Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Stay the Course

Sharilynn Hunt, DMin


Twelve women sat around a large table ready to open Prevailing Prayer, a syllabus about corporate intercession. My eyes filled with tears, and smiling faces looked at me to open in prayer. My voice choked. After years of teaching other author's bible studies, this group planned to study mine. In 2008, my first publication took flight.

How did I, a former medical social worker, bible teacher, an intercessor, become an author?

In 2007, I wrote a dissertation on corporate intercession for a Doctor of Ministries degree. I wanted something innovative, instructional, and a good grade. Nine individuals from separate churches met each week while I taught the lesson before our prayer activity. Although strangers to one another, their united prayers formed an effective prayer team.

Friends asked for a copy of these teachings for their prayer groups. I revised and printed this manual in a syllabus format through a local printing company. I exclusively published it through my nonprofit prayer and teaching ministry, and it took on a life traveling to many group studies.

The following year I participated in my first writer's mini-course and met a "professional editor" who said my manual looked like a Sunday school teacher wrote it. Yes, I had taught adult Sunday school for years, led bible studies, and spoken to many groups. But did that qualify me as an author? In 20ll, we revised the manual written in an outline format and added a workbook for distribution. Job finished! But the finish line changed to a different spot where God wanted it all along.

God's divine instruction in 2018 led me to an overwhelming task. Rewrite and publish it.

What? I had moved on by publishing a devotional book and other stories for well-known anthology publications. I dragged my feet at the thought of being obedient. But how could I argue with God?

A few months later, while speaking at a prayer workshop, I noticed eager intercessors wanting to learn more about corporate intercession. Right then, God rekindled my desire to republish these teachings for His greater purpose.

Writing a new idea can be fun, but refining our first love requires super diligence, patience, and labor while pressing through the pain of demolition. I ripped the book apart, leaving the basic foundational structure as a guide. Deleting sections and adding updated material, I condensed the original manual from ten lessons to eight into a new book.

During the 2020 pandemic, three simple words became my anchor.

STAY THE COURSE. Everyday? Yes.

Could I quit? A sign in my office reads: When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. How did Noah hammer away day after day to complete the task given to him? He stayed the course.

God sent me the right people to edit, format, and design a cover for the new name, Together WE Pray—Building Effective Prayer Teams (released November 2020).

Each chapter includes scriptural teachings, personal testimonies, group tips, biblical stories, reflective questions, and a suggested activity. When we learn to move outside of our comfort zone and put actions to our prayers, we discover the joy and creativity of powerful united prayers with one another. If we magnify God, pray in one accord, and declare His promises, our corporate prayers make a difference.

What are your goals for 2021? Do they include an addition to your prayer life by forming a prayer team?

Whatever they are, we must be diligent in staying the course.

In 2001, Sharilynn (aka Shari) left her medical social work career to pursue her prayer passion and established a prayer nonprofit ministry (New Creation Realities Ministry 2004-2019). Today she speaks on various prayer and faith topics and writes inspirational stories, articles, and books as a freelance writer. Her published books are Grace Overcomes Today, a thirty-one-day devotional book, and Together WE Pray—Building Effective Prayer Teams. Other non-fiction inspiring stories are in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, and anthology compilations published by Bethany House, and Guideposts. Visit: https://www.sharilynnhunt.com

Together WE Pray is sold in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon https://amazon.com/author/sharilynnhuntonamazon.com

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for staying the course, Shari. Many people will be the better for it.

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    1. And your input into my writing has been such a help and encouragement too along the journey.

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  2. Such an encouraging article! Thank you for sharing and for staying on course.

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    1. We certainly need the encouragement from others such as you along the way. Thank you.

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  3. Thank you Shari for sharing this with us. We thank you for your encouragement to help us stay the course.

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    1. Thank you for the opportunity to share this message too. I appreciate you.

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  4. Thank you, Shari. I like your article and Noah's analogy. Good one!

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