Whisper by Mark Batterson

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.”  (Jas 1:19, CSB)

Go to a Christian bookstore and you’ll find many books on prayer.  Those books tend to focus what we should say to God and how we should say it.  Few, if any, focus exclusively on the other side of the conversation, which is how we should listen to hear the voice of God in our prayer life.  Mark Batterson has now filled that void with Whisper

Before I share my observations and review of the book, I first need to confess my reservations.  More than once, I’ve heard Christians say, “God told me that….”  I’ve grown skeptical of this phrase as many use it interchangeably with “I feel like….”   So, I went into this book with a fair bit of skepticism.

Pastor Batterson starts the book by illustrating the import of God’s voice, “The Power of a Whisper.”  With four words, God created light.  By His breath, we were given life.  His voice offers power, love, healing, wisdom, and joy.  Why, then, does His voice often come in the form of a whisper?  He wants us to “lean toward a whisper…That’s why He speaks in a whisper.  He wants to be as close to us as is divinely possible!”

With that introductory section, I was hooked.  Part Two delves into God’s “Seven Love Languages,” ways in which the Creator of the universe communicates with us.  I wanted to hear, but my skepticism remained.  My concerns were assuaged when Batterson validated those concerns.  The first love language, Scripture, serves as the underpinning of the others.  As Batterson notes, “Scripture gives us guidelines” -- it’s the basis by which we “cross-check [our] interpretation.”  The other methods God uses to speak to us are: Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain.  Each is girded with Scripture and expounded with personal examples.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who honestly seeks God and that closeness He desires.  It’s the type of book I’ll read more than once so that I’ll be drawn back to my Father’s voice.

Note: This book was provided to me by the publisher for my unbiased review.

Prompted to Serve

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25th, and has been one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history.

On the 28th, Samaritan's Purse sent out an email requesting volunteers.  I forwarded that email to Peggy with two words, "Let's pray."

The next day, I submitted an application with Samaritan's Purse and asked Pastor Mike to pray with us.

My prayer during the week had been for God to confirm that this prompting was from Him.  I'd assumed that the prayer would be answered when I received confirmation from Samaritan's Purse.  I checked my email and my phone more often than usual.  Nothing.

On Saturday morning, while reading the Bible, I learned that "Everything is to be done for building up." (1Co 14:26)  I've been reading from a new translation so this term, "building up," caught my eye and caused me to dig deeper.  The Greek word is oikodomÄ“ (oikos = home + domÄ“ = roof).  The command for Christians to "build one another up" is to literally put roofs over their homes.

"Ok God, confirmation received."

Later on Saturday, I received a follow-up email from Samaritan's Purse.  Due to the overwhelming response, it could be up to two weeks before they respond to my application.  I thought, "No hurry, I already have my response."