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BOOK-REVIEW: Drumwright offers practical help on developing prayer strategies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–What mental images come to mind when you hear the word “strategy”? Perhaps a military maneuver or a championship chess game? Maybe even a political campaign or a business plan?

For Minette Drumwright, prayer is strategy. For many Christians, these terms may seem totally incongruent. Not so, says this ardent prayer advocate and author of The Life That Prays: Reflections on Prayer as Strategy, recently published by Woman’s Missionary Union.

Drumwright provides fresh insight for anyone desiring a richer prayer life. Through touching and sometimes intimate stories of her own life and that of her late seminary professor husband, Huber Drumwright, she reveals a lifelong journey of prayer.

Prayer as strategy is not a new concept for Drumwright. After her husband’s death, she served as director of the Office of International Prayer Strategy for the International Mission Board. In seeking ways to relate the gospel to unreached people, she found that prayer “rose up as the only strategy we could employ.” In retracing her own beliefs about prayer, she realized, with some amount of surprise, that prayer was always God’s strategy.

In her years at the IMB, Drumwright writes that she “had a box seat [although I had to stand on my toes most of the time] to watch God at work in magnificent ways.” As a witness to God’s work in the far corners of the world, she renewed her commitment to prayer and to sharing the power of prayer with other Christians.

A native Texas and a preacher’s kid (PK), Drumwright writes that as a child she was sometimes embarrassed by the intense dedication to God that her parents exhibited. With time and maturity, however, she came to admire and appreciate those qualities in her parents.

Early seeds of a love for missions were planted by her GA leader and nourished by her parents as they ministered on Sunday afternoons in a small, Hispanic mission. Those missions experiences helped her realize that God’s desire is for all people to come to know and love Him.

Drumwright says that every strategy must have a goal. She sees prayer strategy as the method whereby individuals, families, churches, communities, and even nations are “participating with the Father . . . in accomplishing His heart’s desire of making Christ known and worshiped by all the peoples of all the nations.”

In The Life That Prays, Drumwright does not simply advocate prayer as strategy, she gives specific detailed plans for effecting strategies that change situations but also change the persons who pray. The chapter on developing a prayer strategy for the individual Christ follower leads into chapters on prayer strategies for families, churches, and thoughts about prayerwalking as a strategy of prayer.

One chapter on the history of prayer as strategy details the prayer strategies, although that term was never used historically, of the Moravian Brethren and such great spiritual leaders as John Wesley, William Carey and Jonathan Edwards. Moving to America, Drumwright relates dynamic stories about prayer groups in the early days of the US, leading up to the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention and the important role of prayer in the early days of WMU.

In nine appendices, Drumwright outlines step-by-step guides to praying for distinct groups, such as “Praying for a Lost Person,” “Praying for an MK” and “Praying for a People Group.” “A Parent’s Prayer Program” lists prayer topics for 31 days of the month, along with Scripture relating to that topic, as a strategy for parents to pray for their children.

The Life That Prays can be purchased from WMU by calling 1-800-968-7301 or visiting www.wmustore.com. It is also available at LifeWay Christian Bookstores.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at https://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: THE LIFE THAT PRAYS.

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  • Sammie Barstow