding on someones behalf.

Depth Prayers

These prayers are designed to draw one into a deeper relationship with the Lord. They are comprised of the stillness prayer designed to make one stop and take notice that God wants to talk to them (Chapter 20). Chapter 21 describes prayer that is designed to find ones center with God. This prayer is designed to allow one to go to that holy place inside of themselves and commune with God. Chapter 22 involves the concept of devotions or combining Bible reading and prayer. It is taking time to study Gods word and pray to hear God speak. Chapter 23 speaks of the scripture prayer. It is realizing that the Bible is ones nourishment and without it, it is like not eating. The surrender prayer described in chapter 24 is about turning ones will over to God. 4

Stretching Prayer

The last chapters describe prayers that are meant to stretch one into allowing them to grow spiritually. Earley in these last chapters describes actions that one can take to be molded by God. Some of the highlights are the concept that God can handle our anger and frustration with Him (Chapter25). Another prayer explored is the say it in faith prayer. It describes that one must only believe what they are praying and it will be done. The final chapter describes the prayer that no matter what happens in ones life they will stick it out and continue to serve the Lord.

Critique

In the first place this book was uniquely designed around a theme of the 31 flavors found at Baskin Robbins. It therefore is a sampling of prayers but cannot be considered the only prayers that there are. One very positive aspect of the book is its ease of reading. The chapters are short and concise. There are many books on prayer that become too technical and therefore turn people off from reading them. The book is not however designed for the advanced student on prayer. The book is a great foundational book and it should help solidify ones prayer journey.

Application

The first thing that I want to do with this book is practice a different prayer each day over the next month. I want to make them a routine in my life. The daily prayers really stuck out to me especially the intimacy prayer and the simple prayer. I have a hard 5

time remembering what it is like to be a small child and crawling in my fathers lap. I desire to do this with God and make it a daily practice. I really liked the concept of being in constant communication throughout the day with God. I want that to be part of my life. I want to tell God about my day in much the same way I want to tell my wife about my day.

In the growth prayers these I need to practice more. I am pretty good at the thanks prayers but saw some need to improve. What I was really convicted on was the searching prayer chapter. I want to spend some serious time in this section of the book going through the items listed on pages 60-62. I really saw need to grow here. I want to take the time to look deeply at these issues and really ask the Lord to search me out. I am afraid though I will not like what I find out. One type of prayer that I know I will find hard to do is the selfish prayers. It does not seem natural to me to pray this way but after looking at the chapter I see that I can do this. God wants me to ask and if I truly believe He is a big God then I need to let Him be a big God.

In the making a difference prayers the one that I want to really concentrate on is the send me prayer as described in chapter 14. I truly want God to use me and in order to do that I must be willing to go where He calls me to go. I must be ready to go at His request no matter how ridiculous it may seem to me. There have been times in my life that I have questioned Gods motives. I need to see what He sees and just reply, Here am I send me.

The prayers concerning depth I want to concentrate upon the stillness prayer because I am an extremely busy person or at least it seems that way. I want to take time 6

and just stand in the presence of God and know He is God. I also need to put into practice the surrender prayer. Far too often in my life I want God to move but I want it on my terms. I need to yield to His will more often but in order to do that I need to be still so I can hear Him.

The last area that I really want to practice is the secret rendezvous prayer. I want to develop a special time that I can spend with God. I want to make it a habit that I set this time aside that it is just me and the Lord. I need to seek after this like I do time spent with my wife. The Holy Spirit is very important to me in words now I want to turn that into action.

Conclusion

The Prayer Odyssey is a book that every Christian should read. It is a book that makes it possible to develop a strong prayer life. It has changed the way I view prayer. This resource is one that can help someone develop that long term relationship with the Lord. These simple 31 prayers will revolutionize the way one thinks about prayer. It is a book that is simple yet convicting at its core. It will change ones life and make them appreciate prayer more deeply.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Earley, David Prayer: The Common Denominator of High-Impact Leaders. Course Video

Earley, Dave. Prayer Odyssey: a Journey to Life-Changing Prayer. Shippensburg, PA: Treasure House, 2005.