Monday, February 28, 2011

Review of Michael W. Smith's new book

Three-time GRAMMY ® award winner and prestigious author Michael W. Smith has a brand new book coming out on Feb. 28
“A Simple Blessing; The Extraordinary Power of an Ordinary Prayer” (Zondervan).

In this new book, he takes a deeper look into the meaning of a “blessing” and how a simple prayer can change lives.

The book was inspired from an experience Smith had on his last tour when he sensed a rising level of alienation and disappointment among the attendees due to their personal trials and tribulations. Realizing he couldn’t ignore it, Smith began closing many of his concerts with a prayer of simple blessing over his audience. 
The response has been overwhelming. The emails and letters of testimony are like nothing he has ever experienced in his 25 years of ministry. Far from being a 'magical' formula for extracting wealth and possessions from God, he has discovered that God's blessings are measured more by the flourishing of character in adversity than by the flourishing of stuff. The amazing result of God's true blessing is overflowing joy and peace. Unfortunately, many are robbed of the promise of blessing because they seek to be blessed more than to bless others. This beautiful work, written with writer Thomas Williams, will inspire readers to examine their hearts and learn to experience God's blessing as they seek to bless others, thus discovering the secret to drawing near to the heart of God. 


I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!!  It has not only reminded me of the power of prayer but also the power of words.  Our words truly can build up or break down.  

As many of us are praying for blogging friends going through very difficult trials, one comment he made completely resonated with me:

Is there any real value in praying for people you don't know, about problems you can't see, and about needs you can't meet?  

As he has reflected on this question and the responses to his simple prayer over his audiences, he has been convinced that this kind of prayer does have significance.....I am convinced too.  I've seen it in my own prayer blog. 

As many of you have asked me to pray for you or a loved one, I sometimes find myself at a loss for words during my prayer time.  I don't know your situation or even's hard to know exactly what to pray.  Michael's book reminded me I don't have to know what to pray.  It doesn't have to be exact or eloquent.  God knows the situation and you know I am praying, that is enough.

His book also reminded me of the need to speak a blessing over my children and has given me an urgency to do just that.  I have a friend who's SIL each Christmas speaks an individual blessing over each of her family members at the table....I love that!!!  I truly believe we have forgotten the power of words and the power of prayer spoken out loud.

I love this quote from the book:

We are to bless others as Jesus did.  We don't originate the blessing; God originates it, and it resounds through us just as my music resounds through the piano in my living room.  Just as God's love resound through the life of Jesus.

Michael reminds us that when Jesus ascended to heaven, he took his body wit him.  Which means God no longer has a body on earth through which he can bless others -- except ours.

What a great read this book was!!  There is so much more in it that you just need to read for yourself.  It had me thinking deep into the night at times and has caused me to look for opportunities to not only bless my family through my words and prayers but others as well.  It has given me a renewed excitement about praying for those that I may not know personally, that I may not be able to physically help.....but I can pray.

I hope you will go out and pick up this book, it's wonderful.  But more importantly, I hope you will develop a desire in your heart to bless others through your words, actions and prayers.


SmilingSally said...

What a nice review, Sara.

Linda said...

Sounds like a book I will want to read for sure!


Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Karin said...

Sounds like a great book to put on my list to read. My list, sadly, keeps growing and not shrinking. I need more hours in the day. :)

Heather of the EO said...

that sounds great, Sara. Thank you for letting us know about it!

Jill said...

Sara, thanks for the tidbit on this book. I will read it. The power of prayer is an AWESOME thing, I am sorry to say I have to be reminded of this again and again!

Johnna said...

YOU, girlfriend, bless others with your words and actions!! Thanks for being you and doing what you do so well.

"He died for us . . . Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact YOU are doing." I Thess. 5:10a,11

rita said...

You know in some Hispanic cultures or countries, it is a custom for the children to come to their parents or elders to ask for the 'bendición' at the beginning of each day.

Lisa said...

I'm with Karin...there are just SOO many good books out there. I wish my library carried more than 3 Christian books. Think I might have to Amazon this one though.