Washington (Tools for Effective Prayer, 2016), the senior pastor of the Abundant Life Community Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers advice on how to live one’s best life in this motivational Christian work.
God wants people to be victorious in their lives, says the author, but how many people truly feel that way? In this book, he argues that the problem may be that they’re not correctly applying the regimen that God outlined in the Bible: “you must totally know, understand, and effectively execute the wisdom and divine strategy for victory that is recorded in Scripture,” he says. According to Washington, the portion of the Bible that best illustrates how God leads his followers to victory is the Book of Nehemiah. In it, Nehemiah, the Jewish cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, rebuilds the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, following the word of God. Using this story as a template, Washington outlines the three-step process to following God’s plan for victory: “Starting the Journey,” “Preparing and Getting Ready,” and “Executing the Divine Strategy.” Along the way, he discusses the necessity of coming to terms with one’s sins, the importance of prayer, and how to deal with guilt, shame, anger, and other negative emotions. Washington writes in a buoyant, easily digestible prose style that draws as much on the vocabulary of the modern self-help culture as it is does on the language of the Bible: “as you start living in abundance, a great fight is sure to come your way….Accept and embrace this, just like the example set by Nehemiah and the Jews.” As in his previous work on prayer, the author displays his love of acronyms (“Frequent Actions Causing Troublesome Situations—FACTS”) and his willingness to tackle subjects at length (the book is more than 500 pages long). Readers looking for motivation with a basis in Christianity may find assurance here, although others may see it as an attempt to repackage old ideas in a trendier wrapper.
An idiosyncratic but engaging religious self-help guide.