Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Synced

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean
New Hope, 2016


Prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus.

Synced encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, uses the familiar passage of the Lord’s Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer.

Every moment is pregnant with purpose. Every moment is drenched in power. Prayer is no longer the means by which you attempt to get God to perform for you and becomes, instead, the means by which you connect with His heart and mind. A praying life is a life of peace and soul-rest. A praying life is lived in sync with the heart of Jesus.

My thoughts

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is a gifted teacher and communicator who is passionate about prayer, and she always makes me realize how much more I have to learn when it comes to moving from “having a prayer life” to “living a praying life.” In these days where most of us own several electronic devices, the term “synced” is very familiar. Jennifer applies this concept as she summarizes Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane:  “Father, download Your will into my heart so that it overwrites any other desire. Download courageous faith that deletes fear. Synchronize My heart’s desire to Yours.”

Synced is neither a devotional nor a “how to” book on prayer – and while it’s not deep theology, neither is it light reading. Synced is a close examination of how the life that Jesus lived flowed out of the prayer that Jesus prayed when the disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. Synced seemed a little repetitive at times, yet it helped reinforce Jennifer’s teaching and I came away looking at the Lord’s Prayer in a new way. I love the reminder that “just as Jesus called on the power from heaven for the tasks of earth, we have access through Him to that same power.” Chapters deal with various themes, such as our Father, the heavens, seeking the kingdom, to will His will, day by day, and let it go.

These words from Jennifer’s Litfuse interview beautifully convey the main message of Synced:  “Jesus has invited us to live synced to His heart the same way He lived synced to the Father’s heart. We can live our earthly lives supplied by heaven’s resources. Like Jesus, we will see that God’s will finds us and we just happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right resources. Unending adventure.”

I had lots of highlights when I finished reading; here are just a few quotes that spoke to me:

“When 'our Father' is the headline, then the requests
that follow are all defined by the intimate, loving,
safe relationship of a father to His child.”
- Chapter 3, Our Father

“When we try to live tomorrow today, what God wants to do today gets lost in the haze of an unknowable tomorrow.”
- Chapter 9, Day by Day

“If we are synced to the Spirit, then His slightest whispers
and His warnings aren’t hard to hear.”
- Chapter 10, Let It Go

Jennifer writes from the heart, conveying insights gained through years of personal experience, and her conversational style makes for easy following. I expect Synced to be life changing when I begin going through it in depth and I can tell that it will be a book I refer to again and again in the years ahead.

        Jennifer Kennedy Dean is executive director of the Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. The author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation, her book Heart's Cry has been named National Day of Prayer's signature book, while her book Live a Praying Life® has been called a flagship work on prayer.
        Widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator, Jennifer speaks all over the country calling God's people to discover the difference between a prayer life and a praying life. Jennifer is the author of such books as Altar'd, Clothed with Power, Conversations with the Most High,Life Unhindered!, Power in the Blood of Christ, Power in the Name of Jesus, Secrets Jesus Shared, Set Apart, The Power of Small, and much more.
        A highly demanded speaker, her engagements include respected organizations such as the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove and Focus on the Family. She is a board member for Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, a member of America's National Prayer Committee, a member of National Professional Women Association, and national prayer director and board member for Christian Women in Media.

Thank you to Litfuse for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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