Recently I had the privilege of leading the OACS team in our Monday morning staff devotions. During our time together, I touched briefly on a book I’ve studied called Anything: the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul, by author Jennie Allen. Jennie has also written the popular Bible studies Stuck, and Chase.
Books don’t seem to have a long shelf life in my house; partly due to the frequent moving we seem to do as a family but also because if I kept every book I read, we wouldn’t have any wall space. Knowing that this book has escaped a few decluttering processes in my house should tell you that it’s worth reading.
In Anything, Jennie encourages readers to step out of their Christian comfort zone and offer to God our complete selves by praying the prayer: “Lord, I will do anything to follow you and your will for my life”.
What touched me most when going through this book is the authenticity of the author. A lot of the struggles Jennie describes throughout the book resonate in my own life: the desire to be comfortable, safe and happy, and the natural urge to push back on anything that disturbs these things.
When Jesus came, he went to the most broken, the least good. In fact, it was always the most sinful he ministered to. He touched them and healed them and loved them, and they loved him back. They needed him.
I remember the first time it occurred to me that my life looked more like the lives of the people Jesus rebuked than the people Jesus drew near to. I was reading his words to the religious in Matthew, “So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (23:28)
Ugh. I felt that way. I knew deep down I was screwed up. I also knew nobody really knew it, and I liked it that way. I did not want to be face down in the sand like all the sinners Jesus healed. I wanted to stay bright and shiny and good, and comfortably on my feet. Yet when I read the words of Christ, I felt this call. A call to fall on my face.
Anything, Pg. 16-17
If I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure I’m really ready to say that Anything prayer and I suspect that most who read this book are in this same spot with me. Willingly abandoning all you know along with your comfort really takes a lot of courage. Reading through Anything has helped me recognize the need to do so and to live full-heartedly for the Lord and His will. Some would say that recognizing this struggle in one’s self is half the battle, so I guess you could say I’m halfway there.
So, if you haven’t had a chance to read Anything: the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul, I encourage you to grab a copy, along with a nice hot beverage, and sit down for a good read.