“Those who risked utter humiliation for the blessing of Jesus were rewarded...In the kingdom, annoyingly tenacious faith that presumes a lot on God's abilities is welcomed;....God loves prayer with an attitude.”
And prayer with an attitude is what Chris Tiegreen promotes in Violent Prayer. Tiegreen's rousing prose and insightful comments leave us eager to expect God to advance His kingdom in answer to our prayers. Tiegreen points out our wrong assumptions, especially in discriminating between submission to God's will and a lack of faith in prayer. He promotes spiritual warfare while decrying the excesses of the movement.
Because of his background as a pastor, church planter, missionary, writer, and editor, Tiegreen offers a depth and clarity that is often lacking in America-centric preaching. For instance, he points out that Jesus' instructing us to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven," can in itself be a guideline as to what God's will is in a situation. Will kids be shooting up in heaven? Then it's not wrong to pray and work toward its end here on earth. Is it God's will that a tyrant slaughter Christians in his homeland? It's not going to be happening in heaven, so it shouldn't be here.
Violent Prayer arouses excitement and a sense of urgency, but it has a few weaknesses. At times, Tiegreen makes assertions about Scripture without giving references to back it up. He would strengthen his argument with offering a few verses that support his declarations. For instance, he claims that most of the recorded prayers in Scripture are about the expansion of Christ's kingdom, but he gives no references. In another example, Tiegreen asserts that the authors of the New Testament blame the devil and his minions for many of the world's problems, but he doesn't give references. I would have liked to look some of these up. Not all of us are as knowledgeable in the Scriptures as he is.
Also, Tiegreen attributes many problems in relationships to spiritual forces rather than to personal sin. This seems to be an over-emphasis from spiritual warfare proponents, perhaps in reaction to those who neglect the spiritual forces at war in the world. Tiegreen expects the Christian to accept his own personal responsibility when there are problems, but not to hold the other person responsible for his sins. Somehow these get passed off onto the satanic forces. Jesus and the apostles certainly recognized satanic forces and opposed them, but they also held individuals responsible for their own sins. We need to have a balance here.
That said, Tiegreen's Violent Prayer is one of the best books I've read on prayer since reading Andrew Murray's With Christ in the School of Prayer in college. Reading Violent Prayer has changed the way I pray. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Pray from Your Gut.
Satan is alive, well, and actively searching for opportunities to ruin you. Perhaps your trying circumstances or struggling relationships reflect his schemes. Does that make you angry? If you’ve ever suppressed simmering anger toward the enemy, seeing it as an intrusion into your prayers, it’s time you experience the power of violent prayer. These very emotions of hatred and anger against Satan are fuel for life-changing prayer. Overcome an unhealthy, passive approach to prayer that dilutes your communion with the reigning Victor. When you move from defensive, reactive prayers to offensive, proactive prayers with an aggressive agenda, things begin to change. And you don’t want to miss out.