Hi all you faithful followers! God has answered so many prayers over the last few months so I want you to jump over to my NEW blog at DanaKRay.com
I had my first book published at the end of May and would love for you to check it out! You can purchase an autographed copy on DanaKRay.com or download on kindle or purchase a copy at https://amzn.com/1632132605
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The other day I approached an intersection and heard a loud flapping sound. I pulled up next to a six-wheeled pickup truck that had a tire cage in the bed and was hauling new tires. I looked over at the truck and noticed one of his inside tires was blown and the rubber was pounding against the pavement.
We continued down the road. I found it amusing that this truck had a blown tire and he’s hauling around a hundred tires in the back of his truck. He had everything he needed to fix the flat, but never stopped to use it. He drove on because he could. He still had five good tires, but no doubt the ride wasn’t as smooth, enjoyable or efficient.
Often times, we walk around this earth hurt, unfulfilled, attacked or spiritually drained. God has given us everything we need only we never tap into it. We continue on because we can, only we aren’t happy or content.
Do you have a tire blown and you just keep driving using the other five wheels. This leads to a mediocre life. Pull over. Change it. Look up and use the tools God has given us. His Word. Pray. Believe. Trust in Him. He came so we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance. John 10:10
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“And after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” Hebrews 6:15 (NIV)
Have you ever prayed for something for so long that you have to continually remind yourself that God’s timing is perfect? And even though we know His timing is perfect, the wait can be excruciating!
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. God put the desire in my heart at a very early age. Stories have played like movies in my head since as far back as I can remember.
I won my first poetry contest in fifth grade. A simple poem I wrote in 1976, the theme: The Bicentennial.
One of our famous presidents was Lincoln,
He did us lots of good thinkin’
All though he was tall,
He was loved by all and
He kept the southern states from leavin’!
Wow, and I won first place. Amazing, huh? My prize…a book about boys track. Yes, the ultimate punishment, they thought Dana was a boy. Ugh. Not the first time someone thought I was a boy, but I graciously accepted my book, taped my poem in it and have cherished it since. Occasionally I pull it from the shelf, look at it and giggle. It is a reminder of God working in my life even before I knew Him as savior and friend.
I began the year 2015 with these words, “Okay God, it’s been twenty some years since I started putting our stories down on paper and this is the year. It’s time to start trying to get them out to the publishing world. By the end of 2015, I will be entering my Promised Land. And if I don’t have a publishing contract, I will self-publish.”
Reminded of my promise to God daily, and with the help of my critique partner’s encouragement, I subbed one of my books to two publishers in September. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. But God is good and before I knew it, I had both interested and one offered a contract. I’m excited to say that I signed that contract on December 4, 2015 with a release date set for next year. Whew. Twenty plus days to spare.
A Second Chance is due out May 24, 2016.
As I sit here and write this I believe our God to be big and I believe Him to fulfill our dreams. I am a walking example of His answer to prayer. I pray you will dream big dreams and believe our God to be as huge as He really is. Thank you, Jesus, for continued answer to prayer!
I wrote this when my kids were small…
“Jesus] went up on mountainside and sat down. Turning to his disciples, he began to teach them… “go into your room, close the door and pray.”
Matthew 5:1, 6:6 NIV
A prayer closet. A concept my preacher taught me years ago. A place to have a quiet time. A time set aside for just you and the Lord. I’ve heard of people using their dining room tables, gardens, in-home offices or bedrooms. Before I had kids, I faithfully went outside on our deck and prayed. If you would’ve asked me then, I never imagined my prayer closet would change from looking at the beautiful sunrises to the tile on the bathroom wall but after four kids I’ve learned that we can approach God anytime…anywhere…
My children, like most, seem to need every second of my attention. I’ve found the only time I’m able to get away is when I use the restroom. One particular day I woke up to the screams of my kids. The fighting had already begun. Dread consumed me. I knew it was going to be bad. Sure enough, by mid-morning, I was frazzled. I did the only thing I knew to do. I retreated into the bathroom and balanced on the ledge of the bathtub. I dropped my head, clasped my hands together and prayed.
