Lord, Hear Our Cry

Today in honor of National Day of Prayer, I invite you to join with me in prayer for our country, for authors and publishers, and the church.

Prayer 2015

Father God,

I thank you for your sovereign grace and mercy. You are bigger and greater than my mind can conceive, yet you became incarnate, taking on human flesh, so that we could begin to know you.

Today I lift up the leaders of the United States of America. I pray that the leaders of this great nation would recognize you as God. I ask that our nation’s leaders would be reminded of and would remember the principles that this nation was founded on—principles of freedom for all, especially the freedom to live out one’s religious convictions in everyday life.

There are those that seek to exert their beliefs and ideas above others. We pray for this spiritual battle. We ask that the forces of heaven would be arrayed to fight on behalf of those who are committed to you and your ways. I ask that you would protect those who follow you and preserve the work they do to encourage people seek after you.

I also bring before you those who are striving to publish and promote your word. I pray that you would strengthen these individuals to continue to walk the path that you have called them to. Help them to live out their convictions. Give them wisdom, strength, and perseverance in their tasks. May your word continue to go forth through both the written and audible word so that hearts may be convicted and lives may be changed.

May you inspire those who write and publish for your glory to find creative ways to present you and your glory to their readers. Lord, we know that it is your Holy Spirit that convicts. We ask that you use our feeble efforts for your glory.

Bless those who write and publish Christian materials. For your word tells us, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Bring unity within your body, Lord Jesus. You are the head; help us, the members of your body, to have tolerance for those non-essential differences and to love the other members as we love ourselves. To you be glory in the Church both now and forevermore.

Amen

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Encouragement

I recently read the memoir Peace Child by Don Richardson. It is the story of Don’s missionary efforts with the stone-aged Sawi people of New Guinea.

In the book, there is a quote from a missionary talking to Don before Don embarks on the mission field. This gentleman says, “You must be prepared in the strength of the Lord, to do battle with the prince of darkness, who, having held these hundreds of tribes captive these many thousand years, is not about to give them up without a fight.”

Satan does not like to relinquish a territory or area that he has in his power. He will not give it up without a fight.

I remember talking with an author a few years ago. This gentleman had written a book on prayer and listening to God’s voice. He told me that his computer crashed twice while he was working on the manuscript. One time, he had to start over, while the other time, he was able to hire someone to retrieve the work he had done. After he sent the book to the editor, he received a phone call. The editor called to tell him that she felt Satan did not want this book published. When questioned why she thought this, she stated that her computer had completely crashed while she was attempting to edit the manuscript.

Have you, or are you having a similar experience? Do you feel that there is strong opposition to a book you have or are trying to publish? Remember, the evil one does not want the message of love, hope, and peace to go forth. Maybe you are pushing against the forces of darkness.

If you are struggling, take heart. Remember that God is faithful; he has won the battle. Get down on your knees and pray your book into existence.

Take heart. Keep fighting in the strength of the Lord. God does not leave you to fight alone. He is fighting for you.

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A Prayer for Publishers

Today is National Day of Prayer. Even with a U.S. court ruling that such a declaration from the government is unconstitutional, many around our country will still gather to acknowledge the role of prayer in our lives and in the health of our country.

I join with many today to offer up a prayer for our country and specifically, in this post, for those who minister through and publish the written word.

Father God,

You are awesome and holy. Through you, nations are built and planted and, through you, nations are uprooted, torn down, and destroyed. I pray that our great nation would repent, that we, its people, would mend our ways and turn with all our hearts to acknowledge and worship you, the only true God.

Today I specifically pray for those who minister through and publish the written word. May their hearts remain true to you. May you keep them pure and holy as you are holy. May their words and their witness draw people to you, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, through whom salvation is found.

Bless Christian authors and publishers in the United States and around the world. Keep them in the palm of your hand. Protect them and grant them encouragement and endurance to persevere when the way is difficult. May you make their plans succeed and grant their requests, so that your name may be praised.

