Thursday, September 29, 2011

a prayerful day

I had an epiphany about prayer while in St. Louis. Rather I felt the need to focus more on prayer here on the blog and privately. My prayer time is usually in the morning. I've learned from experience that if I don't begin the day that way things usually unravel.

The prayer room at ACFW in St. Louis was a busy place. I doubt it was ever empty. Someone was always on hand to pray with you, if needed. I often saw people praying in the hallways and other places. Very open and heartfelt. I have an author friend who is a master at this. Her prayers are really big bear hugs. She grabs you and doesn't let go till the praying is through:) You feel throughly covered!

Some of you who read this blog are going through heart-wrenching situations that are testing your head and heart to the limits. Many at conference were there despite overwhelming trials and physical problems. I've felt the prayer support of you readers when I needed it most - through edits and illness and family emergencies. It's sometimes hard to blog transparently about needs but I feel the Lord calls us to openness. No request is too small. Sometimes even small things distract and worry us so!

Are you in need of prayer today? Can you share a bit in a comment here or simply leave your name? God doesn't need specifics as He knows every need to the tiniest detail. Whatever you're comfortable with works. As we close out September and enter into an unknown autumn, I promise to pray for you daily.

Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? ~Corrie Ten Boom

You may pray for an hour and still not pray. You may meet God for a moment and then be in touch with Him all day. ~Fredrik Wisloff


  1. Thank you so much for the offer to pray for us! I would really appreciate prayer that I would trust in God's guidance. I keep worrying about the future - what will happen after I graduate this spring, if I should stay at home or be willing to move far away to get a career, or even if I'll be able to find a job! I want to follow God's will, and I want to trust in His timing - in both my future career and in love.

    Thank you, and God bless you! :) Hope your time at ACFW was wonderful!! Loved the pictures the other day, by the way!


  2. Amber, I know this is a huge year for you as college comes to a close and so many possibilities are before you. I've thought about you many times and wonder if you'll be drawn to a writing career or if the Lord has more in store:) It's so fun to see life unfold for you at such an exciting (sometimes scary) time. The prospect of leaving home, especially when you're so close to your family, is hard, I know. Prayers with you all the way! And thank you for your transparent heart.

    I look forward to meeting you someday, hopefully at ACFW. Or maybe I'll be standing in line waiting for you to sign one of your books! Now that's a happy thought!

  3. How wonderful! I hope all that prayer and focus and fellowship left you feeling revived and inspired. As for me, my first show of the season is tomorrow. I suppose I'd just like some prayers to help me on my hopeful journey to help support my family with my art. That's really my most basic goal. And to use my gifts to make the world a better place :D thank you, Laura!~

  4. Heather, I so wish I could attend your show! Your work/creativity is beautiful and God-given. Like you, I dreamed of even making a little bit of a living to help my family out in my pre-publishing days - and to bless othes with my work. I used to look at my friends who worked out of their homes and thought how blessed they were. I'll pray for open doors for you. You've already seen some and more will come! It's great to be along for the ride and watch them swing open for you:)

  5. Thank you Laura! The first thing that popped into my mind when I sat back and thought what prayer I needi it would definately be for my stress and anxiety. I certainly have a lot going on in my life but at times the worry and anxiety try (and sometimes successed in)to overwhelm me. Also for the furture, my younger sister is getting married this coming summer (the first one in family to get married) and I just need prayers to remember God has an amazing plan out there for me that is in His timing, not mine. Thank you Laura!

  6. Laura, I surely do need prayer! Unfortunately the list is long and consuming so any prayers would be appreciated. I have my morning prayers where I just thank God for a new day, my prayers throughout the day that I feel must reach beyond large limits, and my night prayers where I pray for so many. It's amazing how many (as in everyone) people have needs and how awesome God is to be able to reach everyone and everything.
    I finished your book. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I was thinking earlier today about how cool it was that Roxanna concocted that cure for Cass. Was that a true story about it curing the king?

  7. How kind and thoughtful of you, Laura, to think about us this way. I never turn down prayer, so here's my area of struggle: melancholy, which you know is just a nice way of saying the dreaded D word. Also, I've got a major, major case of writer's block.

