I am pleased to announce that I have just signed my book contract with Abingdon Press for “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray”.
This is an exciting time for me. I have always loved journaling and after receiving a two columned prayer journal for Christmans in 1996 from one of my aunts, I had been on the hunt for something similar. Without success in my search, I finally had an epiphany to create my own in an excel spreadsheet. As I began, I felt the Lord leading me to add more compartments and scripture. It has been life-changing to say the least concerning my spiritual clarity in my walk with God.
The Lord called me to ministry in 1994. I had no idea of what it would look like. At that point my only point of reference of a woman in ministry was Joyce Meyer. In 1995, I prayed about it and remember telling the Lord that I wanted my ministry to be something that could minister to women when they would have time for it. Being a busy mom with a career, I knew women could not always live at a women’s conference. So, when the Lord gave me the Prayer Closet Organizer, I knew that He had given me the desire of my heart in ministry. I’ve spent the last few years imparting 1 Peter 4:7 to women through this method of prayer journaling.
My hope was that one day it would be published, but had no clue how to make that happen. I would go through seasons where I would feel anxious about it. I specifically remember purchasing a book about “ePublishing for Dummies” in order to learn how to get my book published, but then I felt the Lord say to me to just stop because He would provide me with everything I needed. So I’ve waited and often thought that if I could just get it in front of a publisher, then they could tell me if I had something worth publishing or if it was just something that only works for me. Then my church became acquainted with Lysa Terkeurst.
My late Minister of Education & Administration, Steve Griffith, whom I reported to as the Director of Women’s Ministry at my church learned about Lysa from his brother/pastor in Ohio. Some of the women who lead Bible studies at my church had been desiring a women’s Bible study that had shorter video teaching sessions in order to have more time for discussion in our discipleship classes on Sunday nights. Lysa’s study, “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl” was just what they had been hoping for, and we have been a huge fan ever since. So much so, that we invited Lysa to be the speaker for our very first Women’s Conference in 2010. As such, I had to do some promos with our local radio station. In preparation, I researched the Proverbs 31 Ministries website and that is where I found She Speaks – a speakers and writers conference where authors can get in front of a publisher. This was what I had been hoping for! Needless to say, I signed up for the 2012 She Speaks.
When I received the long list of publishers to choose from, I researched and prayed over them before making my choices. The week before traveling to North Carolina, I received my publishers appointment itinerary. I was a little surprised that I only got two of my three choices, and the third one was a publisher I had not requested. I must say though, that after researching the three different editors, Lil Copan with Abingdon Press had the most favorable reviews in my internet search. I went to She Speaks and the event was so well put together and spiritually uplifting that I was changed after that event. I can’t even explain it, it must be experienced in order to understand. I went to my first publisher appointment where I was stopped mid-way through my elavator pitch with being told that my idea was outdated and there was no interest. She had a lot of constructive criticism that I actually found to be very helpful, but a little let down. I left that appointment and went to my next. The next editor allowed me to finish my pitch, but in the end said “Thanks, but no thanks.” Now I was really wondering why I was even there and told my friend Lisa who went with me, that I hoped my third and last appointment (with Abingdon Press) was a God-ordained event.
As I sat across from Lil, I shared my heart about my structured prayer journal. All Lil would say was “uh-huh…mmhmm…uh-huh” and I thought, “Oh my gosh, she is not only not interested, but she is rushing me to just get done with my spill so she can say “No thanks”, too!” But I decided that I was still going to make my best sell, and in the end she wanted to see more, so I pulled out the actual book proposal and handed it to her. She began to flip through it, and I even offered to show her my very own personal prayer closet organizer so she could see how it worked in real life. She looked over it and then said, “I love it!” Within a couple of weeks I got a call from her and it has been a wonderful experience thus far! The contract is signed, the advance check received, and now its time to get to the work of completing the final product. My completed transcript is due February 1, 2013. My book should hit the store’s bookshelves in November 2013. God is good and always faithful! Praise His Name!!!
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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she 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. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
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