Author: Linda Evans Shepherd
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2214-2

“If God loves you enough to send his Son to rescue you, then do you think this God is interested in seeing you draw close enough to hear his voice?” Linda Evans Shepherd asks in her book, Experiencing God’s Presence – Learning to Listen While You Pray.

This two hundred and twenty-four page paperback book is targeted toward Christians who want to increase and improve their prayer lives. Without using elaborate lists or worksheets, the book is another tool to focus on God and concentrate on praying. Using mainly the New International Version of the Bible, other versions such as the GW, KNV, NKJV, NLT, NLV, TLB and The Message are stated. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God were capitalized for reverence.

After acknowledgements and an introduction about coming boldly to God with our requests, the book is divided into twelve “experience” chapters. The end of the book has a discussion section broken down by chapter with seven to nine questions each. Reference notes and the author’s biography follow.

In each chapter, Shepherd concentrates on a specific way to experience God through prayer – by His presence, power, blessings, hope, trust, deliverance, healing, praising, love, joy, and peace. Most chapters start with a famous writer’s approach to the topic or the writer’s own experience, and then presents a Biblical story, sometimes written in first person. All chapters have a “Beholding Jesus in Prayer,” then “Listening Prayer,” and finally “Making It Personal” which gives prayer examples, encouragement and instructions with some fill in the blank sections.

With many of the Bible stories taken from the New Testament, Jesus’s parables and His miracles along with Ephesians’ armor of God, Peter walking on the water, and the curing of the lepers are rewritten. Pastors and authors such as Giglio, Graham, Lucado, Prichard, Sproul, Spurgeon, Townsend, Tozer and Warren are mentioned.

Since Shepherd has a daughter who was injured at a young age, was in a coma, and currently in a wheelchair, she has obviously prayed in earnest about her health and disabilities, seeing His results and power. Stating she has had visions and dreams of Jesus, she feels closer to Him and offers suggestions to increase one’s prayer life.

By having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, prayer is central to communicating to Him. The more we are connected to our loving God, the closer we will feel to being in His presence.  By being still, listening, and obeying Him, our prayer life will be more complete.

This book was furnished by The Book Club Network in lieu of an unbiased review.

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