Book Review: The Prayer Warrior helps find answers in the prayer life

“Pray without ceasing.”—1 Thess. 5:17

Can a Bible verse, often quoted as a guideline for the Christian, become a way of life?

In the case of Elden Shisler, it is. The Prayer Warrior by Bryant C. Buck (Xulon Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-60266-525-4, retail $13.99) chronicles the life of a 75-year-old man who has been a lifelong dedicated Christian. Considered mentally slow as a young boy, he never had the benefit of special education teachers, but struggled through school as best he could. Even with his handicap and lack of higher education, he still managed to overcome many obstacles and on a few occasions was miraculously protected from harm—even defying nature. The book opens with a documented case of a tornado that split in two, bypassing Elden, who was directly in its path.

As author Buck summed it up, “Born a simple hillbilly, never completing high school, and never really having a good career job, Elden nevertheless goes on to ‘move mountains’ with his persistent pleas to the Almighty.”

Elden Shisler’s life could be described as consistent and persistent—never straying from his pattern of Bible reading and prayer. But, like any human being, he had weaknesses and made some mistakes that proved costly in his personal relationships—specifically with his wife and children. His efforts to reach a reconciliation are detailed in the book.

Along with Elden’s own spiritual odyssey, this is also the story of a church in the Hebrew Christian Movement. As sometimes happens, people who started out with the best of intentions eventually found themselves divided over issues of authority and controlling people in leadership positions. How the church grew and evolved under changing circumstances is part of Elden’s story, as he managed to avoid being caught up in the schism while trying to support himself and be of service.

Although one chapter is devoted to “Elden’s Prayer Principles,” this is not a how-to-pray-for-results type of book. From the hills of Missouri to Ridott, Freeport and Rockford, it documents one man’s struggle to succeed in life—not necessarily by the world’s standards, but to develop his relationship with God. Though the story shifts to different locales, as Buck points out, most of these prayers occurred in Stephenson County in northern Illinois. Those in the Hebrew Christian Movement refer to the Almighty Father as Yahweh and to Jesus as Yahshua, in an effort to be faithful to the original translation of the Bible.

Author Bryant Buck is a part-time lay minister with New Beginnings Church. He has written for several church publications within the Hebrew Christian Movement, including Yahweh Nissi magazine, for years. He says: “Knowing Elden has dramatically transformed my prayer life into one filled with answers. May the reading of this book do the same for your prayer life.”

The book is available at Canterbury Books and Tours, 1662 N. Alpine, Rockford, and at Solomon’s Place Bookstore, 3116 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, or may be ordered from your bookstore (distributed by Ingram and Spring Harbor). It is also available at Xulun Press and may be ordered online at Find “Search Our Bookstore” on their home page and enter the ISBN number.

from the Oct. 24-30, 2007, issue

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