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Shortly after graduating high school, I remember watching the hit film War Room as it swept inspiration across the nations. Inviting Christians worldwide to reconsider their view of prayer, I was motivated to create my own War Room, where I would later battle my most significant opposition.
A few years later, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer, and Awaken: 90 Days With The God Who Speaks landed their spot on my shelves and made a similar impact. It was clear to me that Priscilla Shirer was not only an inspirational author, but she was a Christian who knew the transformational power effective prayer could have on one’s life.
Today, Priscilla Shirer is a Christian household name. She is an American author, motivational speaker, actress, and Christian evangelist. But more than that, she is a woman who loves God and leads by example.
Here are the top 5 things to know about Priscilla Shirer and why we love her:
1. She Is a Theological Guru
As a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Shirer holds a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies and knows her stuff. One of my favorite facts about her is that she is passionate about sharing the Gospel, period. Shirer believes in helping all denominations and cultures. Perhaps that is what makes her so widely known and accepted across the globe. Not only is her wisdom biblically sound, but she has a huge heart for helping and serving those around her.
2. Her Books Will Challenge You
While Shirer’s books are for individuals in all phases of life, they are not for the faint of heart. Before reading her books, it is crucial to prepare yourself to open up, grow, and learn. From topics on prayer to hearing God’s voice, putting on the full armor of Christ, and making room for the Sabbath, these are challenging concepts to discuss.
In Discerning the Voice of God, for example, Shirer explains how to remember what God longs to accomplish, recognize the sound of God’s voice, and realize how God speaks. Although these tasks are not easy, being in the present is one of Shirer’s top emphasized points: “God is the God of ‘right now.’ He doesn’t want you sitting around regretting yesterday. Nor does He want you wringing your hands and worrying about the future. He wants you focusing on what He is saying to you and putting in front of you… right now.”
3. She Has a Servant’s Heart
In Matthew 20:28 of the English Standard Version, Scripture reminds us that even Christ’s calling was to come and serve others, not the other way around. “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, ESV).
As a college freshman, Shirer quickly learned that she had a passion and desire to serve others. She talked on the radio, lead Bible Studies, and later founded Going Beyond Ministries with her husband Jerry. Today, their ministry focuses on teaching, encouraging, and equipping individuals to know the expository teaching of the Word of God. They are committed to instructing the uncompromising truths of God’s Word and want everyone to experience the freedom that Christ brings. Going Beyond Ministries also hosts AWAKEN, an outreach event hosted locally to mobilize women.
Shirer exemplifies and inspires what the Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:10-11: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11, ESV).
4. She Gracefully Balances Ministry, Motherhood, and Marriage
As women, three of the heaviest weights to bear in life are often ministry, motherhood, and marriage. We question how to do them successfully, and honor God at the same time. Shirer notes that she is not exempt from these struggles and has the same concerns as most working moms when it comes to balancing life. So what does she do? She trusts God day by day to work it out.
During a neighborhood walk one morning, Shirer was overwhelmed. Her second son was on the way, and she asked God how she was going to balance being a wife, mother, and a woman in ministry. As she stood and watched the sun rise and the birds chirp, Shirer notes that the Lord replied “If I can balance all of this, I can balance your life!” Ever since that day, she has trusted the Lord for His plans for her life.
As Proverbs 16:9 of the New Living Translation reminds us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NLT). Shirer’s emphasis to trust God amid our questions, doubts, and insecurities is rooted in Psalm 31:14-15: “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands” (NLT). Proverbs 3:5-8 also rejoices in this chorus: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8, ESV).
5. She Pushes Us to Pray
If we are being honest, most of us address prayer like we do our meals. We rush to them, from them, and about them, shoveling them down as fast as we can, and then getting back to what is important. We mindlessly say them, and when they are over, we are still hungry. Rarely do we take the time to enjoy our meals! In the same light, seldom do we take the time to enjoy our time in prayer, or treat it as something different than a ritual before meals.
In Shirer’s book Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer, she notes that prayer is one of the most effective strategies for fighting off Satan and claiming God’s protection over your sanity. As a war zone, she furthers that our lives are in constant danger of the evil one. John 10:10 reminds us of this: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, New International Version).
But in response to our threats, Shirer presents a pivotal paradigm shift: prayer. “Because this is war. The fight of your life. A very real enemy has been strategizing and scheming against you, assaulting you, coming after your emotions, your mind, your man, your child, your future. In fact, he’s doing it right this second. Right where you’re sitting. Right where you are.”
Our most effective prayers begin with gratitude and end with trust. Not that God will answer our prayers the way we want them answered, but that He will deliver us through whatever we are experiencing, no matter the outcome. “A prayer that’s seeking passion should not be about manufacturing a better feeling or jostling up a better mood. It’s simply about holding out your open hands—in thanksgiving first, in gratitude for God’s faithfulness and His goodness and His assured, accomplished victory over the enemy. Then asking. Asking for what He already wants to give you. Then waiting (expecting) to receive the promise of newness and freshness from His Spirit as you go along, more each day—praying until, as the prophet Hosea said… He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth (Hos. 6:3).”
Priscilla Shirer is a role model for Christians seeking no ordinary Christian life. From her theological challenges to well-equipped missions and book studies, we can learn well from her obedience to the Lord.
No matter what we do or where we are headed in life, Shirer encourages us to be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever He may lead: “Every decision you need to make, every task you need to accomplish, every relationship you need to navigate, every element of daily life you need to traverse, God has already perfectly matched up with an equivalent-to-overflowing supply of His grace. If you don’t agree with that, then you either lack a proper appreciation for what you have, or you are doing things that you’re not supposed to be participating in right now” (Priscilla Shirer, Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick (2015). “The Resolution for Women, LeatherTouch”, p.21, B&H Publishing Group).