A Prayer and A Few Winners

The Prayer from Hidden Joy, Week 4:

Heavenly Father, it is so difficult to walk through darkness. You feel so far away. I feel so alone. Father, thank You for Your promise that You will never leave me or forsake me and that there is nothing in all creation that will ever separate me from the love I have in Your Son, Jesus.  Thank You for Your promise that You will bring good out of anything that enters my life when I love You and trust You to use it for Your purposes.  Lord, I cling to that promise now. I also claim Your promise that You have a plan and a purpose for my life, and it is to prosper and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. Walk ever so closely with me during this darkness, Lord, and show me treasures.  Thank You that You will bring beauty from ashes. I ask all these things in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This prayer is so appropriate for me today.  While I may feel distraught, fearful, or scared, I know that God is in control and I can trust Him to take care of everything.  I have to.  We have to.  :)

How perfect that along with our study next week, we also have the opportunity to begin a 7-Day Doubt Diet next week.   Hope you signed up for Renee Swopes doubt diet on her blog.  This doubt diet is a little sneak peak into our next study, A Confident Heart, which begins mid-September.  It will be the perfect follow up to Hidden Joy.  Renee and I are praying that the doubt diet will give you a boost as you proceed through Hidden Joy.

Now to something exciting….our 2 winners of the advanced copies of A Confident Heart.

Sherri C

and

Nicci Ramirez

Congratulations!  Email me at Melissa@MelissaTaylor.org and we’ll make arrangements for you to get your awesome book!

Ladies, I ask for your prayers today.  That’s all I can say.  Just pray.  Someone amazing and special needs your prayers. And honestly, so do I.  Feeling very weak and weary.  Trusting God because I know with Him all things are possible.

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  1. hoping for you to receive the strength you need.

  2. Congrats to the winners!! Praying Melissa!!! Looking forward to next week and the doubt diet!!!

  3. I’ll be praying! I pray every morning for all of us on this journey. I had my rough day yesterday. I had a bad attitude & went around all day with a chip on my shoulder. I made my day bad because of how I decided to look at the day from the moment I got out of bed. I let waiting on test results get in the way of my looking to God for his comfort, help, love, support & encouragement. I wasn’t trusting him like I should have been. So I had my day & now I’m ready to get back up & keep moving again. However the test comes out, he’ll get me through it, this I know. I’m behind on the Chapter 4 study but plan to get caught up this weekend & be ready for Chapter 5 on Monday. I’ll be praying for you as well Melissa. I’m sure this study & helping all of us, as we’re on this journey, would bring up things for you as well. I’m praying for God to keep guiding us through this journey. With God in this with us we will make it. I’m choosing to believe today.

  4. Leah, I saw your post on the previous blog entry. I’d be more than happy to send you a book. I’m benefiting greatly from this study as I’m sure you will too. Just send me your address & I’ll get one & send it out to you on Monday. My e-mail is… grtmm24@comcast.net

  5. Melissa, I will pray without ceasing for you today!

  6. Lisa Lagalo says:

    Prayer is an honest moment with your closest friend~Amen!

  7. Sweet friend, I needed to read your prayer today and this post. I am feeling distraught, fearful and scared. I am clinging and claiming. Clinging to Him and claiming His promises. He will bring beauty from ashes.

    This morning at 10am I am surrendering my auburn locks. Chemo has claimed my head’s adornment. Afterwards I have to find courage to face the world again. I want to come home and hide. I want to literally be “Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner”. I want to become a house hermit secluded in the safety of these protective walls. I long for sanctuary from stares, pity, shock and shame. I have to find a bravery that refuses to let the enemy win. He can’t keep me bound in fear and pain. Tears may flow, but before the day is over I WILL walk outside my front door and give the Lord victory.

    I will wait on the Lord…I will fear Him alone…and I will put my hope in Him.
    Offering to the Lord my crowing glory, to be crowned in His glory as I’m covered by the banner of His love as He sings over me.
    Praying for you too my precious friend.
    Hugs,
    Joy

    • Joy, let me just say I admire your honesty!!! I will be praying for you.