    Thank you and I hope you will be letting us know of your prayer needs. I prayed traveling mercies for you and everyone for St. Louis, but I know your needs have not stopped there.

    LOve and hugs to you!

  8. Cassie, Your comments have so touched me. I know what overwhelming stress and anxiety are like. Just when I think I've mastered them in one area, another pops up and rattles me. Having a younger sister getting married with all that planning ahead in the next year is really a challenge - fun but emotional and life-changing, to be sure. Plus, like you said, it makes one think about their own future and what may or may not be in store. I really understand all of that. I'm so honored to be able to pray for you. It really helps to know your and others needs here as it makes the prayers so very personal. I really do treasure my readers and you're one of them!!

  9. Adrienne, Love the book talk:)! YES, that was straight out of the pages of French history. I remember the day I stumbled on it. I'd been researching Cass's ailment for some time - malaria was so common back then and many of the cures were all wrong. The Lord always delights me with these little historical tidbits that seem to come out of nowhere. I always prefer using historical fact instead of making something up. I "stumbled" upon the French cure and what a miracle that must have seemed for the royal family. No doubt God healed him and left the "recipe" for us today. Thankfully malaria is uncommon today though I do know missionaries who have it. There are several kinds, all bad.

    You're so right when you said the needs are so huge for everyone but that God is at work everywhere. Our focus has to be Him despite everything (the sin or cares that so easily entangle). It's a joy to pray for you, even if it's not a joy to experience what you're going through. My heart is with you. And I know His is!

  10. Oh, Adrienne, Bless you for your great review!! I saw it on CBD the other day and was so thrilled! You do have a way with words:) Thanks so very much.

  11. Mary,
    Oh, how I understand the M word! And the D word, as well! It is so common to so many. I think we writers are especially susceptible. Did you know, from what I've heard, that Moses was a melancholy? King David also had super lows as his Psalms attest to. And Abraham Lincold and Charles Spurgeon were very open about their depresssion. You can look at Lincoln and see it in his countenance. Of course with the Civil War he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was a Kentucky boy whose mother died when he was young and that took a toll was well. But I digress:)

    I promise to pray about that and the writer's block, another very common issue. Thank you for your honesty. For everyone who comments on these posts there a 100 or more who don't but later come back to me and tell me how you readers have blessed them with your comments.

    It means so much that you were praying for me on my trip to St. Lou. I really needed the support. I got sick right before I left and actually have a fear of flying anyway, so flying ill is one of my nightmares. Strangely enough, I wasn't so sick I couldn't get there and once I was there I was able to enjoy things. I attribute that to you and the people who were praying for me. It was a relief to come home.

    Bless you so much, dear Mary. Prayers continue for you.

  12. Oh my, please excuse the typos. My cold has extended to my typing skills - or the lack of them;)

  13. Laura, you're back!!! Oh, I just seen all those great pics and you look beautiful in everyone of them!! I am so happy you had a wonderful time!! I was praying for you often :)

    Speaking of praying, this is a beautiful post, my friend, and much needed. LOVE the quote by Corrie ten Boom! Thank you for wanting to pray for us, I really do appreciate that. Too many requests to list here and I know you keep my family and I in prayer already, which blesses me more than words could ever say. I guess if I had to put it in a nutshell, I just want to be closer to Jesus. I need more of Him and who He is, to be filled with Him so full that all of me has nowhere to go but out. He is our Shelter, our Hiding Place, our Peace, our Strength and our Joy, so if I have more of Him I'll have all that He is and I'll be an overcomer and not fear when I walk through these valleys because He is with me. I admit that sometimes it's very hard to pray, almost like your too overwhelmed to pray, I guess... but then I remember a quote I read once that has never left me, though I don't remember who said it: "Pray until you want to pray. Pray until you can pray. Pray until your prayer prevails."

