Sunday, August 30

Prayer Power...Interview with Author

Today, it is my pleasure to bring you an interview with Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power. Leave a comment, and if there are five or more comments, your name will be eligible to receive the following…

Prayer Power by Peter Lundell
When God Turned off the Lights by Cecil Murphey
Committed but Flawed by Cecil Murphey
Also includes: Prayer Journal, Pen, and Candle

*Many Christians don’t talk about hardships with prayer. Why do you open up about the struggles you have had drawing close to God in prayer?

My first draft of the book read like an instruction manual of all the things you ought to do to be spiritual like me. I realized that the more spiritual I tried to sound, the less honest I was being. I was hiding behind my words. No reader should have to put up with all that. And besides, it was boring.

So I determined to be totally honest. I rewrote the book and openly shared my doubts, struggles, and failures, because everybody goes through the same things. And if I’m not honest with readers, how can I expect readers to be honest with others or even themselves?

I take sort of an “I mess up and you mess up, but God loves us anyway, so let’s connect with him” approach. Readers often tell me how much they identify with that. And when they read about how God still worked amazing things in my life and in others’, it gives them hope.

I’ve discovered two things: First, honesty is liberating, and I don’t want to live any other way. Second, when we stick with prayer and don’t give up, answers and victories rise from our struggles. Answers and victory never rise from pretending.

I hope to connect with readers so that they’ll in turn connect with me and the victories I’ve experienced—so that they will experience their own victories.

*What are some of the things God has taught you about prayer over the years - especially from the perspective of your leadership roles?

It’s good to listen before I talk. If I always dive into prayer and never spend time listening, I only dump my own “give-me list” on God. But his word says in 1 John 5:14–15 that when I seek and pray according to his will, my prayer will be answered. So the key is to first get in sync with God.

We’ve got to have a hunger, or thirst, for God. Without hunger, no program or technique or anything we learn will go anywhere. But with hunger for God, we could know almost nothing and still have a great prayer life. Hunger is singularly important—which is why it’s the first chapter.

When I pray with faith and don’t get what I ask for, God will soon show me why. There is always something to learn in unanswered prayer.

*What do you mean by "praying boldly" and how can Christians learn to do that?

Praying boldly is the opposite of excessively polite prayer and of—I’ll just say it—wimpy prayer. Praying boldly is praying without intimidation, not caring what other people think, expressing ourselves to God without concern for being appropriate or religiously correct but rather with a passion from our guts that pours out, unashamedly. Bold prayer is not arrogant. It’s humble and faithful, because of its self-abandoned focus on God and expectation of what God will do.

People often assume they must be polite or solemn before God. Nowhere does the Bible teach this. Two thirds of the Psalms are complaints, and they are not polite. Most prayers in both Old and New Testaments are bold, expectant, and to the point. When Jesus teaches on prayer in Luke 11:5–10, he talks about an obnoxious guy who bangs on his friend’s door at midnight. Then he says we should bug him the same way by continually asking, seeking, and knocking. I often wonder if God gets tired of diplomatic prayers. Why else would he actually tell us to be bold and persistent—and use examples that, if we were on the receiving end, most of us would say are obnoxious.

There’s no real method to doing this. It’s a mindset that chooses to free itself from previous assumptions and uses the Bible as a model of how to pray.

*How can we practice the presence of God and include him in everyday tasks?

Practicing the presence of God primarily has to do with developing an attitude, a continual awareness that God is always with us, and that in turn, we always incline our attention toward him.

The first thing most of us need to do is to slow down or cut unnecessary activities from our calendar. Busyness is an enemy to practicing the presence of God. Jesus repeatedly blew off other people’s agendas for him and continually focused on his purpose for being here. Pastors who do the same are always happier, closer to God, and more effective. And when we practice the presence of God, we increase our ability to be intimate with him when times do get busy.

Here are some practices that may help develop that attitude: My last thought before I sleep and my first thought when I wake up is centered on God. When I get mad or stressed, I try to see things from God’s perspective. When I am waiting for someone, I use that time to pray. I do menial tasks with an awareness and love of God. I often have a praise song on my mind as I go through the day.

