Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Ultimate Conversation by Charles Stanley

God wants to have a conversation with you. He wants you to know Him. Intimacy with Him is His first priority for your life. (38) Stanley writes about prayer, “Its purpose is to strengthen and deepen your intimacy with Him.” (6)
Stanley reminds us that our perception of God is crucial to our prayer life. He helps us see who God is through Scripture, using the example of Nehemiah. “Nehemiah's story shows us that you and I have the greatest effect when we have an ongoing conversation with the Father and humbly submit to His direction.” (55)
He assures us that God is speaking to us today. It may be a whisper or the internal prompting of the Holy Spirit. We must remember that God has His own timing but He will reveal His plans to us.
Stanley reminds us how important it is to learn to hear God's voice. “God speaks to you and me through every situation, but hearing Him is dependent upon our anticipating and paying attention to His instruction.” (76)
Stanley uses Jesus' life and teaching as examples of intimacy, showing that interaction with God does not have to be challenging or confusing. Our conversation is centered on God.
We don't pray to get things from God. “The most important things to the Father are strengthening our bond with Him and enjoying profoundly satisfying and transformational fellowship.” (132) That's why we pray.

Stanley includes other teachings, such as dealing with childhood experiences, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, how God uses silence, overcoming obstacles, praying for others, and praying for our heart's desire.

What an encouraging book on prayer. There is much here for the new Christian and the seasoned one as well.
Sometimes we forget how much the Father desires conversation with us. Stanley has done well in reminding us how important the intimate relationship with the Father is.

There is a reading group guide available online.

Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), 256 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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