Sustain those who have suffered in this difficult economic climate. Many have lost their jobs and suffered financial hardship. Others have had to shut down their publishing companies and watch their dreams disintegrate. Lord, I pray especially for these individuals. I ask that through their difficulties you would be near to them and meet their needs. May you grant them a fresh touch of your presence. Most of all, I ask that through their difficulties, may they be drawn into a deeper understanding of who you are so that they can begin afresh to minister to others.

May you continue to make all grace abound to us so that in all things, at all time, having all that we need, we can abound in every good work. Honor your promise to make us rich in every way so that we can be generous to others and bring glory and honor to your name in all that our hands find to do.

Amen


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Father God,

I come before your throne with praise on my lips for you are holy and mighty. Everything is subject to your will. I bow before you in awe and reverence for we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.

We are in trouble Lord. Economic hard times are upon us; much of our own making. Spiritual bankruptcy rules our land. May you look upon us with favor and draw the people of this country back to a right relationship with you through your loving kindness.

I thank you for your loving kindness. You do not treat us as our sins deserve but pour your grace and mercy over us.

Forgive us, Lord, for our sins. We have all turned aside to our own agenda and placed you second many times. Forgive the people of this country who have rejected you and sought to replace your truth with lies.

Uphold those who preach your word in season and out. Protect them from the evil one and strengthen them in their inner beings.

I lift up my brothers and sisters around the world who suffer for your great name. Strengthen their hearts and protect them that they may be counted with those who overcome. May you enable them to take up your armor so that they can withstand the evil they battle.

Holy God, you put rulers in place and depose them at your word. I pray that your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I pray that your great name would continue to be upheld on Earth as it is in Heaven. Strengthen those who write and publish your word that hearts may be comforted, minds encouraged, and souls redeemed.

Father, I ask that you would grant us the wisdom to discern your truth. Lead us into all righteousness for your name’s sake.

Amen.

I invite you to add your own prayer in the comments and post a prayer on the National Day of Prayer’s website at www.ndptf.org.

Unless the Lord Builds…

I am currently re-reading 100 Amazing Answers to Prayer by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen. This time round I am reading it with my daughter. The book is both inspiring and convicting. The awesome answers to prayer chronicled in the book inspire me to want to pray more and experience more of God’s incredible power in my life. Yet, I am also convicted when I read these true stories because I do not pray enough.

The neat thing is that even though this book was originally published in 2003 by Revell, you can still purchase it new. The book must be selling well enough for Revell to still be printing it. Generally, books published by large publishing houses are placed out-of-print within a year or two of publication if they do not reach best-seller status. Thus many great books fade into obscure second-hand only status rather quickly. Ah, the rub of being published by a large established publishing house. The author pours her soul into a book only to see it sold briefly. This is why I had my own publishing company reprint one of my books that went out-of-print when the original publisher decided to no longer print the book. When the book went out-of-print, individuals began contacting me, the author, asking where they could still purchase the book. So I decided to make it easy for them to do that. But, I digress.

James 4:2-3 says, You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. How much do I not have because I don’t take the time to ask my God? Would my books sell more copies and touch more people’s lives if I prayed more? Would my marketing efforts, my blog posts, and my social networking time be more fruitful if I spent more time praying over them before I undertook each one?

Psalm 127:1 states, Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. We need God to go before us and build our marketing avenues. We need Him to open doors and prepare the way; otherwise our promotional efforts are in vain.

How about you? Are you praying over each promotional effort you are undertaking on behalf of your books? Are you asking God to bless these promotional efforts so that the words God has given you to write or publish may bless those lives it touches? Or are you too focused on obtaining notoriety as an author or on achieving the dream you are carrying?

I am committing myself to pray more over each promotional effort this year. I am asking God to build my house. I am asking Him to build the avenues of book promotion to place my books into the hands of those who most need the words they read, and that through them many others will be blessed also.

Has God recently blessed a promotional avenue you undertook for your books?