      Heavenly Father, You have said in Your Word to pray for one another for healing so that we may be healed. I earnestly pray to Your name to heal Joy with Your almight hand. Your promises have increased my faith that You will heal her completely and restore her completely. I pray Your Holy Spirit to cleanse every unhealthy cells in Joy’s body and protect her against sicknesses. Heal her LORD so that all will know You are LORD the Healer. Give her peace in her trials, give her comfort and help her to move forward LORD. Let her feel Your arms carrying her through her fear, her darkness and her anxiety. Amen.

    • Donna C. says:

      Good morning, Joy. I will thinking and praying for you at 10am today. What a awesome attitude you have. No matter what circumstances or trails we face, we must continue to hold our heads up high even when we feel weak and it feels to heavy. God has a victory waiting for us to claim each and every day. It’s ok to feel fear and pain as long as we share it with God and let him give us comfort and encouragement. We can’t let it tie us up and confine us in our own little world. Let’s sing out in praise for all the good things God has done!!!! I am not going through anything like you are, Joy, but your comments this morning has lifted me up. Thank you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers today.

    • Joy… your name will be covered in my prayers today! My mother is battling cancer for the second time in her life right now, so your comment hit me in the heart. I watched her go through what you are dealing with now. Your spirit sounds amazing! But I also know even people with the strongest faith deal with incredibly raw emotions. May God carry you through your journey and comfort you as only He can!

    • Thank you for your prayers. The morning was easier than I anticipated. The gal who shaved my head was so sweet. She turned the chair away from the mirror so that I didn’t have to watch, and then she fit my wig on me before I left, so the true unveiling didn’t happen until I was safely home. My best friend joined me on Skype and we had the first look at my new “do” together. There were tears…but there also was laughter. I can’t believe this journey I am on. Never would I have anticipated my life would walk this road. Not that I felt I was immune, I just never imagined it being me.

      After removing the wig, I put on my tiara and reminded myself who I am in Christ…a daughter of the King.
      Thanks again for your love and prayers,
      Joy

  8. Lisa Lagalo says:

    I daily pray for each of us for God to have his way in each of our hearts. Know that I am praying for you Melissa. I will lift you up to the Lord several times throughout my day today. Keep your smile on :)

  9. Shannon J. says:

    I would appreciate everyone’s prayers today as I go to see my counselor for the 2nd time. It is a struggle for me to open up to someone in person. I have built walls, wore masks, and tell people what i think they want to hear. and also tonight after work my husband & I will be driving 3 hours to go see my dad & step mom. My dad is very controlling and there has been alot of pain and hurt caused by him. And he loves to use guilt. But I feel like we need to make this trip since it has been awhile since we last went down…

    thanks!

    • I”l be praying for you Shannon J. I started counsling for the first time about 2 & a half months ago. I remember those first few appointments well. It took me until the second visit to tell her what was really wrong in my life. Keep trying to open up with your counselor. It does help once you can get it out. It helped me tremendously. I often have trouble telling my counselor things so I’ve been journaling my thoughts, feelings & any memories that are coming up for me. If I can’t get myself to talk to her about them then I give her the journalings so she can know where I’m at with my thinking. I’ve even noticed that after a couple of months I am starting to be more & more comfortable just telling her things instead of always having to write them. I’ll be praying for your trip to go well. Keep God right there with you by your side.

      • Shannon J. says:

        thanks so much for the prayers…i will have to write more later…have the 3 hour drive yet. wow…i thought i was the only one who couldnt share my feelings…but had to write it down…wow…thanks!

        if you could please email me at srjones@shighway.com

        • Shannon J, You’re definately not the only one that can’t share their feelings. I’m slowly learning to but I still at times would rather write it than say it.
          I’ll e-mail you Saturday morning. Have a good night.

    • Donna C. says:

      You should be very proud of yourself, you are strong. It’s so hard to take that first step and have the courage to go talk to a counselor and you did it. When you can, let us know how your day went. I will be lifting you up in prayer often today.

  10. My heart is for you, Melissa. I will be praying. May you be covered by grace, overwhelmed by mercy and filled to overflowing with love.