    God bless you, sweet friend, and please know that you and your family are always in my prayers :)

    Blessings & Hugs,

  14. Oh Laura, thank you so much for this post this afternoon. I have had such a heavy heart today and I know that finding this was a gift from my Father. My prayer today is for the relationship between my five year old grandson and his daddy. (My oldest son). My son is in the Marine Corp and a believer. He needs desperately to learn how to be a 'gentle' daddy to his little guy. Dj has such a sensitive spirit and my son does not always know how to relate to him in a different way then he does the men who are under him. Your prayers would mean so much Laura. I know that I know, that God can and will speak to my sons heart is this matter.
    Blessings to you and to your family.....

  15. Debbie, I sense your heartache and my heart goes out to you in a special way. Dj is just the age I like for boys - I have a sensitive little guy here, too, who's just a bit older. I love that your son is a marine but of course that brings special challenges. You have a clear understanding of being harsh and soldierly and then making the switch to tenderness, not an easy transition. You hit the nail on the head when you said God speaks to the heart. He will and we'll ask for that for this particular situation. Bless you for sharing this struggle as I know others will benefit and be blessed.

    You have a beautiful family - I enjoyed the picture so much! Following these links gives me a lift:) You just never know what awaits you.

  16. Amanda, YAY, you're back, too:) So happy you enjoyed the pics. No doubt you saw some people you know, like dear Casey. I keep waiting for a book event to move your way as I'd love to meet you!

    I do keep you in mind regularly as I know you've been needing prayer for several months now, maybe more. And I love your petition here - one we all need every minute. More of Him.

    I just started a new Bible study by Beth Moore at my mom's church this week. It's the revised one of David - Seeking A Heart Like His. That really sums up what we're to pray for and hope for. Thanks so much for your kind words! Please give my best to your family! Better days ahead.

  17. Tonight at dinner, Randy read the following devotional and I thought it dovetailed with what we've been talking about here ~

    It's good to cry. "Tears are the only cure for weeping," said Scottish preacher, George MacDonald. A little crying does one good. Jesus wept at His friend Lazurus' grave and He weeps with us. Our tears attract our Lord's lovingkindness and tender care. He knows our troubled, sleepless nights. His heart aches for us when we mourn. He is the "God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And He uses His people to comfort one another. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4).

  18. Oh, Laura. Thank you so much for thinking of us.

    First I want to say to Mary I understand that struggle so well and I'm praying for you tonight.

    Laura, please let us know how we can pray for you better, too. :)

    OK, my request is I'm overwhelmed and every kind of tired. (Does that sound as whiney as I fear it does?). I love homeschooling with all my heart, but sometimes I feel like my body has been through a hurricane by the end of the day. This year I was asked to take on a position at my homeschool group and I so enjoy the opportunity to minister but sometimes its overwhelming too. Right now I have sinusitis, which I believe is probably a consequence for not taking as good care of myself as I should. Just praying for the strength to continue in this calling for as long as the Lord desires. And I'm learning as I pray that a small part of my calling is to write, even though I don't have too much time for it in this season. Everytime I wait too long without writing though the Lord will bring odd reminders such as introducing me to a homeschool mom writer last week and leading me to accidentally join the email list of a writer's group meeting 15minutes from my house.

    Anyway, enough of complaining, I have some good news which I forgot to share. Chris' levels did go up 30 points...which means there is a good possibility it was caused by his medication. We're waiting out for some more tests in November, my understanding is with blood issues it just usually isn't a short route to an answer.

    OK, now I'm writing a book. I so enjoyed the pictures of you with Casey, Pepper, etc. I loved your dress!! And it was neat when I logged on, your brother was logged on and cheering for you :) That was neat.

  19. Thanks for your prayers! You are sweet. If you would please pray for healing for some very deep past hurts that keep popping up in my life and that I can move on. Thanks again!

  20. Laura, you have such a big heart! What a generous gesture this post is. Bless you!

    It's funny often often we - or at least I, think that everyone else is in greater need of pray than me, so I don't take people up on their offer of prayers. Somehow I feel like I'm being selfish.

    The truth is though, I would not have survived the last year without the prayers of many others! Actually, I'm surprised I'm still standing. Since perhaps I'm out of the deepest part of the valley now, I kind of think my prayer needs have lessened. But no, they haven't. I still need prayers to climb right up out of that valley - and we all need prayers just to get through the ordinary days, right?

