What to Say When We Don't Know What to Pray

Today’s post is for my friends—who just lost their only child this week. I cannot imagine enduring such pain!


This tragedy reminded me of the day my sister, Leslea, lost her youngest son, Colter, to a tragic accident. Heartbreaking!

Lord, what will they do? How can they survive such a loss?

What can we do when life places us in unbearable circumstances? I can’t even imagine the pain—I refuse to even let my thoughts go there.

Where can we go? Who do we run to? What should we cling to when we’re drowning in a sea of our sorrows? When will someone throw us a lifeline? How will we we survive?

When friends and family walk through horrible events like this, my words fail me. Mere words seem inadequate to express my emotions.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been at a loss for words. And I don’t think any human words could ever bring peace and comfort to a parent in the death a child.

Now, after facing many trials and crises in my own life, I do know where to go. And I do know Who to run to. I know Who we can cling to when we’re drowning, and Who will throw us a lifeline. And I know how we will survive.

Help. The Lord promises to help us when we don’t know what to say or pray.

… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Rom. 8:26 NIV)

Hope. The Holy Spirit offers promises of hope, even if we never understand “why?” these things happen.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13 NLT)

Assurance. God’s Word provides the assurance that Jesus will bear our grief and carry our sorrows.

 He suffered the things we should have suffered. He took on himself the pain that should have been ours. (Is. 53:4 NIRV)

Peace. God’s Word can speak peace to the storm ravaging our dreams. And He promises to throw us the lifeline of His Word.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7 NIV).

Confidence. We can have the confidence to know that in Christ, we will survive. And we can expect Him to provide the power we need to overcome any circumstance in our life if we trust Him with the situation. Healing and hope for the future can be found in Him.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14)

As I pray from my friends. God continues to guide my prayers with His Word. So, today I pray these promises from God’s Word will give hope to my friends and to others who may be suffering under the heavy burden of loss and grief.

Blessings to you, my friends! You know who you are. And God knows your needs—even better than you do. He understands. And He wants to assure you of His presence right now and in all the days of your life.

I lift my friends up to You, Heavenly Father. You knows their pain because You lost Your only Son long ago in a tragic death—so we could all experience Your promised land of rest and peace in this life and in the life to come.

YouTube/Attitude of Gratitude (“Wayfaring Stranger” Selah)



Storytelling Workshop, Sponsored by Perry County Writers

Do you want to record some of your family stories, but you don’t know where to start?

Photo/CCWC.workshopI will be teaching some storytelling workshops, this Saturday, May 16, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Perryville Second Baptist Church, 1520 N. Fourche Avenue, Perryville, Arkansas.

Workshops. These writing workshops, sponsored by the Perry County Writers, will offer practical and creative ideas to help you capture and craft some of your legacy stories.

Logo/PerryCountyWritersCost. There is no charge for this workshop; but donations will be accepted by the Perry County Writers group.

Lunch. Be sure to bring your own lunch (coffee and tea will be provided).

RSVP. Email legacyconnection@windstream.net or call 501-590-6172

What family stories have you written?


2015 Reader Survey

Photo/TaraRossWould you consider taking a few minutes to take my 2015 Reader Survey?

Here’s why this is so important to me … 

I want to ensure my blog does the best possible job of answering the needs and interests of my readers.

So, that means I need to know more about YOU! That’s why I created my 2015 Reader Survey.

Thank you SO much for reading this request to fill out my reader survey!

I believe this survey will not only help me, but it will ultimately help you.

How? Because YOU will be helping me create content that’s even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is VERY important to me!

This survey is easy to fill out, and your input is COMPLETELY anonymous. I can’t even tell who said what. Plus, you can finish it in just a few minutes.

Yes! I’m happy to help. Take me to your SURVEY!

Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. Please excuse the ad at the end of my service–that just comes with the survey service. I was not able to choose the content of the ad. Thanks for your understanding! 

I’m honored to share some of the lessons that I’ve learned about worry at the Immanuel Baptist Church Ladies Luncheon in El Dorado, Arkansas on July 23, 2015. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., and the program will begin at 12:10 p.m.

A Word about Worry. How do you deal with worry in your own life? Many women suffer with symptoms of anxiety and stress that often affect their relationships, along with their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. But I’ve discovered some practical, biblical strategies that have helped me navigate my negative self-talk and overwhelming worry. 

Date: June 23, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
Event: Ladies Luncheon: Women’s Ministry, Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, Arkansas
Topic: A Word about Worry
Sponsor: Immanuel Baptist Church Women's Ministry, El Dorado, Arkansas
(870) 862-4264
Venue: Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, Arkansas
(870) 862-4264
Location: Immanuel Baptist Church 701 South West Ave.
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
Public: Public
More Info: Click here for more information.

Writing The Shepherd’s Song: Prayer Made the Difference

Welcome! Today, I invited The Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers, to share their new book, The Shepherd’s Song. These award-winning authors and speakers believe in the power of story, “When we hear stories or tell our own story we connect, heal, and grow. Each of us is part of a bigger story – the story of God’s love and work in the world.”

BookCover/TheShepherdsSongThe Shepherd’s Song was a different writing experience for us.

After twenty years of writing children’s books for the general market we were now writing our first book for God. The books we wrote before were from a Christian worldview. What made this book different was our desire to submit every word to God and to reflect in our words what He would say. An overwhelming task on our own.

But what if we could connect with God and hear from Him as we worked? C.S. Lewis wrote once about “taking dictation” from God. The connection with God was key. But how?

Why I Love Platform University

“If you want to be a nonfiction author, you’ve GOT to work on building your platform?”

Photo/CCWC.workshopI perked up when I heard the word “platform” mentioned for the umpteenth time at my first writing conference.

Building my what? I didn’t expect this advice at a “Christian” writing conference. In fact, I didn’t even know what the workshop leader meant by “platform.”

Hands popped up all over the conference room, asking questions about “building a platform.”

Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over: Anita Brooks

Have you lost hope of ever getting over a traumatic experience?

BookCover/GettingThroughAre you searching for a resource to encourage someone else who may be suffering from some heartbreaking life event?

There are some things in life people never get over. No matter how much they want to. Many experience abuse, financial disaster, serious illness, death of loved ones, and other common traumas making them believe they’ll never move past the pain.

Songbird Reflections

When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. (E. O. Wilson)



“Silly bird! Why are you pecking on the window?”“She’s defending her territory,” my husband Dan surmised.

We watched in amazement as the female cardinal, fooled by her own image, continued to swoop down—over and over again—attacking her reflection in the window.

A Love Story: TEEN MOM by Trisha Goyer

Most moms will agree—motherhood brings unexpected challenges.

BookCover/TeenMom-TrishaGoyerTeen moms deal with issues of guilt, denial, unsolicited advice and pressure from others, and even unrealistic fantasies about motherhood. “Fear is an overriding emotion in nearly every teen pregnancy” (“The Pregnant Teen’s Dilemma” Focus on the Family).

I agree. I stumbled along that difficult road myself when I was 18, and then again with my daughter two decades later.

Being a teen mom will lead you down a new path to an unplanned destination. But it also can be the catalyst that launches you toward the adventure of a lifetime, bringing positive changes and blessings that you never anticipated.

5 Powerful Stories: The Day I Met Jesus

Can you imagine meeting Jesus face-to-face? Book/TheDayIMetJesus

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back into biblical history and experience a real “come to Jesus” moment?

In their new book, The Day I Met Jesus, Mary DeMuth and Frank Viloa set the stage for us to observe the stories of five women in the Bible who experienced personal and powerful encounters with Jesus.