    Also, please don’t think me strange as I communicate a thought that came into my spirit so strongly. I am thinking about your mother’s passing and the process of your healing. I have to tell you to move toward peace. Just those words. :-)

    As I am trying to quiet myself and listen (and be obedient) to the Spirit, I find that I am called to do and/or say things that may come off a bit weird or that make me uncomfortable. Still, the sincerity, compassion and love of Christ drives me. So, again, please don’t think me strange…just know that I am aligning myself with God and humbly obeying His directive.

    Blessings,
    K

    • It’s important to listen to those promptings! In the past I haven’t but when I have recently it’s been amazing when someone says “thank you, you just delivered a prayer from God” gives me chills in a good way!!!

  11. Jennifer says:

    This week I’ve had some things take place that has made the week a very frustrating, depressing, and upsetting week for me and I’m still feeling overwhelmed with depression.
    Yesterday I read 1 Peter 5:6-7 which says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (KJV)
    I had to throw up my hands and give it all to God. I know that God has a reason for things happening to us even if we don’t know what the reason is right away. With one problem I had this week, and still have, I was reminded of the challenges Melissa gave those of us who did the It’s No Secret study.
    I’m sharing this because through it all I still feel victorious. I feel victorious because I haven’t tried to hurt myself and that’s huge for me.
    On Tuesday night my church had a guest pastor and as he closed out his message he said that we’re going to have struggles but we don’t go through them just for ourselves but also for others. I know there may be many of you who feel like there is no end to the pain and hurt you’re going through but I believe God has a reason for the things that have happened to all of us. What Satan meant for evil God can use for good. I used to believe that God had a plan for my life when I would overdose but didn’t die. I felt like he would use my painful experiences to encourage someone else. God can do the same with your traumatic experiences. Just look at what God has done for Wendy Blight, Melissa, and Stefanie Clayton. God has brought them through the pain and hurt of being sexually abused/raped and now they’re encouraging us. God can do the same for each one of us.
    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
    (Ephesians 6:10 KJV)

  12. Jennifer says:

    There was one more thing I wanted to share but I didn’t want my previous comment to be too long.

    As I sat in church last night God reminded me of a story I heard years ago and it made me think of all of you.

    There was a man who had a sheep. One day the sheep fell into a deep hole and the man couldn’t get it out. He decided to bury the sheep alive. As he threw dirt into the hole the sheep shook it off and stomped it under his feet. The sheep did this every time and he started rising up higher and higher until he was finally out.

    I’m sharing this because this is how we need to be. It may be hard at times, it is for me, but every time Satan comes to us with negative thoughts like “we can’t make it”, “We’re no good”, “We’re not loved”, “We’ll never be healed”… we need to shake it off and stomp it under our feet. As we change those negative thoughts into positive thoughts we will get out of our pits.

    • Jennifer, I really like that comparison! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Donna C. says:

      Jennifer, Thanks for sharing such a postive message this morning. I think staying positive is such a key tool in becoming stronger in overcoming any thing the enemy may throw at us. No matter what the outcome or situation is, God is with us and He has a plan. There is nothing that God can’t handled.
      Jennifer, your testimony will indeed be such a source of hope and encouragement to others. Keep sharing it.

    • Wow…thank you so much for sharing that!! Very powerful image, and one I will remember!!!

  13. Melissa… I will be praying today for this special need. I totally understand that feeling of weariness. Sometimes the ways of the world leave us feeling so exhausted, weary, worn down. May God infuse you with His strength today! You have blessed so many of us… may He pour His blessings on you today! Praying!

  14. Here’s a saying that I found on an old picture wall hanging in an antique store. I like this saying so much I had my daughter copy it down. It was a very nice saying. I have no idea who wrote it or where it comes from but here it is…

    When you’re lonely
    I wish you love
    When you’re down
    I wish you joy
    When you’re troubled
    I wish you peace
    When things are complicated
    I wish you simple beauty
    When things are chaotic
    I wish you inner silence
    When things look empty
    I wish you hope

    • Yvonne S. says:

      Tricia,
      This is wonderful. Have been trying to think of the right words to say to a friend that is struggling a bit this week. These words are the perfect fit. Thank you.
      Melissa,
      praying for a hedge around you to thwart Satan’s attacks, for your strength and that God would lift you up in a very visible way.