    Anyway, my prayer request is to get through every day with my two young children (both under 3 years of age). I am very sleep deprived and I struggle with the lack of space and personal time. I also am acutely fearful for their emotional and spiritual well being, particularly in this day and age. Please pray that I will trust that God is holding them safely in his hands!

    I need to remember that there is a season for everything, and right now my life might be all about my kids, but it's such a short time and I should cherish it.

    I will keep everyone else's requests in my prayers too :) I think a common thread is that we all need rest.

  21. Laura, I am just stopping by to let you know our congregation's ladies book club has chosen Courting Morrow Little as our selection for fall. We revealed the book at our meeting last week and will look forward to planning an evening inspired by the book this winter. I am giving away a copy of the book on my blog tomorrow (Friday) and hope you will visit if you get a chance.


    I wouldn't have mentioned this, but since you have so graciously offered your prayers, I would appreciate your saying a word for my family. My husband is out of town this week, and in his absence we have a stomach virus. Two of my four children are recovering, and I am hoping the rest of us will be spared. This bug has run rampant through our school, so I know all of the families affected would appreciate prayers. This is such a small problem compared to so many others, but one that can be overwhelming in the short-term!

    Thank you for a wonderful book. I look forward to reading your latest.

  22. Prayer is a blessing. About to get on my arthritic knees right now. It is wonderful to have the privilege to pray for others and thanks for the reminder!

  23. Julia,
    You're never whiney - no such thing! You're just tired and overwhelmed, something we can all relate to. Believe it or not, you're the 3rd person who has asked for prayer for sinusitis in the last 24 hours, among other things. I have problems with that, too, so really feel for you. Being sick on top of everything else feels crushing at times and you become so burdened.

    Also, being a mom to 2 young children has so many special challenges. Exhaustion is one of them. I think Helen in her comments here is a kindred spirit. Some of my most difficult times were when my boys were little and I felt their care was mostly on my shoulders as Randy was so busy with building our house and working. Homeschooling is wonderful but very demanding, too. Sometimes I just took a day off to play with them and rest and read which refreshed us all. And I used my crock pot like crazy! It's so interesting that the Lord is reminding you to stay linked to writing in such creative ways:)

    I'm celebrating with you about Chris!! That is such good news. And I'll keep those upcoming tests in mind, hoping that nothing else abnormal comes up. Praying, too, the new job is going well.

    I'm so glad you popped in to the ACFW fun on Saturday:) What a memorable evening. I loved seeing my brother there and others, too.

    I've missed you, Julia, and am so glad you stopped here so we can catch up. There's such power in prayer! Our needs might seem overwhelming but God's comfort and power are infinite. Praying today is a good Friday to you and you get some rest this weekend.

  24. Mandy, You always say so much in so few words. Letting go and moving on is so hard at times. I understand that completely which is why my first 3 books centered around the theme of forgiveness. Thank you for sharing your heart here. It's a privilege to pray for you. And I know the Lord will answer!! Also praying this weekend is a time of refreshment and joy to you.

  25. Helen,
    So true - we need prayers coming out of the valley just as much as when we feel mired there. Daily prayers for ourselves and each other, yes. I've seen some miraculous things happen because of prayer and feel when we're covered that way God protects us and pours out His blessings on us.

    Reading your and Julia's comments bring back the past so vividly. Though my boys are 14 and 12 now, they were little not so long ago. And I was so very tired and overwhelmed! I'll tell you a quick story. We were living in our garage as Randy was building our house and working full time, it had rained 93 days straight that winter, we had a colicky newborn who never slept but just nursed round the clock (in fact he doubled his birth weight by 2 months and was over 16 pounds!), I was 2,5000 miles from home, etc. In a word I was OVERWHELMED. And then in the few minutes between the baby's crying and nursing one day, I stumbled upon a verse that has meant the world to me ever since - Isaish 40:11:

    "He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."

    I really sensed God's presence after that and was able to manage everything knowing He was leading me and had such tender care of my children. I never felt alone.

    So thankful we can connect though we are on opposite sides of the world, dear Helen!! Praying today is full of Him for you and your little ones.

