Heisman Moments of Faith

March 9, 2024 – A Heisman Moment of Faith

Ever since I had a massive heart attack on January 9, 2013, while attending a professional development conference in Montreal, God has used health challenges to bring me into sacred moments with Him.

Similar to having a last-minute score to win a game that turns into a Heisman moment for a college football player, there are sometimes moments in our lives that define a season or bring out the true character of a person. As far as our relationship with God, there are sacred moments that attest to the constant power and presence of God’s Spirit to show us that we are loved no matter how dire our situation may seem.

These near-death experiences have been neither joyful nor pleasant, yet they have provided experiences of profound awareness of God’s nearness and accessibility. No matter how scary our situation, we have access to God because of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God who resides in the heart of those who trust him with their lives.

So, on Saturday afternoon on March 9th, Jenny and I were watching a British crime investigation series in our family room. I had been sick on and off for a couple of weeks with a cold and a sinus infection. Antibiotics had alleviated the sinus pain, but I was still a little congested. I had done a home Covid test a couple of days before that was negative.

I started feeling warm and changed from a long sleeve shirt to a short sleeve. I continued to feel warm and said to Jenny that I thought I needed to go to the hospital and get checked out. Within a matter of minutes, I began to feel worse and started to have some difficulty breathing. Jenny asked if I wanted her to call 9-1-1 or drive me to the Emory ER. I asked her to call 9-1-1. I tried to check my blood pressure but kept getting an error message. I put a fingertip pulse oximeter on my finger and the reading was in the 80s and dropping.

I was gasping for breath as Jenny was on the phone with the emergency operator. As happens with respiratory failure, I was trying to cough up anything while gasping for breath. Once the EMS and Dekalb Fire and Rescue were on their way, I was gasping for another breath. Jenny had her arms around me asking God to help me breathe. On three different occasions, I felt the life going out of my legs and arms. Should I pass out and succumb? As Jenny was praying, the chaos inside me was like radio static. Then, there was a second of silence as the Holy Spirit was listening to her prayer. Again, I felt my life slipping away, then, a pause and there was silence. The chaos paused. The Spirit of love was stopping the life from flowing out and was keeping me awake. She continued to pray. Our son Jed had run across the street to our neighbor who is an interventional cardiologist to see if he could help. He was not home. I was sitting on the floor in the family room pounding on the floor and the couch in frustration of not being able to breathe. I was holding on by Jenny’s prayers and similar to focusing on taking one more step while running a race, I kept taking one more gasp of air to keep from passing out. I kept just taking one more breath. Feeling Jenny’s love and feeling that God was near kept me going.

In the distance, we heard the sirens. Jenny said that the EMT’s were about to arrive. She went and opened the door to our family room and returned to hold me. Shortly, there were two firemen and two EMTs coming to my aid. Initially, they hooked up a small duo canula, but SP02 was still in 50s. Switched to a larger CPAP mask and breathing continued with crackles but was stable enough to transport. EMS took me to the emergency department at Emory Hospital Decatur. One of the firemen circled back to our house to tell Jenny where they were taking me. Even with the oxygen support, I was gasping for every breath. How had this happened so quickly? Upon arrival, the medical team switched my oxygen support to a bi-pap machine, injected Lasix via I-V and monitored my breathing. For the next hour, the discussion was around whether I could continue to process my own breathing or if I needed intubation and a ventilator. I continued to want to breathe myself. The staff glued on a condom catheter with the hope that the Lasix would begin to lower the fluid levels in my lungs. An x-ray had show substantial fluid in both lungs.

Jenny had arrived at the ER and was sitting beside my bed holding my hand.

My troponin heart protein was normal, so the doctor overseeing my care did not suspect heart attack. I had recently had a non-semi heart attack on November 18, 2023, that led to a catheterization that showed no blockages. Also, white blood count was normal so there was a lower suspicion of pneumonia. At some point, I gave the doctor a thumbs up indicating that my breathing was improving and there was no need for intubation. I felt that as long as I was conscious and could handle one breath at a time, then I did not need a ventilator. My blood oxygen levels were still abnormal, as were my blood gas levels. I was urinating, and that, along with the need for continued Lasix and oxygen support, I would be admitted to an ICU if they could find a room for me. This is during a pretty brutal flu season and Emory Decatur had no ICU rooms available. The doctor came by and said that she had found a room at an Emory hospital in Lithonia. Jenny said, “Lithonia? Are there any rooms available at Clifton?”

