Here’s Jenny Smith’s incredible prayer testimony:
Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category
Jennifer and I are heading to Israel today with a group of around 30 folks including her parents and sister. It is the trip of a lifetime, and we are looking forward to touring many famous Biblical sites. We are trusting God for a life-changing experience and for Him to give us a better and deeper understanding of Himself and His word. Thank you so much for your prayers. We return home on Saturday, October 12.
If you haven’t heard, we are pretty pumped about the Night of Worship on Wednesday at 7:00PM at Graystone Church. I am almost as excited about it as I am the 12:00PM service each week. Actually, I’m even more excited about the NOW (Night of Worship). And as I talked with people at both campuses yesterday, it sounds like EVERYONE is jacked about it. I think Graystone Church is even more excited about the NOW than the LSU vs UGA Football Game. And we should be!
Here are 5 FYI’s you might want to know about the NOW:
1. Some people are coming early to tailgate before the Night of Worship. They told me that they want to get here early, so they can get a good seat. I’m confident that not EVERYONE will get to sit in “their seat”, but chances are better if you get here early. Everyone can gather in the lobby and front patio until the doors open.
2. We are closing the doors at 7PM. If you get here late, you will not be able to get in until after the first set of songs. We will let late-comers in during the welcome/opening remarks before we start the second set of songs. If you are late and cannot get in for the first worship set, please do not take it out on our staff or ushers. If you want to complain to someone, you can talk with me afterwards or send me “one of those emails”. We are recording a live album, so we need as few people coming and going as possible. Come to think of it, maybe I will get my bodyguards, Benji Laws and Billy Brice, to watch the door.
3. We are not letting kids under the age of 10 in the auditorium. Again, we will be strict about this (See above). We have childcare available, and the children can play in the kids area with their friends. If this is going to keep you from coming to the NOW, let me apologize in advance. Again, you can send me “one of those emails”.
4. We’ve asked the students (middle and high school), to sit/stand in the front of the auditorium as close to the stage as possible. They have a heart for worship, and I am hoping and praying their passion for God will encourage all of us. And this will free up more seats in the auditorium. So people think it will be standing room only. We will see.
5. Please come prepared to celebrate and worship God. It is going to be a really special night. We have so many reasons to worship and thank God for who He is and all He has done in and through our lives and church. May He have all the glory!
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23
As the pastor/shepherd of Graystone Church, I carry everyone’s burdens. I daily give them to God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Sometimes my prayer time can be a bit overwhelming, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I believe this is partly why I am so quick to shed a tear (Although, I am not a crier). The joy of getting to carry the weight of the church (the people) is seeing God move and answer prayers. One of the reasons my faith is so strong is that I’ve seen God answer hundreds of prayer and make the impossible possible.
Now, I’m not great at journaling. And over the years I’ve been sporadic. Organization and details are not my strengths. Anyway, yesterday in preparation for Sunday’s message I was having a hard time remembering some examples of God answering prayers at Graystone. So, I started thumbing through my old prayer journals, and I was blown away. If you are not in the habit of specifically writing down your prayers, let me encourage you to make an effort.
Here are just a few of the answered prayers from my prayer journal:
- Shannon Ayers- save her life (multiple answers to this one)
- Heal Julie Peterson from cancer (God has answered this one 3 times)
- Heal Maci Wilson- she was completely healed from “BPT” (benign paroxysmal torticollis) during a prayer service at Graystone that God led me to lead. And we haven’t had one since?
- Paula Conn – save her life, heal her, complete recovery
- Melinda Hollandsworth- pray for a healthy mom and baby (Will)
- Josh Clark- God, bless him with a son (Colt)
- A loan to build Graystone Church – Jimmy Gardner, private investor, loaned us $2.1 Million
- A Campus Pastor for Graystone Walton- Ken Sirmans
- A location for Graystone Walton – Loganville High School (and still praying here)
- $400,000 cash to finish the building on Ozora- Over $500,000 given in 6 months (All In campaign)
- Francis Hanley- save his life, heal him, salvation in Heaven (He was at Graystone in July to hear Mark preach.)
- Heal Jennifer Howes of Melanoma skin cancer- She is 100% cancer free.
- Purchase the 7 acres next the church property- a family at Graystone mortgaged their home to purchase/secure the house (intern house) and land. The church has since bought it from them.
- Provision for the Hope Center/Path Project- Jim is now full-time, and they have multiple staff and locations.
- $200,000 for 2012 Christmas Offering (school in Haiti, first expansion campus, bball court and new ball field)- YES!
