Organizing Your Prayer Closet
By Gina Duke
Abingdon Press, 2013
Statistics from a Christianity Today survey found that 48 percent of the Christians surveyed were unhappy with their prayer life, 34 percent revealed that they did not know how to pray, while 31 percent were not sure that God ever responded to their prayers. Organizing Your Prayer Closet offers a holistic, new approach to revitalizing this important spiritual discipline. It both inspires and equips with Scripture, inspirational quotes, and space for journaling.
In the first section, author Gina Duke illuminates the importance and power of prayer as the best connection to the source of all strength. Then she breaks down tough spiritual concepts into practical exercises with 52 weekly worksheets that guide and equip you on a yearlong prayer journey. Each week you will be challenged to complete lessons on interacting with scripture, overcoming prayer hurdles, learning to pray authentically, holding yourself accountable, acknowledging answered prayer, and more.
Sometimes I think that with all that has been published on the topic of prayer, do we really need another book? But if the statistics quoted in the summary above are anywhere close to accurate, then obviously there is a need! And then I think of my personal experience in this area - ranging all the way from consistency to only being prompted by need, and most often landing somewhere in the middle. So I decided that Gina's book was worth examining, and I am so glad I did. Sometimes a writer's style will especially "click" with readers, and I think Gina's message in Organizing Your Prayer Closet will do exactly that for many Christians.
This is a book about prayer, a devotional, and a 60-week journal all in one. These are just a few things readers will learn:
• Offer up meaningful worship
• Grow spiritually by overcoming sin
• Hear God with clarity
• Remember prayer requests
• How to pray with scripture
• Develop faith and confidence in the sovereignty of God
Prayer journaling is something I've always wanted to do, but have been unsuccessful at so far. I found Organizing Your Prayer Closet inspirational, logical, simple to follow, and filled with principles that I can easily put into practice. Gina's ideas have already made a big difference in my prayer life.
Four things let us ever keep in mind:
God hears prayer, God heeds prayer,
God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.
- E. M. Bounds
Gina asks this question in the introduction: "Why wouldn't I record my petitions and God's answers, unless I don't think He answers them?" Then she goes into ten chapters dealing with areas of prayer-closet praying, combining personal stories with a passion and knowledge drawn from years of experience. Her gentle style is conversational, easy to follow, and very motivational. Most people will shy away from something that looks like it will take a lot of time, but that's not the case here at all. This is more of a way to sort out your thoughts before entering into a time of prayer.
Gina addresses the topic of petitions as one would expect, but there were several other chapters that I especially appreciated, like praise and thanksgiving . . . freedom and forgiveness . . . learning to hear God's answers . . . the difference between ask, seek and knock . . . trusting in God's sovereignty. One of my favorite quotes speaks a warning to all of us: "If you are serious about your spiritual growth, Satan will get just as serious - in a different direction."
I highly recommend Organizing Your Prayer Closet, to seasoned Christians and new believers alike.
Author Gina Duke is a direct, point-on, expositor of God’s Word. With helpful, practical words of wisdom, she is able to speak truth in a unique and real way. Her sense of humor and down to earth application of God’s Word has made her a favorite keynote speaker. With over 15 years of leading women’s conferences, she brings a clear word and confidence for Christian living.
Gina holds a B.S. in Organizational Leadership and is currently completing her A.S. degree in Ministry. She is on staff as the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. This “Southern Belle” lives and travels from the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. Gina is the host of a one-minute radio feature, “A Moment of Clarity” on WQKR with a reach of over 97,000 listeners throughout the day. She is also an Executive Board member of the Bledsoe Baptist Association (Tennessee Baptist Convention).
In addition to her first love of ministry, Gina is the principal of her privately owned consulting firm that specializes in recruiting, training, executive coaching and strategic planning for the private sector, non-profit agencies and government entities.
Gina is married to her best friend Jamie, and is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She is a proud grandmother of two sweet little grandsons, and has one handsome son-in-law.
Meet Gina online at ginaduke.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Thank you to BookFun.org and Abingdon Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.