Jenny advocated for a Clifton Road room because of proximity to most of my doctors. Shortly, the doctor returned and said, “Your prayers for a Clifton Road room have been answered.” At this point it’s around 1:00 AM Sunday on the morning when we were about to “Spring forward.”

So, a call was put into the EMS to request a truck to take me to Clifton Road and a room in the ICU. As we waited, I continued to work for each breath and encouraged Jenny to go home and rest since the ambulance was on its way to transport me.

I arrived at my room in the ICU when it had just become 3:00 AM with the time change from 2:00 to 3:00. Testing and observation continued. They did a series of tests for flu, Covid, pneumonia and RSV. They expected to be able to eliminate those, but instead I was positive for COVID 19. Consequently, that meant that I had to be moved to a new ICU floor and my treatment would now become two-fold. I would now be on the hospital regime of drugs for COVID and continue on oxygen and Lasix for the respiratory failure. It didn’t take long to find me a new room in an ICU on the other side of the hospital.

I want to pause at this point to reflect on those anxious moments when Jenny had eyes of faith praying on my behalf when others may have given up. I felt like the paralytic whose friends carried him to Jesus or Lazarus whose sisters begged Jesus to come and heal their dying brother. There are many stories of people interceding with Jesus on behalf of others. There was a holy conversation taking place in the midst of chaos. And the Holy Spirit heard the prayer of his dear one asking for help. Over the past few weeks, I have come back to that few moments on several occasions and thanked God for hearing and holding us.

An Invitation to Pray, Live, Think and Walk

{A Personal Spiritual Exercise for July}

Greet the God who is Rebuilding you 

As you come to the Lord for restoration and hope today, remember that you are encountering the one who holds the future of all time and eternity in His hands. Regardless of how you are experiencing life today, open your heart to the Lord of all and receive love and redeeming grace. Your future is secure because of the finished work of Christ Jesus. Breathe in that security and peace.

The Lord Invites us to Come to Him with our Anxious Hearts

As you read this passage from one of Paul’s letters to the early churches, consider it a personal invitation from the Holy Spirit to you. He invites you to bring your anxieties, burdens and joys to the One who made you and is restoring you to wholeness.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)

Feel free to write down Paul’s suggestions. What stands out to you? Please read it as many times as it takes to understand all of the instructions packed into these verses.

What reason does Paul give us to rejoice and be kind?

Do you ever think about how near the Lord is to you and your situations?

What might rejoicing look like in your journey?

Are you ever shy about doing the right thing in a public setting? Paul suggests that our “kindness be evident for all.” What might the impact of public kindness be?

Overcoming anxiety in our hearts.

What does Paul suggest we do instead of living in anxiety?

What attributes does Paul use to describe our prayer and petitions?

In this letter and in other parts of the Bible, God tells us that it is not enough to hear the truth, but we must put it into practice if we want to see the benefits of the truth. What do you sense the Holy Spirit is calling you to put into practice this month?

One of the keys to overcoming anxiety – after prayer – is what we choose to focus on or think about. What does Paul teach us to focus on? Which area of focus is most relevant to you this month?

Go Forward in peace

Instead of anxiety, Paul says that God will provide peace. What would peace look like for you? Ask the Lord to help you walk in peace this month.

Pray for those closest to you and for everyone in your community. Pray for each one to rejoice in the Lord and to take their burdens to Jesus.

Pray for a month of focusing on: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—… anything … excellent or praiseworthy.

Make July a month of rejoicing in the Lord and turning to Him that is near to you.

Excerpt from NEW Devotional Book — Going Forward in Love

[I wrote a new devotional book: “Heart Journey 2: Going Forward in Love.” It was published in November of 2017. Here’s an excerpt!]

Day 14

Greet the Lord as one who is dependent upon His love today.

Settle down in the presence of the One whose essence is Love. And you are His most prized possession. You have been bought for a very high price and He wants to meet with you! As you address the Lord today, express your heart to Him. No matter if you are feeling awesome or defeated or neither. Share with Him how you feel.

