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Forward by Johnny Hunt

Every now and then we take a book in our hands and begin to read its cover and introductory remarks only to find that we can’t think of a deeper matter in our heart as it pertains to our own personal life, the church that we are a part of, or that we pastor than what we are about to read. I feel confident that most people who read this book will share that they have a desire that needs to meet with a greater devotion in order to make a greater impact and difference in their life, the circumstances around them, the life of the church that they lead, and even the Kingdom and its God that they serve.

Dr. Steve Gaines has done us a great favor in writing Pray Like It Matters. All of us would say that prayer does make a difference and that it really matters; but, if you are like me, many times I spend more time planning to pray than praying the plan that God has placed before me. As you walk through the simple chapters of this book, it is my prayer that God will do in both your life and mine a fresh work of seeing prayer become a major priority. For years now, I have practiced giving a minimum of an hour every morning to prayer and devotion, but this book has reminded me that most of my devotion is reading instead of praying and talking to God; and, even when I find myself praying, it is more of me talking and it being a one-sided conversation instead of me allowing God to speak back into my life. I am grateful to be challenged afresh and anew that I not only need to give some time in the morning to the Lord, but also realize that there are times when faced with important decisions that God will, indeed, call us to a prayer retreat where we will seek Him and not let go until we have heard clearly His decisive direction for our life. Who will ever pick up this book that will not need to know what to do when tempted? What better way to face temptation than to pray. When suffering comes in our lives in whatever way, be it persecution or challenges with health, we must pray because prayer matters.

I have known Dr. Steve Gaines to be a man of prayer, and have been personally touched by his prayer life. Not only has his interceding for me made a difference, but on one occasion in particular, when he laid hands on me and prayed, God instantly healed me. This is a day and moment in my life that I will never forget. When someone asks me about the life and person of Steve Gaines, I always readily say that I know him and that he is a man of God and a man of deep, devotional prayer. I believe that prayer is what has made the difference in the life of Steve Gaines; and it is not just true in his life, but also true in the life of his godly wife who has walked with him for so long. Both Donna and Steve are committed to a life of prayer.

I predict that as you start reading this book you will find it difficult to put it down. What a great joy it will be to walk through it in either a Bible study lesson, or one that you choose to read for your own personal edification. Remember, God will use prayer to shake us as well as shape us. May He shape each of us into people who genuinely believe that prayer really does matter. Read, and be blessed.

Johnny Hunt

Steve Gaines. (2013). Pray Like it Matters. Auxano Press.