  15. April F. says:

    God’s timing is the biggest mystery to me! Most of the time it feels as though I don’t understand ANYTHING He’s doing…but over the past year and most of all by His never ending Grace I have begun to learn that I don’t have to understand…I just have to TRUST Him (not always an easy thing for me to do!) Because He has a purpose for all of our “storms”! “In His Time” is one of my favorite songs…(I’ve listened to it about 10 times this morning :) ) but the lyrics are wonderful and I think they fit most of our circumstances!

    There’s a storm on the horizon
    And everywhere I turn
    It seems as if I’ve tried that way before
    Lookin’ for the answers to come to me right now
    To pick me up and set me on higher ground

    In His time, He will make everything right
    In His time, He’ll show me His way
    In His time, He will deliver me
    And in this storm He will be glorified
    In His time.

    How long Oh Lord, How long Oh Lord,
    Will I have to cry
    I know you long to wipe away
    The tears from my eyes
    And though I may not understand
    Your purpose and Your plan
    I know Your grace will carry me through
    (You always do)

    In His time, He will make everything right
    In His time, He’ll show me His way
    In His time, He will deliver me
    And in this storm He will be glorified
    In His time.

    They that wait upon the Lord
    Shall renew their strength
    Like the eagles soar

    In His time, He will make everything right
    In His time, He’ll show me His way
    In His time, He will deliver me
    And in this storm He will be glorified
    In His time.

    And In this storm, He will be glorified
    In His time.

    Isaiah Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
    “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

    We may NEVER understand the reasons for the things that have happened in our lives or are happening in our lives! And on those very hard days…it’s tough…(and it took A LONG TIME for me to get to this point)…but I’m choosing now to trust God and wait on Him to work all my “stuff” out “IN HIS TIME”.

    We can overcome ANYTHING and EVERYTHING because He is our Healer, Deliverer and Comforter! And for that I am SOOOO THANKFUL!!

    I’m praying for your request Melissa and I’m praying for you!!!

    • Who sings this song? I, too, liked the lyrics. There is an older song by that name that we sang when I was a teen but it has different lyrics….

  16. Congrats to the winners! Melissa, I will most definitely be praying for you and for everyone here today!

  17. Melissa I have been praying for you since I saw your vlog! Congratulations to the winners! One other thing, I have been wearing a rubber band on my wrist since Melissa posted the first or second vlog (sorry I can’t remember which) and I must say it does help A LOT! If you let Satan get in your head/heart pop that rubber band. Snap yourself back, you are worth it! You can do this and I promise you that pit you feel like you are in you can climb out.

    I have been praying for all of us that are in this study. We CAN do this!

  18. Christine says:

    Even though I just finished Chaptr 2 lesson, I will say that I can’t believe how much my eyes and heart are open to the readings. What amazes me that I understands the different verses and can identify with them. God is love and Love is God. I’ve been praying for this Bible study and I am so glad to have found it. I love all my sisters!
    God Bless to Everyone one of you :)

  19. Congrats to the Winners may your book bless you . Melissa I will be praying for you.

  20. Erin E. says:

    Oh Dear Melissa,
    I just was able to watch your vlog from Wednesday, your love and care for us is soooo evident. What words of encouragement you gave. It really does seem like the devil was at work this week….I too got behind, not wanting to quit, but not putting in the time that I was able to the last few weeks, my cat’s very sick and can’t walk, lashed out at work. I kept saying, “I’ll do it (Hidden Joy)tomorrow….” and here it is Friday and I’m just now watching your vlog. In fact, today out of the blue my brother called me and starting telling me that he wonders if God really exists….what kind of God causes innocent children to get life threatening diseases, etc etc….and he had such anger in his voice. I tried to read him some of Hidden Joy, but he kept coming back with rebuttals. I was so scared to hear this and I thought “Oh my, is the devil attacking my family too?” But listening to you and then watching the vlog with Renee inspired me again, to keep reaching for God….when I feel overwhelmed I will ask him for that string to hold on to. I am praying for you with whatever you are going through. I pray that Jesus renews your strength! The Devil may be hard at work but you have Jesus!!!!! I love you for all that you are doing. I hope you find some peace this weekend.
    “Fear not, for I am with you: Be not dismayed, for I am your God Melissa. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
    Next week will be a new week for all of us!
    Erin

