Sep 11, 2013

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Psalm 55

Happy Worship Wednesday SHINE girls!

Today marks 12 years since September 11th. This day just intensifies in my heart the need for prayer.

After church this Sunday, I had the opportunity to have lunch with a good friend and mentor, Shelly. Shelly and her husband, Hunter, were the leaders of the very first small group that Lem and I joined at our church.

They have poured their ministry into our lives, and have set such an incredible example of discipleship for us. Hunter has been such an awesome mentor and friend to Lem. Truly, God hand-picked them to be our friends several years ago. The Lord knew we needed them! :)

At lunch Sunday, Shelly told me about a ministry that she had started. She and several other ladies were meeting each week to pray for their community. I will let her tell you the rest of the story, but needless to say, I was inspired.

I was so inspired in fact, that I prayed and asked God what in the world to do with all of this inspiration and heart-igniting for prayer that I was feeling.

Of course, He answered.

He led me to organize a prayer walk in OUR community. A prayer walk for our schools. I knew I had to act on it quickly because if I didn't, I would back out.

I typed up an email just as quick as my little fingers could type. I hit send.

Because of Shelly's obedience and ministry, we will have a prayer walk in Madison, Ga this Saturday at 7:30 am to cover our schools in prayer. {Shelly doesn't even know this---until NOW!}

Maybe God is leading you to do the same? Or maybe you live in one of these communities and would like to be involved.

I kept asking God: "Are you sure??? You know this is kind of crazy--what if nobody comes?? Do you really want me to do this??"

He gently reminded me: "My will is always for my children to pray and communicate with me. You never have to question that. I hear your prayer. Even if you are the only one praying."

There you have it. He wants us to pray. Period.

So, today, Shelly Hall will give her testimony. You will be blessed and inspired, my friends.

My Prayer story
by: Shelly Hall

My name is Shelly, friend of Jill’s, and four years ago I was helping take care of my mom, whom had cancer.  I asked her about any of her favorite books and she suggested one by Jennifer Kennedy Dean on prayer called, Live a Praying Life.  
During that time, I used that particular study for my times with the Lord.  It taught me a ton about prayer, which I felt very weak in.  But this is where my burden for prayer in our community began.
Once my mom passed and we got back to normal life,  I found that with four kids in sports/activities and a busy husband, plus working part time, I had little time for other things.  So I just kept spending time with the Lord regularly and continued to have a burden for prayer in our community.  
I wanted to be “used” for the Lord but I felt like I was in a more “wilderness time” of going deeper with Him and being faithful in that.   I had lived in a couple other states and in one place, I had attended a group which met for the sole purpose of praying for our schools;  this experience always resonated with me and I longed to see something like this to begin in our community.
Last summer, I sat down with lady and shared my heart for gathering women to come and pray for our schools, community leaders, economics, and churches.  She was excited and wanted to help me carry this out, so we met with two other women and shared the vision. 
 We began meeting in her home and started recruiting others to join us from various denominations, race, and economic levels.  Currently, we have around 10-12 women who come to pray for one hour, only, on Friday mornings.  It has been such a blessing to me and others as we gather in unity and lift up our hearts to the Lord for our burdens and hopes for this community.
My gifting is not prayer but I have just had this burden to initiate it and realized that I have a ton of connections in this community because of my husband and I’s many contacts( four children playing sports, every season for 10 yrs, puts you in many lives).  So I have used this to gather people, and it doesn’t sound spiritual:  like a gift of prayer, but I went for it and have been overly blessed by the variety of godly women the Lord has brought to pray and taught me to how to pray for certain issues in unique ways.  
My heart is to see these groups spring up all over our county for women of all walks of life.  I recently had a women talk about doing one called “play and pray” for women who have young kids but want to join in the prayer initiative and their kids can play in her home as they pray.  I would love to see one for working women and teachers.  And then, maybe we could set up prayer walks to cover schools and areas in the community.  I am just struck with the potential of seeing what God can do as we embark on this regularly and excited to see how He will move here:   like unifying churches, softening hearts, awakening spiritual interest, students making an impact in their schools, and the list goes on of how God can bring changes that we’ve hoped for and were not sure if they could happen here.  
One author wrote: “prayer for a specific place/person is like putting a magnifying glass over it and directing God’s power to that area”.
Why not make it where I live, where my kids go to school, and where there are people, I see and I care about, that need the Lord in their lives.

The Hall Family!

So that is my story, just small steps of obedience and faith, and anticipating seeing God’s hand here because we came and prayed.  And by the way, sometimes I wonder if I am a part of the impact of my mom and her friends praying for this community a decade ago. I never thought of it as I walked along this path,  but now I found myself here. If that’s the case, may God’s faithfulness to answer the prayers of those who’ve gone before us bring honor to Him for hearing and moving.

The REAL Hall Family--CRAZY!!! :-)

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