Read and reflect on the truth of God’s message for you.

The Apostle John wrote this letter to all people who were following Jesus. In some ways, it his gleanings from spending so much time with Jesus and being at His side most of the time. John is sharing from his personal wealth, guided by the Holy Spirit to help us live in the complexities of life and relationships. You can see John’s tenderheartedness in the language he uses to talk about the Lord and us.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:7-21 ESV)

Read the passage one more time and write down a thought or two that particularly resonates with your heart.

You might want to reflect on just a few truths as you consider what this means for you.

You might want to focus your reading on a phrase at a time and read them a couple of times. Let’s do this together.

Two truths struck me. The first is “abide.” John tells us, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” If we abide in God, we are following and obeying Him. It has to do with respect and trust. There is a time aspect that shows up when abide is used as an adjective. God’s abiding love lasts for a very, very long time. So, we have this parallel in John’s letter that if we confess that we trust Jesus then God will stay with us forever. If we abide with Him, He will abide with us.

How does that make you feel toward God?

Do you feel pressure or anxiety? It’s possible you may feel both of those emotions. Take your feelings to God and see what He says.

The second truth that pushed me was the precept that it’s not about a hollow love or abiding. John is very clear that we can’t say, “Hey, I love God, but pretty much everybody else can take a hike!” If we say we love God and abide in Him, then we’re going to love our brothers and sisters. We’re going to take on the same love that God has for people. That’s how we show our “abiding” and “loving.”

This is a bit more difficult. I don’t naturally love everybody. How about you?

Let’s talk to God about that, too.   

Going forward in love

As you can see, this passage really brings the theme of these reflections home. “Going Forward in Love” is our mission. We don’t want to go forward pushing our own agenda and running over people. There’s no proof of our faith in Jesus in that style.

Let’s ask the Lord who needs our love today. We need His love, but who needs our love.

Lord, help us to abide and love as we go forward!

What is biblical meditation?

“Through meditation we can let the words of Jesus descend from our minds into our hearts and create there a dwelling place for the Spirit. Whatever we do and wherever we go, let us stay close to the words of Jesus. They are words of eternal life.” — Henri J. M. Nouwen

Meditation is used to describe a variety of exercises, behaviors and activities for the person seeking to grow their spiritual or inner life. We hear the extremes when meditation is being described, which go from thinking about nothing and clearing your mind to filling your mind with spiritual words and the writings and quotes from the Bible and other books considered sacred for us. One could say that it is a combination of clearing our minds of the clutter of the mundane messages regarding cleaning products and automobiles so that we can focus on the truths from God that apply to all of life. As Henri Nouwen describes in the quote above, “through meditation we can let the words of Jesus descend from our minds into our hearts.” That is the goal of our times of daily reflection with the scriptures in this book.

It is as if we want to allow God’s words to go from the reading to the transformation of our thinking and acting. For truths to affect our wills, we have to contemplate meaning, truthfulness, applicability and outcomes. We may ask ourselves questions that address all of these topics. Questions like, what does this mean? What happens if I do this? What will be the results if I act on this principle?

Jesus spent time daily in prayer to His Father. Jesus often said that He was only doing what the Father had told Him to do. It was as if Jesus checked in constantly to see how His activities were matching up with what the Father and Spirit wanted Him to teach and do. Observing this daily habit of Jesus, led Nouwen to say that solitude — being alone with God — was the furnace for change. We connect to God through the Bible. We hear His words as we read and think about all that He has done for us as we meditate on His words. All of this leads us to change how we think and act. Otherwise, we have no truth coming into our lives. Jesus needed a daily time alone with the Father. Are we any different? Are we just as needy?

God gives us instruction as far back as Genesis concerning the need to meditate, but the book of Joshua is perhaps the most specific and simple concerning the absolute necessity of meditation.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 ESV)

If this were the only thing that God ever said about meditating on Scripture, it would be enough. It is quite clear that if we want to experience success in life — according to God’s economy — then we need to meditate on the laws of God. That was Jesus’s pattern and it was the Lord’s clear instruction for Joshua. Of course, the Psalms of David are full of promises regarding meditation. In fact, when David thinks about preparations for war, he chooses meditating on God’s truth instead of developing battle strategies. He says, “Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:23 ESV)

Let us join together, then, daily to listen to God’s wondrous works and allow them to change our minds and hearts as we ponder, answer questions and think about how to go forward in love!

