Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ What Happens When One Person Prays?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Jessie Andersen  @JVDLAndersen

It's a  pleasure to introduce Jessie Andersen to you. Jessie is a fellow Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas author and has released her first book, The Breeding Tree, a gripping tale of blending science with the creation of life in a dystopian society. I love Jessie's brazen courage to  tackle tough, relevant topics such as "when is a child a child", and, "are any children less than because of defects". I believe you'll enjoy her devotion that follows as she tackles a topic that I wrestle with often: feelings of inadequacy. Jessie and I pray that you will be encouraged by her words and given strength for the journey.

Welcome Jessie!

I've been reading through the book of Amos for my personal devotions and found a few interesting things I'd like to share, merely because they struck my heart.

Sometimes we humans feel inadequate. We're unqualified to do the job we have. We're unprepared to deal with our circumstances. I know I've felt this way. 

Maybe that's why Amos 7:14-15 hit me: 

"Amos answered Amaziah, 'I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, "Go, prophesy to my people Israel."'"

Amos wasn't educated in "prophet school" (if there even was one). He didn't have prophesying in the blood or inherit his profession from his father. Nope. He was a shepherd, totally unqualified to prophesy to kings, yet God called him. "Go prophesy to my people Israel." And he did. Immediate obedience.

Many times I feel like my writing stinks. Like I don't have the education or creativity to tell stories, but God says, "Go, write the stories the people need to hear." And I'm trying to be obedient. Thankfully, God does not call the equipped; he equips the called.

I believe there's a reason for that. If we feel under-qualified for whatever God asks us to do, it drives us to our knees. We know we can't do it alone, and therefore, we depend on God more each step of the way.

Which brings me to my next point: prayer.

Amos 7:1-3 reads, "This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king's share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, 'Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!'

"So the Lord relented.
'This will not happen,' the Lord said."

Did you catch that? Amos prayed. God was going to destroy the land but relented His punishment because one man prayed. One man. One singular man prayed.

When I read this passage, I was struck by just how powerful our prayers can be. Amos saved a whole nation because of his prayers.

Kinda makes me wonder how many lives, marriages, unborn babies, and friendships I can save through my prayers. How many lives can be turned around because I choose to pray? It convicts me to get on my knees for the people around me, for my nation, for those struggling with their faith.

So, if you'll excuse me, I need to pray. And just so you know, I'll be praying for you.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others


Meet Jessie:

There’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. She now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J. without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it. 

To connect with Jessie, visit her website at: www.jandersenbooks.com

The Breeding Tree
Is the opportunity to create the next generation of life a dream come true or a deadly nightmare? 

When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a "Creation Specialist" in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession - the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic "mutants" be allowed to live. For Sector 4, "survival of the fittest" is not just a theory - it's The Institute's main mission. 

When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she'll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.

The Breeding Tree by J. Andersen is available for purchase on Amazon


1 comment :

  1. I sure needed this. Thank you Jessie for sharing such an insightful truth and especially from a part of the Bible not taught or read very often. I look forward to reading your book one day when I'm not in the midst of writing endless term papers too. Blessings, Marcie Bridges :-)

    Thank you for sharing Jessie with us Nan :-)