Monday, August 24, 2015

thoughts on THIS MEANS WAR

I requested a review copy of Stephen and Alex Kendrick’s “THIS MEANS WAR” (B&H Publishing Group, 2015) for two reasons. First I have a teenager and second I think we are in a war where the only effective weapon is the one we use while on our knees: prayer.
This book is part of a set of books inspired by the soon to be released movie “War Room”, and is the one especially directed towards teens.  There is also a book for adults, along with two directed at younger children and preteens.  All of them focus on prayer, and a strategy for an effective prayer life.
Most of the 50 chapters in the book provide a short devotional, and ask a question based on that reading. Space is provided for the teen to write his or her answer. Reading the section titles, it’s safe to assume that the books starts at a very basic level (“Welcome to War” and “Boot Camp”) and  systematically progresses to the prayer of a mature Christian, (“ Advanced Training”, “Sniper School”)
There are some good questions in each chapter, but as I was looking through the book, I couldn’t help but feel that whoever put this book in the ‘teen’ category had underestimated today’s youth. (DISCLAIMER: My son graduated from high school a few months ago. In the process, he completed the first two years of college through early college, concurrent enrollment and AP classes.) I asked that son to read the book and give me his opinion…he works with the youth group at a local church, and thought it might be appropriate for the 7th and 8th graders.  That jibed with my initial impression that the target group should be about 10-14.
A positive thing about this book is that it encourages journaling, but rather than free-flowing, “what should I write about today?” there are specific things addressed each day. The concept of war/battle/soldiers will probably appeal to many boys, and despite the current state of the military, I’m not sure that younger girls will be
Unless one is careful it’s easy to assume that the authors are careless and contradict themselves, but actually they are doing quite an adept job of addressing questions in different ways that meet the needs of prayer warriors at different stages of their journey.
In all fairness, I liked “The Battle Plan for Prayer” (the adult version) much better than this book (teen version)


 I received a copy of this book from Icon Media Group in exchange for a review.

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