Today’s guest post is written by a dear, dear friend that has the sweetest heart for Jesus. Crystal Culver and I have been connected for over fifteen, maybe sixteen, years. During those years I have watched her traverse the valley of divorce and the difficult path of single-parenting as well as stand on the mountaintop of a new, Christ-centered marriage. There were tough days, many of them, but she walked with tenacity and a joy that amazed and brought glory to Jesus. She is an encouragement to me, and I hope her words today will be to you as well. ~Kristi
My heart began to race from the first chapter of this book, and by the time I finished I was practically out of breath. There has been a stirring in me; a holy unsettling from the time I began to read Anything. God has used the words in these pages to awaken in my spirit His desire for more in me and out of me. That is really what Anything – the Prayer that Unlocked my God and my Soul by Jennie Allen is about. It is the surrendering of this life that we never really owned and truly laying it down for God.
The truth is the idea of praying and telling God that I am fully surrendering this life to you, I will do anything you ask of me (and meaning it), is frightening to me at times.
It is reckless; it’s risky, totally counter intuitive to what we are taught in this life.
Yet Jennie poses this question “If God is really real and we are going to live with him forever, shouldn’t he be the only thing?”p93
We can get so caught up in this life, trying to provide for our families, daily cleaning chores, getting the kids off to their sporting events, making dinner, even volunteering at church, that we forget. We get so busy doing life, we forget and God gets pushed further and further to the back.
He sits and waits for us to look to him
and give this life away to him
so we can begin to live
and he can move.
Jennie breaks this book into three parts.
Part 1 Everything that keeps us from Anything: She talks about our need to abandon all of those things that cause us to resist giving it all to Him: our fears, our shame, the box we’ve placed God in.
Part 2Praying Anything:She takes you through her experience of praying anything and what followed for her family: the experience of God moving in and taking over, and the changes that began.
Part 3Living Anything: She talks about the resistance that came from others when they told them of the things God was asking of them. She discusses the freedom of relinquishing control to God, the strongholds that fall off because of our obedience to Christ, and even the warfare that will come. She ends part three with a short guide of how to begin your journey to praying anything.
The end result of this book for me is that I want to purchase a copy for every person I know and put it on their door step or in their hands and say,
It WILL change you!
There is SO much more!
Don’t miss it.”
Have you ever watched one of those movies that is part of a series that will come out over a few years? At the end of the first movie in the series, just as the story comes to the climax and you are on the edge of your seat, the screen goes blank.
And you think to yourself What?
That was me at the end of this book.
Here I am.
You’ve got me.
I am excited and nervous with anticipation of what God has in store so that His kingdom can be further advanced.
What is it He will require of me?
This life is temporary, and we only have a short time here. One of my favorite lines from this book is “…. I want to get to heaven out of breath, having willingly done anything that you—God of the universe—ask…anything.”p78
I pray that if you take the journey through this book that you get the same stirring and feel a willingness and desire to lay it all down for Him.
I’ve been saved more times than I can count, of course only once was necessary to get me into Heaven. The other times were spurred by events that God used to mold and shape me into who I am at this moment, and I suspect there will be more to come. I have had moments in my life that the only prayers I could muster were Please take care of my daughter, and please don’t leave me. He never did! He stayed right beside me as I rebelled and sinned, and when I was ready, He pulled me out of the dark hole of hopelessness. I now know who I am and whose I am. He has blessed me tremendously with my husband and my two daughters. I live in the great state of Mississippi, though I’ve had the privilege of living in several wonderful states, meeting amazing people along the way. I am currently a stay at home mom, who is rarely at home as I help my husband with his businesses, cheer my teen daughter on in volleyball, and chase after a sweet toddler. My hope is to continue to grow and give God my all. I want to live my life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and is used for His glory.