- Ben Presten- Confirm his call to pastor and plant a church (Valley Town Church in Vermont)
- Student Pastor who is passionate about students – Alan and Allison Smith (double answer here)
- Eric and Mandy McKnight- provision and adoption of a child (Anna Faith)
- A wife for Heath Hollandsworth- Heath and Ashley just got married and are on their honeymoon. I also prayed for a husband for Ashley.
- $100,000 for Project Kids Space – cool God story here that I might tell Sunday
- Chris and Katie Landress – Bless them with a miracle child (Baby Anna is due around Jan 1)
The list could go on and on of the prayers God has answered at Graystone. I’m not even including all the home runs that my kids hit and the tennis matches that they’ve won (just kidding). God has answered some of my prayers through people who knew nothing about me even praying the prayers. I have a another cool story to tell on Sunday that happened last week.
I hope this encourages your faith and challenges you to pray. I’m going to close with posting an excerpt from my prayer journal from September 1, 2003…10 years ago. You probably cannot read my handwriting. Neither can I. At the time, we had not officially launched Graystone Church, and we had been living in Grayson for a little over 1 month. Our core group Bible Study was meeting in our living room. In the journal, I am praising God for providing Discovery Point Daycare on Rosebud Road for us to meet as a church core group on Sundays. In my journal, I wrote a prayer that “Graystone would overflow with kids.” I think God has answered this one and is continuing to answer it every day.
I can’t wait to see what God does through our 40 Days of Prayer. Thank you for stepping out in faith with me as we seek God together as a church family. The best is yet to come!
During the 40 Days of Prayer, I’ve asked the elders and staff team to pray with me every morning at 6:33 AM. We are not physically getting together but are corporately praying at the same time. We’ve chosen 6:33 AM based on Matthew 6:33:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
I would like to open the invitation up to ANYONE and EVERYONE to pray with us. At 6:33 AM wherever you are, simply get on your knees (if possible) and pray. You could pray for 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes. At this time, I would like us to pray specifically for Graystone Church. Pray for revival. Pray for our staff and their families. Pray for God to use us to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
Today is Day 1 in our 40 Day Prayer Challenge. Several people have asked what they are supposed to do and how do you “draw a prayer circle”. I will be explaining the idea/concept/illustration of “drawing a prayer circle” in next Sunday’s message at Graystone Church. Yesterday, I wanted to share the basics of prayer and give an overview of the purpose of prayer before we dive into the 40 days of prayer. As the author, Mark Batterson, says in the introduction of the book, Draw the Circle:
The goal of the forty-day prayer challenge isn’t to get what you want by day 40. In fact, the goal isn’t to get what you want at all. The goal is to figure out what God wants, what God wills. Then you start circling it in prayer and don’t stop until God answers.
So, here’s how you get started. Today is day 1 of the 40 Day Prayer Challenge. Read the devotion for Day 1 in the book, Draw the Circle. Then, get on your knees and P.R.A.Y. Our model for prayer is The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13): Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.
One of the things the book encourages us to do is to pray specific prayers and write them down in a prayer journal. So, you can begin today with writing down specific prayers that you are trusting God to answer. Actually, you can write these down wherever you would like: a “prayer journal”, a piece of paper, a napkin, a wall in your house, or your left forearm. I will explain how to “circle them in prayer” in this upcoming Sunday’s message at Graystone Church.
Let’s start praying!
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Jesus said that if two people agree in prayer, then it will be done for them by our Heavenly Father. I wonder what would happen if two thousand people agree in prayer together? Seriously, what would happen if the entire Graystone Family sought out the will of God for our church and lives and prayed accordingly? If the prayer of one righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16), I wonder how powerful and effective the prayers of thousands of people (who are righteous in Christ) would be?
Jesus wants His church to a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13). This Sunday we are launching a new series on prayer called Draw the Circle. I’m going to challenge EVERYONE at Graystone Church to commit to praying daily for 40 days. We will humble ourselves before God and place our dependence and faith in Him. We will surrender our will to His (Matthew 6:10). Through prayer we will align ourselves with God’s purpose and plan. And we will draw prayer circles around our greatest fears and biggest dreams.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m pretty pumped about leading our church to a higher commitment to pray. Can you imagine what God will do through an entire church family who is getting on our knees in prayer EVERY DAY for 40 days?
- Relationships reconciled
- Marriages and families restored
- Prodigals coming home
- Orphans adopted
- Physical and spiritual healing
- Addictions broken
- God provision
- Lives changed for all eternity
- A community DOMINATED by the love of Jesus Christ
- The good news spread to the ends of the earth
I can’t wait to find out what God does as we pray together. I hope to see you Sunday. Come expectant!