For months I had been praying to find a place to spend time alone with God. I missed my prayer closet. Almost instantly my brain started turning. I looked up at God and smiled. It was so obvious. Since the only time I have for myself is in the bathroom, why not take advantage it? That was the moment my bathroom turned into my prayer closet.
I started by taking a few extra minutes, then quickly grew longer. Luckily it only takes me about thirty minutes to get ready in the morning. Extending this to an hour was not a problem. The kids just thought Mommy needed more time to become beautiful. Which, in reality, she did.
I stashed a Bible in the vanity drawer. I converted the edge of the bathtub into a kneeling bench. The bath mat as my kneeling pad. I’ve often thought if only I only had a mini-fridge and a coffee pot…
It is a very important fact that Christ went out alone and prayed. If Jesus, the Son of God had to do this, how much more important is it for us to do the same? Our concern should not be where the closet is, but that you have one and you use it, daily. Praying is communicating with God. It is how we build a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are no concrete ways to pray, but we have the unwavering words of Psalm 34:15, (NIV) that says; The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayers.
One summer afternoon I was in my closet. I knelt before the bathtub. My knees fixed comfortably on the bathmat, my arms resting on the side of the tub, and my hands facing upward as I delightfully prayed to our Father. I heard a faint tap and a soft voice come through the door. It was my seven-year-old son. “Mommy? What are you doing?”
“What do you think, honey? I’ll be out in a minute.” I continued on with my prayer, knowing that God understands these little interruptions. I’m not sure how long it was after that but I finally emerged from the bathroom refreshed, revived and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I was startled to see my son sitting cross-legged on the floor in the hallway.
He looked up, his large hazel eyes narrowed. “What were you doing in there?”
I thought for a moment. “Going to the bathroom.” It seemed the easiest answer and it wasn’t a lie. I did go to the bathroom, only I had taken an extra fifteen minutes to pray.
“No, you weren’t,” my son firmly stated. “I looked under the door and saw your toes.”
I chuckled. He had to have stuck his face to the carpet and laid prostrate to see what I was doing. I knelt down, gently laid my hand on his back and smiled. “I was praying.”
“Oh.” He smiled then ran off.
I laughed, wondering what must’ve been going on in his little head when all he could see were my knees and toes pressing into the bathmat. Then I saw a vision. I pictured my son, years later using my unconventional prayer closet as an illustration. He explained that with four children his mother had desperately sought a place to pray and finally found one. He pointed out how she had unknowingly taught him the importance of finding a certain place to pray. Prior to that day, he had always assumed she just had trouble going potty.
I went to Silver Dollar City. I am deathly afraid of heights but my daughter talked me into riding the Giant Swing.
We get on the ride with three other people; a dad and two girls around the age of 7. The ride starts and I’m thinking this will be okay until we swing back for the first time. I close my eyes tightly, my knuckles are white and I begin praying, hard, because I am terrified for my life.
“Jesus,” I say, “Just make it end. Oh, Lord, help me! God, make it stop. I don’t want to die…”
My daughter, instead of enjoying the ride, is trying her best to console me. “It’s okay, mommy,” she says, patting my arm. “It’s almost over. That was the biggest swing. It’s getting lower. It’ll be okay.”
“Oh, Jesus,” I say with more intensity. “Help me, you have to stop this thing…”
From start to finish, the ride lasts one minute. The longest minute of my life. When the seat belt unbuckles, I shout, “Thank you Jesus. Oh, thank you Jesus.” The people watching are getting a good laugh. My daughter is still trying to console me and the two seven-year-olds are asking their dad to ride it again.
As I staggered away I tried to catch my breath, slow down my heart rate, and get the feelings back in my hands, I heard God say, “Oh, Dana. If only you’d pray with one-tenth of that intensity we could move mountains.”
When was the last time you prayed with that kind of intensity? When you felt your life was on the line? Maybe it was the death of a loved one or a bad diagnosis? What if we could pray with that kind of intensity all the time? We could, and would, move mountains.
God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare Pray hard and long. Ephesians 6:17-18 (The Message)