Race car-driving pastor discusses effective prayer at ‘Full Throttle’


Tennessee Christian News

If prayer is not working for you, a professional pilot/priest says perhaps you should put performance behind it.

Robert Bakke is a private jet captain, part-time NASCAR racer and ordained minister in Minnesota who has written a self-published book titled, “Prayer at Full Throttle: How Performance-Based Prayers Make Miracles Happen.” I don’t normally review self-published books unless they are written by local authors, but Bakke’s book captured my attention.


I’ll admit that I started reading the book with a bit of a skeptical attitude. When you talk about “performance” and striving for God’s blessings, you have to walk a fine line in distinguishing between discipleship and prosperity theology, the so-called “name it and claim it” attitude that God will make you richer than your wildest dreams. God does not seek to necessarily make people rich; the Bible says a lot about the proper use of money. After speaking with Bakke, I assured myself he was not talking about prosperity theology and was indeed focusing on effective discipleship.

“When you are an empty vessel, you are a perfect candidate to get filled with the Word of God. I saw all these visions for my life.”

Instead, Bakke is talking about putting action behind your faith. It’s not enough to simply say, “Lord, Lord.” (That’s a reference to a quote by Jesus in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”) It’s not adequate to simply sit in church week after week in order to feel good about yourself; as a Christian, God expects you to be the salt and light of the world.

Bakke says, you must go out and do. He quotes James 2:20: “Faith without works is dead.” Bakke compares the word “works” with “performance,” or being a doer of the Word. He argues that Christians should do things “bigger, better and brighter” than others to attract people to God.

Just do it

Bakke said that being a doer did not come naturally to him. “When people look at my life, they’re kind of surprised,” he said. In school he was a tall, scrawny kid who was always the last or next to last to being picked for gym teams. He had zero self-confidence and no clue why he was attending college after high school.

“I was an empty vessel,” he said. “Everyone started telling me what to believe about God, and it was all different. None of them had read the book (the Bible).”

He began reading two translations of the New Testament after being tired of the useless advice.

“When you are an empty vessel, you are a perfect candidate to get filled with the Word of God. I saw all these visions for my life.”

Karate, flying, racing

He went on to overcome his insecurities and earn a black belt in karate. He also worked hard and went through flight school. And ever since he was a child, he wanted to race cars. He does that part-time now.

His book details several fascinating racing experiences coupled with faith encounters. First, he tells of the time that he was without a mechanic with two races remaining in the season when his new engine blew up days before the race. He had promised to allow a friend to drive the car that season, so he worked alone feverishly to build an engine out of spare parts after hearing the words, “Prove what you preach.” He was able to rebuild the engine in time to race and get his first major win. He goes on to explain how that win touched a family that was in the audience and changed their lives.

“God needed a vessel in that arena that He could work through.”

Learn more about Bakke at http://robertbakkeministries.com. “Prayer at Full Throttle” is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle edition. It’s a Kindle Top 10 bestseller.

I recommend this book for Christians who are struggling with how to effectively live out their faith.


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