  21. From ch. 4, prayer. Raw, maybe triggering.
    God. I hate the way I feel and have felt every time i let myself dare to feel anything. My heart feels like it has been shredded but is still able to feel the agonizing pain of the shredding. It has been this way as long as I can remember and gets no better, whether I pray or not. I resent this. You say you want to heal me, but I have been crying to you for healing and doing all I know to do to exercize trust in you for 28 years. It hurts. It still hurts.
    My circumstances are so much different than all those years ago, and it still hurts. I have asked your forgiveness, forgiven others, put it behind me, been delivered spiritually, and walked forward; and it still hurts. I wish it would stop hurting. It doesn’t seem like that is something to hope for. I gave myself to you. I meant it. I have no right to be angry with you. Please forgive me. I release the anger. If you never heal me, I am yours still.

  22. A verse I came across last night and it really ties in with where some of us are – I know it is where I am and have been. Isaiah 40:29 (NLT) 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” We might be at that place where we feel powerless. But ladies , that is the devil trying to keep us down. I know this study is hard, I’ve had to put the book down for a while this week and let God heal some pain that came to the surface. But in God’s Great strength I am back at it and reading again. The Devil has had us in his grasp for too long. I say lets get rid of him once and for all. Let him know HE WILL NOT WIN We are children of our Father in heaven and princess’ of the most highest kind EVER!!!!!

    Hope everyone’s weekend is a good one

    • That’s king not kind ( the above was posted before my coffee kicked in and opened my eyes and coordinated my fingers, eyes and mind hehe

  23. CAROL BRUNTLETT says:

    Hi Melissa
    Will defintley be praying for you and your special someone this weekend you are an amazing woman love you and for uyou taking time out of your schedule to lead us women in this study.
    Remember we love and God loves you with an unconditional love and He is holding you Melissa so tight in His arms and He is constantly singing over you Melissa and He is walking right beside you Melissa keep on fighting the good fight and Jesus will say well done my good and faithful servant Melissa run the race with perserverance Melissa keep on keeping on we are right here with you Melissa.
    Remember no stinkin thinkin keep your eyes upon the Holy One .
    Love you
    Carol

  24. Heard this Great song and wanted to share it with all of you

    Its called Our God is Greater by Chris Tomlin you can find it on Youtube.com I couldn’t figure out how to post it here.

    Enjoy
    Shana

  25. Melissa,
    I am praying for you. I am so thankful to be part of this study. I know Satan must come against you hard because you are affecting the lives of so many women for Christ. The study has already made a big difference for me! Yeah!! I’m sure it’s all the thought-provoking questions as well as copying down so many scriptures. I am learning to nip any negative thought in the bud before the snowball gets rolling and becomes an avalanche. Thank you again for all your hard work.

  26. Please pray for me sisters. Since thinking about suicide seven years ago, I wondered if I would ever be worthy of finding a Godly husband. About 30 minutes ago I recieved a text from a guy I liked but who occasionally aggravated me so much that I told him not to text me this summer. In the text, he said that he felt I was a good friend, but that was all he saw me as. I know this probably has nothing to do with the fact that he knows aboutwhat happened seven years ago (and I know that someone who doesn’t respect my wishes and wakes me up to tell me something like this isn’t really the type of man I should marry), but this news still hurts, and even though I’ve been trying to get over him since he aggravates me, I’m still not sure quite how I’ll be able to get through the next few days.

  27. Christine says:

    I just finished reading chapter 4 and I will say my eyes are so opened. What’s amzing is I understand everything. I can identify with every word and passage. What a blessing this is.
    Thank you so much Melissa for this Bible Study!

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