*What advice would you give to people who struggle with God when they pray?

True men and women of prayer will sometimes struggle in prayer, as did many figures in the Bible, like Jacob’s symbolic wrestling with the angel and Jesus’ wrestling over his fate in Gethsemane.

Like anyone else, I struggle with unanswered prayer or major decisions to do something by faith, when tragedy strikes, problems of injustice, and healings that take a lot longer than I’d like. The key is to keep struggling—don’t give up and too quickly assume something is God’s will before you know for sure. The angel commended Jacob for not giving up until he got a blessing. God the Father actually sent an angel to help Jesus wrestle in Gethsemane. Sometimes wrestling in prayer is God’s will for us.

Wrestling in prayer is actually a good thing. It draws us closer to God. And it changes us in the process. And that’s what most of us hope for!

Prayer Power can be purchased at Amazon

Peter can be found at his website

11 Responses
  1. Lynn,
    So blessed by this interview w/Peter Lundell on subject of prayer. Just so happens I have spent the majority of my day doing lessons in my workbook for 10wk class @ church "Power Of A Praying Woman"(Stormie Omartian). I am incredibly challenged by the fact that I have so much more to understand & explore as it relates to prayer & communication w/God.
    For Example: The first night of class I found myself with 15 other women in attendance. I only casually knew one of the women. It came time to pray for each other & I prayed individually for several of these women whom I had never met before and they were deeply touched my prayers & compassion for them. When It came time for each of us to pray for ourselves and our own needs, I was completley tongue-tied and could not get the words out of my mouth to pray for MYSELF! I was in disbelief by the event. I left the class asking myself why I can have my eyes water praying for a stranger & not myself? Obviously I hav alot to learn. I realized after reading this interview w/ Peter that I must learn to pray BOLDLY for myself & without hesitation or fear of sounding selfish. This was so very helpful(I will make a printout of it & keep w/ my notes).

    With Gratitude & Thanks,

  2. Please include me in thanks for the opportunity!!

  3. Thanks for sharing the great interview, Lynn! It's good to learn about Prayer Power, and Peter has offered some helpful information about praying.

  4. Sylvia Says:

    Sensitive and thoughtful questions Lynn, and such balanced and helpful answers. What an encouragement to know that "every time we pray, something happens"

  5. NikoleHahn Says:

    These books sound interesting. I'm continuing reading. Will comment more.

  6. Nikole Hahn Says:

    When everyone abandoned me and I had nothing left, God was right there with me. I resorted to His Word and studied the Bible, prayed loudly and cried loudly to Him. While those days are not pleasant memories to me, what is plesant is knowing my God was present during those moments. He is present now.

  7. Sheila Deeth Says:

    What a lovely wise interview. Thank you. I remember someone saying it's not so much that God gives us what we ask for, more like when we stop praying all those wonderful "coincidences" stop happening.

  8. Deborah Ann Says:

    Interesting read. I love reading anything and everything about God and the Bible. I have never heard of this author, but he is definitely worth looking in to.

    You are invited to my blog:

    Hope to get to know you better!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Excellent! As I read this, I wanted to comment on every paragraph. There was a phrase something like "honestly is liberating," or something to that effect. Isn't that the truth? I think when we finally nail it down that God is real, he is right here, right now and he loves us, prayer becomes natural conversation with him.

  10. Tina Says:

    Since my prayers have recently changed to "Lord, help me desire the Giver more than the gift" I have been growing in my prayer life, yet always struggling to be bold and honest before him. I admit to having been a wimpy prayer in the past and in being ashamed to ask God for good things for myself. Thanks, Lynn, for bringing Mr. Lundell's insights to us and calling our attention to his writings. What a wonderful resource!

  11. Thank you, Lynn, for this Q&A with Mr. Lundell. He has learned the lessons of dropping the pious platitudes and of living a life saturated in prayer. Both of those lessons are necessary to become a prayer warrior. We would all profit by doing the same.

    Be Blessed!