— From my forthcoming book, “Heart Journey: Going Forward in Love” due to be published in December, 2017.

100 Ways to Answer Your Prayer


When you pray, do you only have one answer that you will accept? Or do you leave open the idea that God may have another way to answer your prayer?

Two perspectives have led me to see God’s plan meet my deep desires. It struck me one Sunday morning as I walked into worship. God answered my prayer, but not in the way that I expected. Thankfully, I had a pen and notebook with me and I immediately began to write. Here’s what I wrote.

I recently heard Frances Chan share a story of how a young, Christian friend was not disappointed when a prayer was not answered as they had expected. Chan was surprised by such a mature response from a young believer. The woman’s response was, “God is the Creator and He has 100 ways to answer my prayer, so I’m sure He has a better plan.”

I, also, heard Dr. Derek Grier say in a sermon, “If Plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet.” And, finally, I read this quote from author Stephen King: God is the only one who gets it right the first time.

So, with that as background, let me share a story from my life. A few years ago I made a run at becoming a church staff member and thought about going to seminary. Much earlier in my life I had been a campus minister and had applied to and was accepted at a major seminary. My path went a different route. Now, many years later, I see a different plan being worked out in me and for me. I’m a pastor-at-large through writing. Every day, I receive Biblical content and re-present it through writing in an effort to engage people in learning about God and getting to know God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am challenged to make sure the truth of Scripture is presented in a way that is winsome, interesting and helpful.

So, it is a sacred calling, which gives me joy, a sense of responsibility and peace. Thus, my writing is easy. That’s right; it’s easy. In the same way that Jesus invites us to take His burden and give Him ours, I feel as though I’ve been given Jesus’s “light” burden in exchange for my heavy burden of doubt and regret regarding whether I’m doing what God has called and gifted me to do. I believe we too often live with heaviness because we are putting worldly expectations on God instead of allowing His heavenly expectations to embody us, to fill and infuse us.

How do you infuse tea with fruit?

Steep your green tea with fresh fruit as another way to add a fruity flavor to the tea. When you steep green tea bags, add lemon wedges, strawberries, raspberries or peaches to the liquid. As the fruit soaks in the warm water, it will draw some of the flavor into the tea.

How to infuse medicine into your body?

Using an IV we allow a liquid to flow into a vein, as a way to get the medicine or liquid into our systems.

How does the Spirit infuse us with God’s being?

As we soak in God’s Word and open our hearts, we are infused with His perspective and principles. He also supernaturally puts His Spirit in our hearts so that our whole lives can be infused with guidance, peace and gifting.

So, as we open ourselves to God and worship Him and desire to bring ourselves fully (all the parts) to Him, He infuses purpose, talent and fruitfulness into our lives. As that infusing changes us, it allows God to lead us into the places and vocations He wants for us. In the process, God wants to build our faith in Him. That means we will go through times when we can choose to take our burden back or continue to carry the light burden. It’s an amazing, but difficult process. Some never learn it and carry a heavy burden of their own and other people’s expectations and regrets. Others learn it and carry Jesus’s light burden. It’s never too late to learn it and live it. On God’s timetable, we have a lifetime to learn and live and be conformed to the image of Jesus.

Therefore, I feel that I’m the beneficiary of one of the 100 other creative solutions to my desire and prayer to be a pastor or a spiritual director or a monk or a professor.

I am the most blessed person I know, because I have seen it from the inside out.


January 9, 2013

My heart is broke, not working.
Under attack, from within;
Relentless pain and confusion reign
As slowly clarity emerges.

What happened to me?
Did I do this?
My God, my God, why?
But. Wait. Spirit is present,
As slowly calm emerges.

Life is present.
Wholeness preserved.
Friends are present speaking prayers,
Speaking love
As slowly comfort emerges.

Plans have changed.
Life is reborn and saved.
Anxiety, fear, future and hope–
As slowly a new day emerges.

©Jimmy Locklear, 2013.

