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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mother and Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. She is a witty and point-on expositor of God’s Word as a conference speaker. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, Gina is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. Gina also blogs and offers numerous videos and resources at GinaDuke.com. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
Moving on…from the election, my heart is focused on praying for our nation in a different way than days past. A lot of our nation’s kids have poured into the streets to protest the election decision. We’ve got a lot of church people doing the happy dance, while many of our nation’s marginalized are now living in fear. All of this has left me concerned about the state of the church.
How do we, the church of the Great God of Grace and Compassion, convince our children and the disadvantaged that we love them, even though by and large we disagree with many of their ideals where scripture dictates our values? How can we heal the wounds that were created during this election cycle? How can we say…whatever needs to be said… without alienating, judging and demeaning them?
I have an idea…now, it’s kinda novel…and we, the church have not been particularly great at it lately, but what if we just start talking more about Jesus and less about the presidency? Let’s love one another. Let’s be kind and compassionate. Let’s share and stand in the gap for those in need. Let’s pray!
Hi, there! I don’t know about you, but I loathe chaos. Seems like there is a lot of it going on, too. Just from the news cycle alone of the upcoming Presidential election, chaos has taken over, and I can’t wait for next Tuesday to be over. Are you with me?
Good; I felt like you would be. One of the things that I love about structured prayer journaling is that it helps remove the chaos from my life, and replaces its space with much clarity. It’s why I continue to prayer journal day after day for the past 15 years.
Oh my goodness, it has been almost exactly 15 years ago that God laid it on my heart to develop what is known today as the Prayer Closet Organizer that is housed inside of my book, Organizing Your Prayer Closet. And I am sure I will still be using this prayer journal until I take my last breath. Without it, I can’t see God as clearly and I absolutely cannot have that! If you’ve never committed to the discipline of structured prayer journaling I encourage you to give it a whirl.
You are welcome to take a peak inside my prayer closet…
Please Note: If you received an email form me on Saturday, October 1, regarding a 31-Day series, it was in error. I apologize for the confusion. It is a topic I am working on, but am not ready to share it just yet. Thank you for understanding. Now, on to my prayer tip:
While praying the other day in the restroom at work, of all places, I noticed a deficiency in my prayer. I was actually praying for a co-worker who has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer so he is on my mind often throughout the day. I caught myself saying something like, “God, I’m just praying for his healing…” Now, that’s just a silly thing to say when you think about it—not the part about requesting healing, but my phrase “…I’m just praying…” I would never say to my husband, “Honey, I am just communicating to you that I want you to…” I would simply state my request to my husband; he already knows that I am speaking to him. God is also aware that I am speaking to Him, so there is no need for me to waste time or energy on clarifying the obvious for Him.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives a simple definition for the word pray: “to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something.” To pray is to communicate something to God. I realized that my problem phrase fell into that area of redundancy that is noted in Matthew 6:7.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7
Now, I realize that I am being a little bit hard on myself with this self-critique, but this scripture did come to mind. I realized that I often say, “Lord, I am just praying this…Lord, I am just praying that…” and I’ve now decided that I am done saying that little prayer filler phrase. It is a useless phrase, isn’t it?
This whole discussion with myself prompted me to craft some better phrasing. Here are some of my new choices…
God, I am believing in your healing power to heal my friend.
Father, I am trusting you to heal my colleague
Lord, I am giving this sickness over to You for You are the Great Physician.
Just by making these minor adjustments in my phrasing, I have crafted a much higher-quality prayer petition. Notice how much more confident these statements are? God loves confident prayers! How confident are your prayers?
Happy Sunday! I have a collection of my prayer journaling videos to share with you. God has been so good, even when I don’t feel that I have been. God answers my complaints and is faithful all the time. I hope you enjoy my latest collection She Prayer Journals videos.
This video is about God’s overwhelming peace, favor and gifts…
In this video I discuss marriage and divorce woes…
God answered my complaint…
I want to share with you a divine realization that I had…
Don’t you think our nation needs a good old fashioned camp meeting???
Due to the new focus on prayer since the release of the War Room movie and the craze of Bible Journaling, the original copy of Organizing Your Prayer Closet has had a resurgence in sales, especially on Amazon.
In response, Abingdon Press has released a refreshed version of the original book and relaunched it in the summer of 2016. The new project includes an additional chapter (Chapter 1) and some other minor improvements.
It is hard to believe how God has used this project and in His mercy and grace extended its shelf life. Only He would time its release before one of the most popular Christian Movies of our time was released that focused on my book’s topic – prayer closet.
My book is more of a portable alternative to actually claiming closet space to climb into for prayer. And, oh, how I love decorating mine like a junk journal! See my YouTube videos here!
The enclosed Prayer Closet Organizer is a great tool to facilitate a robust prayer life. It not only includes some helpful prayer tips but makes a great accessory to anyone’s prayer life. If you would like to gather some friends up for a small group study, I’ve got a guide for you here.
This book can be ordered from my publisher’s website or from Amazon, to name a few online stores. And just in case, you still love the original and would like to puchase one of my decorated versions, go to my Etsy store, Churchtown Market.
Confession alert – I am feeling like a failure. Maybe you are too. Since returning to corporate America, I have had the worst stinkin’ time trying to keep up with blogging and writing. It is so frustrating to want to do something so badly, but not being able to do it. But, hey, I did not come here to complain, nor did you come here to listen to me complain and blah, blah, blah…
The good news is that I’ve been able to keep up with my YouTube videos. Since I haven’t posted the last few, I thought I would just do a dump…(yeah, I did this last month and called it “catching up” – pathetic, I know!). So here goes…
You just may find this one a little controversial; I know some did on YouTube, but it is something that has changed how I look at things. See what you think…
Next, my brain stopped working…Just note that when I say Home Depot, I meant Hobby Lobby and when I said the letter “C”, I really meant “S”. Follow along if you can…
Okay – this one you will love – not necessarily my video BUT the Tim Holtz TRANSPARENT VELLUM PAPER!!! Check it out…
Well, that’s all folks for now. Thank you for stopping by!
I am using the award-winning structured prayer journal, Organizing Your Prayer Closet (Abingdon Press) to decorate and enjoy during my prayer time. I am sharing why going back and making updates are important, talking about what do when the Holy Spirit cautions you and crying over my mama (again).