Book Review - God on Mute by Pete Greig

God on mute is a book about unanswered prayer; I began to read it reluctantly because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read about unanswered prayer, I would much rather read uplifting stories of miracles and amazing answers to prayer.   I like to think that God answers prayer not that he might not, or appear not to.

Despite my heart not been in it, the book is very well written, and I was engaged very quickly with the author’s style of writing and began to understand and even enjoy the book. I loved how he broke the book into sections, and related to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday; it reminded me of my favourite song at Easter its Friday but Sunday’s coming.

It is written from his experience of the pain of his wife’s serious illness and fight for life, he shared his thoughts in a very open, honest and vulnerable way.

He reminds us of the verse in Romans “God works for the good of all those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (8:28)

The real life stories that he uses to illustrate unanswered prayer were very real, raw and candid.

It’s a book that can bring hope to everyone; all of us have prayers for loved ones to be saved, for breakthroughs in careers, finances, for wives, husbands, children, for healing for ourselves or others, for revival millions of different prayers that seemingly are not answered.  .

 I was taken on a journey whilst reading this book, a deeper understanding of what prayer is about, the communication and fellowship with God, an insight and understanding of God’s heart and a reminder that his ways are higher than ours.  The prayer checklists at the end of the book are particularly helpful as well, as the quotes from Heroes of faith and unanswered prayer

The three stories that stood out for me were firstly Floyd McClung an American Missionary.

 “At Spring Harvest, it was late at night when Floyd received a devastating phone call from home. His daughter Misha was unconscious. She had been admitted to St Josephs Hospital, in Washington State expecting the routine arrival of her second child.  At first labour progressed normally, but then Misha began struggling for breath and had lost consciousness. Doctors would later diagnose an amniotic embolism.  Some of the fluid in Misha’s womb had leaked into her blood stream, and from there leaked into her heart causing cardio-respiratory collapse. ….It had taken eight minutes to get a tube into her lungs so that she could breathe.  Doctors had performed an emergency C-Section…the prognosis for her and his new little grandchild was frightening

Misha the doctor said was unlikely to gain consciousness, if she did come round she would probably suffer neurological damage as a result of the protracted period without oxygen,  the baby had been deprived of oxygen for as long as 14 minutes.

 Floyd had wrestled with God beginning with begging for his child’s life and reminding God of promises he had spoken over her, and finished with relinquishing his will to God’s will and to  pray whatever would bring God the most glory, not my will but yours be done.

 Misha came out of the coma with no lasting damage and the baby, was showing every sign of coming through the ordeal as a healthy new born child.  The medical staff worked out the likelihood of Misha and the Luke surviving an amniotic embolism without brain damage was about 1 in 1.2 million.  God had provided a miracle and the prayers of people around the world were answered. 

The second story in the book that stood out was Margaret Lee who had been diagnosed with throat cancer which meant she could barely speak or swallow, when people expressed sadness for her condition she would write

“This is not the worst thing to ever happen! Cancer is so limited It cannot cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, eat away peace, destroy confidence, kill friendship, shut out memories, silence courage, quench the Spirit or lesson the power of Jesus,”

Cancer was killing her yet she was able to list its limitations, and focus on Jesus.

Finally, the story of a Jewish man in a concentration camp, who had been forced to clean the toilets, the Nazi guard sought to humiliate him further by taunting him and asking “Where is your God now?”  The Jewish man responded without removing his hands from the toilet, “He’s right here with me now in the muck”.  That is what I got from the book that God is right there with us, in both sorrow and joy. 

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