Repentance in a Culture of Analysis & Why We Struggle to Reunite with God

Fast Repentance: Peyton Manning, Taylor Swift & Jesus: Repentance in a Culture of Analysis and Why We Struggle to Reunite with God by Jimmy Locklear
Fast Repentance: Peyton Manning, Taylor Swift & Jesus: Repentance in a Culture of Analysis and Why We Struggle to Reunite with God
by Jimmy Locklear
Link: http://a.co/fGZ9HLd

One of my goals for the new year was to learn to publish on the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. After publishing a small book on the prayers of Jesus from the gospels, my son Jameson suggested that I publish a book a month. After thinking about it, I decided I loved the idea. I’m not the best at publishing a regular blog, but many of the topics I’ve written about in the past are themes that I’ve continued to research and think about and live by as time passes. So, I decided to re-visit some of those and see if there wasn’t more that I could share from my readings and experiences. The Fast Repentance essay I wrote in July of 2015 was one that received a great deal of positive feedback regarding looking at Jesus instead of dwelling on our sin and shortcomings. It has a catchy title, too!

So, I’ve added a handful of additional essays and pulled them together for my February publication. You can preview the book here: 

Hope it is a help and encouragement to you.

Simple, Direct and From the Heart

Simple, Direct & From the Heart: The Prayers of Jesus: A Seven-Day Journey by Jimmy Locklear
Simple, Direct & From the Heart: The Prayers of Jesus: A Seven-Day Journey
by Jimmy Locklear
Link: http://a.co/amhK59t

For over two years, I’ve used the prayers of Jesus from the gospels to guide and enliven my relationship with God. I spent a lot of time looking at Jesus’s teaching and relating to folks four years ago while writing Heart Journey. I was consistently struck by the simplicity of his conversations with his Father. Later while working on prayer and fasting guide for my church I began to collect my reflections on the places in Scripture where we are told or shown that Jesus was praying. In some cases, we read what he said and in others we only know the place or time of day or circumstances of his prayers. I was so heartened by his example for us. And he was so emphatic about keeping our prayers simple and speaking directly from our hearts realizing that our Heavenly Father already knows our needs. 

So, twice my church’s prayer team had provided these prayers of Jesus for use by our community. I decided to change the format a bit and include seven of Jesus’s prayers in a small booklet as a way to help us increase our commitment to spending time alone with God. I had been wanting to publish a book on the Amazon Kindle Platform and this manuscript gave me that opportunity. It has been a very positive experience and a way to help a wider circle of people in their spiritual journey. There are a few more prayers that could make up a sequel booklet, and I’m also working on a booklet on repentance, too. The most popular blog post, by far, that I posted over the past two years has been on repentance and our response to grace after we sin. 

Because you have been an encourager to me, I wanted you to know about this latest little project. Here’s the link where you can find Simple, Direct & From the Heart: The Prayers of Jesus. It is only available as an ebook currently, but I’m considering having print on-demand available in the future.

I’ll leave you with the invitation given to us by our 14th Century sister Julian of Norwich who wrote: Our good Lord revealed that it is greatly pleasing to him that a simple soul should come naked, openly and familiarly. For this is the loving yearning of the soul through the touch of the Holy Spirit. 

In a day when we want to belong and to feel safe, may we accept the calling of Jesus. 

Kindling Groups Fan the Flames of Prayer: Stresses of Keeping or Losing a Job

Even our dream jobs have deadlines, performance expectations and customers or constituents to please. The emotional and psychological stress can be debilitating and lead to obesity, hypertension and other illnesses. And we depend upon jobs for income that help us fulfill our dreams and goals in life. Losing our job can be devastating.

Then, so often it is circumstances and opportunity that lead us into certain work – more so than our deep resonance or calling or desire. It is quite possible that I could’ve pursued a life of writing much earlier in my career. Writing from my inner reflections and expressing the work of the Spirit in my heart was always just below the surface. It was difficult to speak, but writing could’ve given me an outlet earlier like it has done more recently.

Circumstance and opportunity equal convenience for many of us. And we follow the path of least resistance rather than the path of truth and freedom. But the path to a specific destination is not always a straight line and we have valuable lessons to learn on the journey, too.


