Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Review: Opening the Gates of Heaven

(I'm pleased to now be doing Book Reviews for Charisma House. So here is the first review!)

I so wanted to immediately LOVE this book, but I got bogged down with tedious, although Scriptural, multiple details within the first couple pages. So much information! The author, Perry Stone, writes on an important topic but supports almost every statement with some Biblical reference to the geography of Israel, the specifics of tabernacle sacrifices, geology specifics--and that's all in the first chapter!

Perry, Perry! I want to exclaim. Help us out here! This is the reason why many people are frustrated in their prayer lives: they can't figure out what they're doing right from wrong because it all seems so hard, so much, so confusing.

But there are many nuggets of gold in this book-- you just have to expect to do the hard work of a miner and dig for them. I wouldn't try to read this book in one sitting, that's for sure! A page a day and you could have plenty to chew on and think about.

And one minor detail: for some reason, there are so many references to what God did back then, back in 1982, "many years ago," sometime back in..., I recall when.... , that it seemed like answers to prayer happened, for him, long ago. It's just how it came across to me, initially; but as you read you discover, of course, that God is working NOW as well as then in his life, and God will give you history with Him as well as a future. It was just a reminder to me, though, that we need to tell a current story of God's favor and deliverance and help.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 13: it's motivating, encouraging, and specific. There are some concrete truths that he puts words to that are helpful, such as "Grace is unearned and is a free gift from God, but favor may be deserved or gained." Hmmm, tell me more, I think. He addresses questions such as "Why some (people) seem more 'highly favored' (than others)?"

The last chapter is powerful: "Important Principles for Opening Heaven's Gates." And that's when you discover that, like getting through this book, walking in "the favor of answered prayer and blessing" is not walking, or tiptoeing, through the tulips. You want favor with God? You want your prayers to be answered? Don't give up after saying one prayer, after reading one chapter of a book on prayer. Persevere. Study God's Word.

Make the pursuit of God your aim, and the answered prayers will follow.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Charisma House, a Strang Company, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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