Friday, July 10, 2015

Anything: the prayer that unlocked my God and my soul by Jennie Allen (book review)

I first heard of Jennie Allen a few years ago through Jen Hatmaker's blog. A friend and I co-hosted an if:gathering in our local church (Allen is the founder of if:gathering) and it was amazing. Then I borrowed Allen's book, "Restless," and wanted to mark it up so badly (worst part of borrowing books) because it just spoke a lot to me. Restless. I feel restless in my journey with God, like I don't know my exact place.

image via jennieallen.com

When I had the opportunity to read "Anything" by Jennie Allen, with a new Bible study included, I jumped on board. Years ago, she and her husband prayed to the Lord to do anything in their lives. Jennie said she felt numb in her walk with the Lord and in life and wanted not this mediocre life she was truly living (aren't we all???).

I want that. I want big things out of my life but not for my glory but His. Through reading this and Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" I am more and more convinced that I don't have to move to Africa or Haiti or the Philippines to allow God to do anything in my life. I don't have to adopt 15 kids (or even 1). I don't have to sell all my possessions or only wear 7 articles of clothing for a month (although I've done the latter, thanks Jen Hatmaker's "Seven" -- read it). Allen says that her life, from the outside, may not look so different but on the inside it's way different than before she prayed "anything." Chambers talks about how we can serve and life only for God in the mundane parts of life. Not everyone is lead by God to HUGE (in our eyes) things; so many of us will live day to day lives with families, 9-to-5 jobs, and PTO. That doesn't mean God can't do anything in our lives.

I want that. I want God to be the ultimate. Yes, I still love my family and will take care of them, but I serve God. My life. My body. My parenting. My mind. My everything is His. I listened to an Andy Stanley podcast called "Free" and in it he says to "Decide. Declare. Devote." in regards to surrendering ourselves to the Lord (that's perhaps not in the right order but I hope you understand what I mean). That's what I want. I want to really surrender, to let Christ live through me, to stop trying to "be good," to really allow Him to do "anything" in my life.

I know there aren't many (any?) quotes from this book or probably a good synopsis of what it's about other than giving God the allowance to do anything in your life, but please read this book. I think it's a game-changer. Life-changer. Find out more here.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may not have the same opinions as mine. I also want to clearly state I've only read through chapter 10 in this book and Bible study, but wanted to get this review out with the impending birth of my kiddo any day. 

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