The local church that we’ve been a part of for over 30 years, has recently started small themed-prayer-groups called “kindling groups” as a way to provide support and prayer for those inside and outside our community who have specific needs. The first series of groups met around the need of “Caring for Elderly Parents” and now a second series is starting this week around the theme of “Job Stress and Job Loss” which practically covers most everybody!

I’m going to be assisting this work-related group. We’ll be meeting on Thursdays for the next four weeks at 7:00 PM at Intown Community Church, 2059 Lavista Road, Atlanta, GA, 30326 if you’d like to join us. Our primary activity will be hearing from each other and praying for the needs expressed from our own lives as well as the lives of others.

So, what are some of the spiritual things we can do when we are in distress or difficulty?

1. Pray for others. Through this the Lord may give you clarity regarding your own situation.
2. Ask others to pray for you. Admit your need and ask for help. Suffering brings about community if we will allow it to. This also takes the burden off of yourself and shares it with those who care about you.
3. Focus on compassion. As you are suffering might God be using you to complete the suffering of Jesus for the Church, thus fulfilling Colossians 1:24 – Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

“We want information, God wants a conversation.” – Samuel Williamson

51nbnmeipgl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Over the years, I’ve read many books on prayer and meditation. I’ve been very selective in my choices of books to actually spend time with and apply to my relationship with God and my devotional life. There are only a few books on the topic of prayer and talking with God that I would recommend to anybody. And most of the books with which I’ve resonated were written by monks, priests and ancient contemplatives. So, for me to actually review and recommend a book by a contemporary layperson is a rarity!

Recently, I was asked to review a new book by Samuel C. Williamson (Hearing God in Conversation: How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere from Kregel Publications, 2016, Grand Rapids, MI) on listening to God and seeing our prayers as a dialogue instead of a monologue. I was skeptical because I don’t know Mr. Williamson and for the reasons I mentioned above, but the book was endorsed by Eugene Peterson someone for whom I have great respect. I decided to take a closer look and what I found was just the kind of book I would write on the subject of developing a deeper relationship with God and learning to listen to God’s voice every day.

Williamson’s book is anecdotal, but it comes from a man whose faith is based on a Biblical and theologically orthodox foundation. So, his experiences are filtered through the doctrines of the historical Christian faith. Therefore, I can heartily recommend the chapters of this book to anyone who wants to grow closer to their Creator and Lord. In fact, chapters 4, 5 and 6 are particularly of value to new or young Christians who want to understand the place of Scripture in their daily lives and how they might structure a devotional life.

But this is not a book about form and structure, but about learning that we are free to follow Jesus to where he wants to take us and that we can be free in what we ask him as we would our closest of friends. Williamson writes, “We are involved in a divine dialogue.” The authenticity of the author’s desire to share his experience of the relational nature of God’s personality and character rang true, as did his desire to help others open their hearts to the divine conversation. The book is very appealing at this level.

Williamson also speaks clearly regarding our motives and how misguided our desire for guidance can be. “If we want to hear God in the storm, let’s first learn to hear his voice in the calm,” he writes. And, again, in chapter 1, he peals back our self-centeredness, “We want information; God wants a conversation.”

I found the writer’s questions regarding our presuppositions to be extremely helpful in plowing the ground of our own hearts concerning prayer. “What if God wants to converse with us more than he wants to direct us?” Williamson asks us.

Does that kind of question scare you? Or does that question point out how valuable you are to God? In my own experience, it was several years ago when I came to God with open and empty hands that I found his presence most welcoming and comforting. Williamson offers us help, “It’s not that God doesn’t want to answer our questions. He does. But our obsession with them deafens us to his message. The restrictive nature of our questions limits our ability to recognize God’s voice;” he writes.

As you can see, there is a lot to recommend about this book. In closing my review I want to mention a couple of other things that I really appreciated in reading it and a suggestion that I would make if you choose to read it. I loved that many of Williamson’s illustrations and stories were from his business, family and church experiences. He didn’t compartmentalize his experience of God to one area of his life. Secondly, he offers a broad range of resources and other voices to reinforce and support his convictions and suggestions. And, finally, my suggestion is that you don’t have to read the whole book before you start implementing some of the truths taught here. In fact, I’d suggest that you put the book down from time to time (or close your Kindle if you read like I do) and put into practice something that has struck you as helpful or interesting. —- Jimmy Locklear


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.