QUICK HIT: Praying for Your Elephant means praying big, bold, and audacious prayers, prayers of the kind that only God can answer. It’s a daunting task. That’s what Stadtmiller begins with, walking readers through the process of identifying your elephants. It transcends the mere (can I really call it that?) practice of prayer to practical outworking of the Christian life.
With a title like Praying for Your Elephant you know you’re going to get a good book…or at least a good story behind the title. So let me begin with that. Adam Stadtmiller was first introduced to the concept of praying for elephants when he actually prayed for an elephant. It was for a church youth event and way outside the church’s budget. So they began praying. Four years later, when the church youth group was on a missions trip to Thailand, they got their elephant. God delivered in a much different way than expected.
Praying for Your Elephant means praying big, bold, and audacious prayers, prayers of the kind that only God can answer. It’s a daunting task. That’s what Stadtmiller begins with, walking readers through the process of identifying your elephants. He highly suggests you keep a journal of all your prayers—and to find 100 elephant prayers to write down—so you can see how God answers them through the course of the year.
From there he moves to the practical: catching the elephant. Here he focuses on two things. First, living out your prayer. Are you living in such a way that God will honor your prayer? Are you doing things in your life to help your prayer become reality? You cannot pray for something and then fail to pursue it. Second, building your prayer life. Do you take time to pray?
The last two sections talk about living in the will of God—actually finding your purpose and living out your calling—and knowing what to do when your elephants charge. The latter is an especially important topic. Elephants can change from time to time. An answered prayer for a job does not mean that job for life. What do you do when it’s time to find another elephant?
All in all, Stadtmiller’s book transcends the mere (can I really call it that?) practice of prayer to practical outworking of the Christian life. Prayer is communication, thus it is at the heart of knowing God. In the end, the question isn’t about the answers to the elephants—the yeses or nos—but the intimate relationship that builds between God and man as they communicate. I’ve always said that you mature as a Christian, God begins to answer more of your prayers…not because he likes you more, but because you’ve started to ask for the things he wants to give you.
That’s what Praying for Your Elephants is about. It’s about learning how to grow your relationship with God so that there’s a new elephant at every turn.