If you have ever felt passionate about a message, ministry or a cause then you can understand my sense of urgency and desire for an open door. Since I was 27 (for almost 20 years), I’ve been looking for a door to open. Thankfully, in 1998 doors here and there opened for me to minister, but nothing that led to a long-term opportunity. In 2007, a door opened for me to have both a women’s Sunday School class and a Wednesday night class to teach regularly. In 2009, a door swung wide open with the opportunity to lead the Women’s Ministry function at my church. Then in 2012, I became a staff member at church and I secured a book contract for my prayer journal. On November 7, 2013, my book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet” launched. I knew it would open more doors for ministry, and it has with invitations to speak at different venues, but I did not anticipate the open door to personally minister one-on-one at book signings as it has. It has truly been a blessing to share what God has done in my life with others.
I began to pray for an open door after reading Paul talk about his “great door of effective work” in 1 Corinthians 16:9. I’ve longed for my own door of effective work. I am not looking for a small door or busy work, but like most ministers of God’s Word, I am looking for a GREAT door of EFFECTIVE work to be opened for the message of Jesus Christ, the specific message that He has given me to impart.
The last 10 days have been a whirlwind. I have had all kinds of new experiences: book signings, TV appearances, book chats and ministering to my family members to name just a few. I’ve went to book signings without an ink pen and appeared on TV to talk about my book to only forget to mention the title of my book. Clearly, I haven’t even been completely prepared for everything that has come about – lol. Here a just a couple more highlights:
My very first direct sale customers for my book:
This is a funny little story. On November 8, 2013, I was scheduled to appear for my very first book signing at 5 Chef’s Restaurant. I first went to a local bank to get some ones and fives. The teller, Rebekah, inquired about why I needed the change and I told her. She then inquired about my book and when I told her about it, she said, “SHUT UP!!! I just ordered this book the other day because a blogger in Arkansas whom I follow recommended it!” To which I replied, “SHUT UP! That is so cool!” (I didn’t really say “SHUT UP”, but I wish I had because it makes a funnier tale; I did think it though!) Who knew that someone in another state was promoting “Organizing Your Prayer Closet” – bloggers are a wonderful group of people!
Rebekah and another teller, Melissa, decided to purchase my book that morning and became MY very first direct sale customers. Thank you, ladies!!!
Then, last week I journeyed to Chattanooga for the TN Baptist Convention’s Summit. There, my book was at Lifeway’s on-site book store. As I approached the table where my book was showcased, I noticed a guy looking at it so I pointed out the cool prayer journal inside, and he decided to purchase it for himself. Let me just say, this prayer journal can be used by men as well – Yes-siree! So here is a pic of a real guy’s guy with my book. He actually had me sign it personally to him, so in case you were thinking he was just going to give it away at Christmas (because it would make a terrific gift), think again!
Prayer journaling is for men, too!
I am so thankful for these past 10 days – all of which were made possible by my Lord Jesus Christ. I thank Him, and love Him for giving me such a wonderful ministry.
Gina Duke is the author of “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press). Her book not only teaches on prayer, but also facilitates it with an enclosed 52-week structured prayer journal.