Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review: "Prayers for New Brides" by Jennifer O. White

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress is a 40 chapter devotional for newly married, soon to be married, or even long-time married brides. It focuses on praying for your husband and God's will for your marriage. It also spends quite a bit of time talking about spiritual battle and truths about marriage.

Each chapter has a discussion, prayer, and "call to action"/journal suggestion. Example chapters include "God Is Fighting for You," "See Your Spouse through God's Eyes," "Praise: Your Love Song to God and First Line of Defense," "Cement the Experience of Unity," and "Communicate as a Team." The prayers are personalizable, frequently using blanks for you to fill in your husband's name and sometimes require more in depth thought to fill in the blanks with personal examples and experiences. At the end of each small paragraph of prayer, the Bible verses that inspired it are cited so that you can look at them further.

Overall, I thought it was a well-compiled discussion of God's role in marriage and how to go into marriage sure-footed. I would recommend doing no more than one chapter a day to get the most out of it -- the book even suggests if doing it as a devotional with a group that five chapters a week for eight weeks is a good way to tackle it. There's not many personal examples in the book, so it can be hard to take in a bunch of chapters all at once and still take something away from them.

Though I'm sure every woman would take something different away from this book, I'll share a few points that stood out to me. In the "Sacrifice Your Expectations" chapters  the prayer invites you to bring your expectations of marriage before God including all the outside influences from media and couples in your life. The prayer describes these expectations as "limiting," which was a refreshing way to look it. In the "Covering His Priorities, Time, and Energy" chapter, the prayer included thanking God for creating your husband with his specific passions, personality, and talents as well as talking about how God knows the rhythm of time your husband needs to divide his time between work, marriage, serving God, and rest. As a last note, the chapter on "Fear Less: Your Privilege as a Wife" quotes 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control," where the whole chapter focuses on surrendering your fears to God.

While I thought most of this book was well done, there were some parts that I didn't agree 100% with the author, her discussion, or the Bible verses she used to support her ideas, but some disagreement is to be expected and it didn't interfere with the parts I did find helpful.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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