Halfway into the closet months of COVID last year, I found myself just paralyzed. I seemingly couldn’t put one foot in front of the other writing-wise. There were many things I wanted to get done, but while I did manage to write blogs daily, nothing else got crossed off my mental list.
So I sought the help of my writing coach. Even before our phone meeting, she had prayed for me and asked God for his words of counsel for me.
In our conversation she encouraged me and asked how I might move forward. I furiously wrote down ideas for writing projects. Then she said, “Have you thought about creating a masterclass?”
I told her I thought that was a great idea, but I didn’t know what I could offer that would be valuable.
She said, “How about Prayer School?”
Have you ever experienced a moment when you know you had to do something? Something new? Something hard? Something so just very right?
For me it was then: Prayer School.
I created a detailed course outline that prayerfully seemed to gel. But I had other commitments clogging up the pike to finish first. A couple book proposals–one I had promised months before. A life coaching course. Articles and devotions for other publications. A plan to create a writer retreat in my home. New web pages for my coaching services and retreat.
Those months went by with the outline staring at me from the corner of my desk. The longer it sat there, the more formidable the whole thing seemed. What was I thinking? How could I write a course of material that had already been written in my six books on prayer? What new material could I create? A list of buts kept mounting on top of that outline.
Then deep inside I heard, “You can do this.” My life verse in the abbreviated form of “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). I decided to put on “Just do it”–as though I were putting on a new pair of confidence-building shoes.
So over a period of two months I wrote the course material and plunked it into place. However, the places I plunked it were not the right places on the Teachable course site. And there were days when I had a dozen or more windows of that course opened, trying to figure out what went where and how to pull it all together. Three weeks went by. It was hard. It was beyond me. And then I remember the advice Jethro gave to his son-in-law Moses: “What you are doing is not good. You…will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (Ex. 18:17-18 NIV).
So daily for about eight days I went to the help desk, chatting virtually with folks about how to get Prayer School off the ground and running.
And . . . I am excited to announce that I launched it yesterday (link below) . . . with an introductory offer that costs no more than the retail price/tax/shipping of three of my books on prayer, which are included in the purchase price. I cannot explain the relief I felt yesterday–a huge weight lifted, replaced with a sense of quiet confidence lifting me instead.
So when I read these words in The Message today, they were an echo of what I’d been sensing from God in this year of #grit–a year when I’m supposed to try new things, tech things, hard things, things beyond my reach . . . because God is that good.
Maybe you’ve felt discouraged or defeated. Listen in and believe you serve the God Who Can:
“This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you, it’s not out of your reach. It’s not on a high mountain–you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it. And it’s not across the ocean–you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it. No. The word is right here and now–as near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it!” ~Deuteronomy 30:11-14 MSG
So go ahead . . . just do it.
Janet McHenry is the creator of the masterclass Prayer School, available through Teachable at https://prayerschool.teachable.com. The author of 24 books, she has written six on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. Janet has prayerwalked for her community for twenty-two years . . . and seen countless answers to prayer. She enourages others daily to keep #lookingup.
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