  26. Melissa,
    Oh, it's wonderful to meet you here - despite the circumstances! I will say the stomach bug/flu is my least favorite and one that sends my stress factor into orbit. Heartfelt prayers with you and the other families. Have prayed specifically that you and your other 2 will remain well and everyone will recover and get rest, and your husband will return to a well household!

    You're so thoughtful to stop here at such a time and tell me about book club news and blog news - so thrilled - and thank you!! If you ever need bookmarks for your group, I'd be happy to send some to you. I just mailed a bunch to a Kentucky club yesterday. Not everyone needs them but if you do please let me know.

    I'll be sure and visit your blog today, too. Love meeting new readers and am so thankful you're among them. Prayers will continue for you, Melissa, and your precious family.

  27. Whoops, I added one too many zeroes in that one figure above. Fingers flying this morning and not fully awake. The correct mileage is 2,500:) But it felt like 25,000!

  28. Carrie, Love the arthritic knees part as I can relate - something to pray about, I guess! Thanks for the blessing of your being here. You always add so much. Prayers with you always.

  29. I try to bookend my day with prayer and then pepper in some more throughout, but sometimes I feel like it's just rote form! It's good to put prayer out there like this. Not only to pray for each other, but to acknowledge that we're often not as good at it as we should be.

    Please pray for my friend's son--Aaron. He's two weeks out from a terrible accident and likely to be a paraplegic, if not quadriplegic. SO many challenges ahead.

  30. Sarah, Love your "bookend" comment. That brings to mind such a nice image about prayer and our days, etc.

    So sorry to hear about the accident. Prayers with Aaron and his family and you, too, as this is such a huge happening. My heart goes out to them as words are simply inadequate. Bless you, Sarah, for thinking of others. So often we become so self-focused we can't see the needs around us, even critical ones like this.

    Thanks for taking time here. I know others will join in special prayer for Aaron.

  31. I'll honor your request and add 3 current needs of my own -

    Prayers appreciated for my oldest son, Wyatt, who is trying to remain Christlike in an ungodly situation. He's a freshman in high school.

    I've also recently submitted my latest manuscript (the next book you'll be reading, hopefully next summer). Even with a trusted editor, one is never sure how a book will go over. Prayers that His will be done in this book.

    Also, my brother's flying in from Spain soon and will be teaching and preaching at conferences and churches in the states before coming to visit us here. Prayers for travel mercies and health and safety really appreciated, as well as for his wife and 3 children who will stay in Spain in his absence.

    Thanks so much!

  32. It was amazing to be surrounded by such a great group of prayer warriors. I had several wonderful ladies stop and pray with me. What a wonderful experience and reminded me how deep the Father's love for us!

  33. Casey, ACFW deserves so much praise for focusing on HIM. Love the attitude of prayer there and so thankful we finally were able to meet! You're just as remarkable in person - and I think your dad is just tops!!

  34. Laura, thank you so much for offering your prayers. I plan to go back and read everyone's posts and pray as well.

    Please pray for my changing job situation. Specifically that I can do the job to the best of my ability. I am excited by it, but of course there are the changes to happen, and the unknown. So if you could please pray for me, and my co-workers, specifically those who will be moving up with me. Their names are Holly, Mary, Thomas, and Monique.

  35. Michelle, You're already covered:) I thought of you as I was writing this post, knowing what a huge move this is. But I'm so delighted you have 4 co-workers to make the transition with you - am so glad to have their names as that makes it so personal. The Lord is making the leap with you, too, so good things are in store - learning, growing, changing. One of my favorite quotes is one I put in my upcoming novel and it has to deal with change. But no spoilers here;)! Prayers with you all the way!

  36. Thanks so much for sharing that verse Laura :) What a humbling and comforting piece of scripture. Imagine that, a special mention to those with young! Such a comfort when we often feel so menial and insignificant being "just a mum". But to God, it's not insignificant. What a great reminder.

    And Laura, know all about the colicky babies ... had two of them, both with reflux as well. All that screaming ... all day ... ... I can imagine what a time that was for you.

