Sunday, April 25, 2010

‘Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds’ by Beth Moore – Book Review

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One of my favorite teachers of the Bible is Beth Moore.  I have done several of her Bible studies, and they have all left me spiritually enriched and closer to God.  The latest book of hers that I have read is ‘Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds.’  As with all of the materials of hers which I have studied or read, this one is anointed and totally scriptural.

Here is the biography of Mrs. Moore from the back of the book:

Beth Moore is a writer and teacher of best-selling books and Bible studies whose public speaking engagements carry her all over the United States.  She is a dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters.  Beth lives in Houston, Texas, where she is president and founder of Living Proof Ministries.

And here is the description of this book from the back cover:

Tear down the strongholds in your life by learning to pray with the power of God’s Word.
A topical prayer guide addressing fourteen common strongholds and what Scripture reveals about each of them.  Praying God’s Word presents Scriptures in prayer form to be incorporated into your daily prayer life.
God’s Word, through prayer, helps you overcome bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness, setting you free from each and every stronghold which claims your life, and replacing it with the mind of Christ.

In the introduction, Mrs. Moore defines the word ‘stronghold,’ as explained in the Bible:

The apostle, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did a masterful job of explaining it in 2 Corinthians 10:5.  Basically, a stronghold is any argument or pretension that “sets itself up against the knowledge of God.”  The wording of the King James Version draws a clearer image of a stronghold: “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.”  A stronghold is anything that that exalts itself in our minds, “pretending” to be bigger or more powerful than God.  It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered.  Controlled.  Mastered.  (p. 3)

Fortunately, we have weapons to combat these strongholds.  Here is Beth (p. 4):

According to the 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 passage, we have four vital pieces of information identifying the weapons of our warfare:

1.   They are not the weapons of the world.
2.   They have divine power.
3.   They are associated with the “knowledge of God.”
4.   Their purpose in warfare is to take our thoughts captive.

Beth points out that, in Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul listed the whole armor of God.  Of all the pieces – the belt, the shield, the breastplate, the shoes, and the helmet, the only one that is an offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Beth is convinced there is one more offensive weapon:

I am utterly convinced that the other two major weapons with divine power in our warfare are the Word of God and Spirit-empowered prayer. (p.5)

Beth also tells us that we definitely have to declare war on strongholds:

Virtually nothing we come up against in our individual Christian lives is more formidable than a stronghold.  The very nature of the term tells us that whatever it is, it has a “strong hold” on us… Strongholds are broken only one way: they have to be demolished. (p. 5)

And she goes on to say that satan is a defeated foe:

So, do we run scared?  God forbid!  We put on the full armor of God, take or stand, and fight the good fight.  Satan’s already been defeated.  Most of the power he wields is from pure deception and bluffing.  Greater is He who is in us! (1 John 4:4).  But we’ve got to learn how to live like the overcomer we are. (p. 15)

Beth devotes individual chapters to each of the following strongholds:

1.    Idolatry
2.    Unbelief
3.    Pride
4.    Deception
5.    The Insecurity of Feeling Unloved
6.    Feelings of Rejection
7.    Addiction
8.    Food-Related Strongholds
9.    Ongoing Feelings of Guilt
10. Despair Resulting from Loss
11.  Unforgiveness
12.  Depression
13.  Sexual Strongholds
14.  The Enemy

Each chapter opens discussing the particular stronghold.  Beth then provides some specific prayers, with scriptural references.  In the chapter on unforgiveness, Mrs. Moore describes what can happen as a result of this stronghold:

Innumerable strongholds are connected to an unwillingness to forgive.  Left untreated, unforgiveness becomes spiritual cancer.  Bitterness takes root, and since the root, and since the root feeds the rest of the tree, every branch of our lives and every fruit on each limb ultimately become poisoned.  Beloved sister or brother, the bottom line is…unforgiveness makes us sick.  Always spiritually.  Often emotionally.  And, surprisingly often, physically. (p. 220)

This paragraph reminds me of something I’ve heard in the past: “unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  The Lord expects us to forgive, and it is in everyone’s best interest.

Here is one example of a prayer from the unforgiveness chapter:

Lord, as hard as this may be for me to comprehend or rationalize, Your Word is clear: if I forgive others when they sin against me, You, my heavenly Father will also forgive me. (Matt. 6:14) (p. 222)

I found this book to be so valuable!  We all have at least a few strongholds.  This book provides valuable tools which will help us, with the Lord’s strength and Spirit-inspired prayers, to overcome these strongholds which have imprisoned many of us for years, if not decades.  This book can be picked up again and again, and will help us to move toward living victorious lives.  I thank Mrs. Moore for providing another useful tool in our spiritual journey.  Her mansion in heaven will indeed be large!

You can order this book here.

This book was provided by B&H Publishing Group for review purposes.

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