In the Soulish Food eNewsetter I wrote last month, I put out a plea for a prayer team. This is what I wrote:
“Will you become part of my prayer team?
Retrospectively, looking back through the years, it is clear that when David and I set our faces toward doing what we believe God has placed upon our hearts to do, that sudden and intense spiritual resistance forms. The resistance is not in the form of inconvenient and annoying bumps in the road, but cataclysmic detours, head-on wrecks and eleven-car collisions.
Twenty years ago, I had written a book that was designed in its language and terminology to reach to spiritually hungry readers outside of the traditional religious publishing markets. A huge controversy eventually resulted in our ministry being $2.6 million dollars in debt. It took us some fifteen year to dig out from under that mountain. Two years ago, when I started to “write out” as that inner voice seemed to be prodding me to do, our son Jeremy became ill and died quickly from an acute and rare lymphoma. The January after Jer died in November, I cleaned the writing study and was preparing to head into a writer’s life when I fell, dislocated my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff resulting in slings, an operation and months of physical therapy. Pre-operation exams eventually determined that I had “suspicious papillary cells” and resulted in a thyroidectomy.
I think you can see why I am bidding your prayers—as I prepare to make fruitful whatever last years are given to me, I feel the need for prayers of protection, prayers that my mind will be strong, that I will have the discipline to withdraw from things I love to do for the sake of being obedient to what it is I hear God speaking to my heart. I need prayers that the Enemy who loves to destroy will not be able to breach the circle of protection your prayers will put around us.
If you would like to be part of this prayer team, will you reply to this “Soulish Food” eNewsletter and give me your e-mail address? I will put you on my private intercessory prayer list, in which I will send out reports and prayer requests. This will become, I hope, my inner circle.
Last night, with the help of Nyquil®—I had caught a head cold, which I rarely ever catch—I slept deeply without coughing, and I had a dream.
I was in a pre-sermon dialogue group with a bunch of pastors, and I had worked hard on my sermon. In fact, I had requested that this meeting be held so that I could perfect the sermon I was going to present. The leader of the group, a well-known Christian leader with much influence, chided me kindly about something he thought I hadn’t accomplished, but I strongly defended myself and reminded him that this pre-sermon dialogue group had been my idea.
Suddenly, his wife swept into the room with a number of other women; they were holding a birthday celebration, and the cake and decorations came out and began to subsume the purpose of our gathering. I explained to her that this actually was a group that had formed to listen to and help me construct a good sermon at my request. She didn’t appear to be ready to back off her plan; nor did I appear to be willing to back off mine. Then I woke up.
Sitting with this dream a little, it became clear to me that all the “womanly” things of my life—housekeeping and cherishing, in fact, much of the relational ministry that I do and the normalcy of living that I have achieved in these last fifteen years, are the activities, if I am not strong, that will keep me from the work that is at hand. I need the left side of my brain to dominate the right side, the creative side, for a while. I need the planning, aggressive, organizing, ordering, intellectual/thinking, authority-taking left side to take charge and give the whole me the determination and resolve to see all these writing tasks through.
If God gives me enough life, it will be a gut-wrenching ride as I prepare myself to go gently and even eagerly into that good night. So let me know if God has placed me on your heart. Who knows what will happen if prayer is activated.”
It is gratifying to know that I have a list of some 22 people, all friends and acquaintances from the different stages and phases of my life, who have stepped up to be a part of this prayer circle. Many of these people have told me that God had already placed me on their hearts—how humbling is that thought? David and I have a demanding production schedule ahead. And, I feel as though we will be covered, surrounded, protected, comforted, guided, hedged in, enabled, anointed, and loved. What a gift!
Most of the people who are praying for us are over 50 years-of-age; most are seasoned in life, practiced in the spiritual disciplines, faithful in prayer. I think of the Scriptures from James 5:16b “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Suddenly, today I realized that I am being prayed for by a band of 22 righteous folk—powerful and effective in their prayers. What a thought!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.