    Thankfully we're past the colick and reflux now but moved onto teething and separation anxiety. Doesn't stop lol. And though it's not a fact I like advertising, I'm dealing with this whilst staring down the tunnel of divorce.

    Keeping your prayer requests in my prayers too Laura! And everyone else here sharing :) It's a blessing to find the love of Christ across the oceans.

  37. Helen, Good morning to you over there:) I can only guess at the time difference. My brother in Spain is about 8 hours ahead. I can only imagine what my house to yours might be! And I also think you're heading into summer. Lucky you:) I'm such a sun lover.

    It's so good to know you found the verse meaningful. I think it applies specifically to young mums like you. I know so many who are going through a marital separation or divorce, too. Heartbreaking but healing will come in your Father's hands. I will remember what you've shared - no wonder you're tired! My heart really, really goes out to you. And prayers will continue.

    I'm so thankful we've become online friends. I never think these things are accidents, more divine appointments. My readers bless me so much and you're one of them! Hope this weekend is restful for you and full of little joys.

  38. Laura,

    I'm thinking of your son tonight. I can't imagine. The struggles they face in this society just seem to increase with every year.

    I've missed stopping here. I think we're still getting into the routine and things are just starting to slow down a little. I treasure the George Whitefield book...and hope to get the chance to read it soon. We just bought all our firewood...we start doing our fires in October most years and those tend to be some of our reading times.

  39. Yes it was late morning when I posted. Right now it's 3PM, I think we're another 8-9 hours in front of Spain. We just started our second month of spring, but you wouldn't know it by looking at today. Horribly wet and very cold - but we don't complain about rain here, since most of the time it's a drought declared area!

    Already been out for brunch (sans children!) with my best friend who is in town for the weekend, and then lunch with the kids and other relatives, all unexpected. So Laura your prayers for "little joys" are answered already! Thank you!

    Hope everyone else has a nice relaxing weekend too :)

  40. Oh Helen, I'm so glad. Sometimes the little joys are what keeps us going through all the bumps. Enjoy every minute - I sense you are! And happy spring to you!

  41. Julia, Thanks for thinking of Wyatt. It's a huge adjustment for a homeschooled kid to enter public school in middle school or high school. I can see the Lord's leading as he's been chosen as a peer mediator/leader to resolve conflicts between students, something I find interesting. But every day is a struggle between light and darkness and some of the kids he attends school with break my heart. But I could write a book about that!

    Enjoy those fires! Randy almost built one for us this morning but promised one tonight. Can't wait:) Book time and fire time - heavenly!

  42. How lovely that you posted this, Laura. I'm glad I stopped in so I could be reminded to pray for you and Julia and others.

    Recently when I was reading A Daily Dose of Spurgeon, he encouraged big prayers, based on the verse "open your mouth wide and I will fill it." So now I'm praying big!

    BTW, two things from the conference. My camera ate some of my photos, so I wasn't able to email them to you :( And I met your editor. She said that you were a gift to her.

  43. Laura, I left a comment earlier that my camera ate my photos. But a miracle occurred today and I found them. Not sure if you'll see this comment, but I'll be emailing you with the photos you're in!

  44. Oh, Renee Ann, you've given me such a gift this morning - photos and the kind words from Andrea. I really needed them. And since I'm such a Spurgeon fan, I love the mention of him, too.

    SO HAPPY you found those photos!! Can't wait to open email and take a look. Plus I think you are blogging about that today as my followers button told me you are so will be over shortly. Thanks so much for the blessing of your friendship. I can't wait to see all the Lord has in store for you and your writing!!

  45. I'm a little late commenting on this post, but your most thoughtful offer to pray for the burdens of people you don't know really touched my heart and has stayed with me. I would greatly appreciate your praying for the salvation of my loved ones. Neither my husband nor I grew up in a Christian home and we both have so many family members not saved. Thank you, Laura, for listening to our hearts.

  46. Mary, I'm so moved by your request and I promise to pray for you. Like you, I have many dear, unsaved relatives that break my heart. I know you feel the same. When I think of you (which is often!), I will remember your request. I also write things down. Forgive me for not responding sooner as I've been up in the mountains for a few days without my laptop. Bless you, Mary, for sharing your heart!