Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Prayer Room, Part 2

We ended our meeting with a professional hand shake. I said my “thank you and good-bye” to the Senior Editor for a well-known Christian book publisher and exited the room, making way for her next appointment to enter. With her business card in hand, it hit me. She expressed interest in reviewing my completed book proposal AND gave me her card. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know what to do with that. I should have been elated. Instead I was numb.

I’d had 3 meetings that day, 2 of which I was convinced I wanted to cancel. And now someone may be interested. Interesting

Through the strength of Christ, I’ve found legs to stand under layers of disappointment I’ve faced in recent years. Today, the reality that I’ve misplaced my sensitivity to the excitement and whimsical pleasure of possibility gripped me as I left the editor’s presence. At first I didn’t know where to go – back to my hotel suite or to slip quietly into the rear of the room to catch the end of the session I’d missed. The navigation system of my stylish black heels had someplace else in mind.

When I crossed the threshold of the prayer room, I almost froze. There were two women praying together, and I felt like any move I made would disrupt the precious atmosphere. I silently slipped into a chair and began to reflect. Moments later a woman from the prayer team joined me. My private nature almost told her I just wanted to be left alone in silence. Instead I shared my immediate thoughts and allowed her to pray for me.

After prayer, the sweet woman (whose name escapes me now) directed me to the tables in the back to find my name attached to a name of God. I rounded the table carefully scanning 650 names looking for my own. I was eager to find out to what name His Spirit led them to affix my name. My heart began to pound as I neared the end and had yet run across Monica Watkins.

As I turned to walk away, the enemy of my existence began his choral response in my head. He put on a grand performance, singing negative tunes insinuating I’d been forgotten, gone unnoticed, was unimportant, flown under the radar or fallen through the cracks undetected once again. He begged me to agree with him that I shouldn’t have been there, at the conference, meeting with publishers, or pitching a book.

“You haven’t arrived,” he taunted. “The epicenter o f destiny is all in your head.”

The woman who prayed for me was watching the entire time. She whispered to me, “Did you find it?” When I told her no, she immediately jumped up to help me look. She took one side of the table, and I took the other. In no time she bid me come.

There I was (last vertical slip at the top of the page):

Attached to Jehovah, the great I AM!

The words written below the name are:

 “I Am”: The one who is the self-existent One

God never changes. His promises never fail. When we are faithless, He is faithful. We need to obey Him.

Exodus 3:14, Exodus 6:2-4, Exodus 34:5-7, Psalm 102

If you’re looking for a place to spend your devotion time today, the verses above may be a nice place to start. They have been for me. Later on, I’ll share which verses stood out most and how I am finding peace in these passages.

Completely ME,

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Prayer Room, Part 1 – More Thoughts from She Speaks

Imagine the variety of experiences that may be available to you over the course of roughly 67 hours, in an environment of 650 women representing 40+ states and (I think) 4 countries. A superabundance of experiences can spring forth out of such fertile ground. This was the ground I walked on at the She Speaks Conference last weekend.

Take note – especially any writers, speakers, and/or women’s ministry leaders out there – as I continue to express the richness of this experience. It was a wealth weightier than normal networking and padded the scale more on the side of encouragement than of competition.

One of my notable experiences was my time in the She Speaks Conference Prayer Room. The Prayer Room was a place of calm in the midst of the clamor, set aside for a purpose I believe is pretty self-explanatory (given the name). It was a serene place of comfortable seating, dim lighting, soothing instrumental worship music, and oh yeah, lots of tissue boxes. After all this was a women’s event. 🙂

There were no “hours of operation” for the prayer room, at least none that I was ever aware of. If the conference was in session, the prayer room was open. Women would drop in between or even during sessions, whenever they felt the need to steal away for a sweet hour (or maybe just a few minutes) of prayer.

The most unique aspects of the prayer room, aside from the atmosphere, were the names of God on display on tables at the back of the room. Get this! Prior to the conference the Proverbs 31 Ministries team took the time to pair the name of each one of the 650 attendees to one of 19 names of God. A sampling of the names of God included names like: El – meaning: The Strong One, Jehovah Nissi – meaning: The Lord is My Banner, Immanuel – meaning: God with us, and El Shaddai – meaning: the all sufficient one; the God of the mountains; God almighty

The team prayed over all 650 women in the days leading up to the conference. Now is that a beautiful thing or what?! Indeed it is.

Join me tomorrow as I share more of my experience in the prayer room and the funny now (yet not so funny then) story of how and where I found my name.

In the meantime, is there a request you’d like me to take into my personal prayer room for you? I’d be delighted to call on the One who is the strong One, who is our banner, who is the all sufficient One – God almighty – on your behalf. Feel free to leave your prayer requests in the comments, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Completely ME,

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Epicenter of Destiny – Thoughts from She Speaks 2011

Proverbs 13:12 (NASB) reads, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” It’s true I’d wanted to attend the She Speaks Conference – this meeting of like minds in the areas of writing, speaking, and women’s ministry – since 2004. I’m not sure my heart was sick each year I was unable to go, but knowing God’s timing is perfect did soothe the apparent sting of disappointment.

Eventually…

As I walked into the grand atrium lobby, the sun’s afternoon rays perforated the windowed ceiling. The gaze of eleven floors of hotel room doors and windows witnessed my arrival. On this day, desire had finally come, and I was positioned to experience the life and synergy this gathering of 650 women would inevitably produce.

I arrived 24 hours before the official start of the conference. With each passing hour, the atmosphere swelled with momentum as one eager woman after another stepped off a plane, out of a shuttle van, a bus, or a car, and clicked her heels onto the marble floor of the hotel lobby. Anticipation and great expectation filled the air as intoxicants, and I… well I deeply inhaled.

My brain contorted as my mind struggled to comprehend how each woman taking her turn through the revolving door entered with a similar gift and maybe even a similar story as the woman before or after her. Yet, despite our commonalities, God has a unique plan for advancing His messages of love, hope and freedom to a different audience, in a different way, through each willing and obedient vessel that passed before me – a plan that can only be accomplished by the power of His spirit alone.

Wow…

I was very comfortable in this place.

So, this is what it feels like to be at the epicenter of destiny – the place where a willing, obedient vessel commits her God-given gift(s) to be used to fulfill His plan for her life (the complete details she’s yet unsure of), for the purpose of freedom, by the power of His Spirit.

The epicenter of destiny is less of an event and more of a mindset, a place of true identity, and the actions and lifestyle that flow from that place.

Are you willing and obedient?

What is/are your gift(s)?

Do you trust God’s great power and His planning perfection?

Have you tasted freedom? Do you want to lead others to it?

Have you been to the epicenter of destiny?

Completely ME,