As I was outside by myself struggling to hang up a banner, I earnestly prayed that one person who needed encouragement would see that large sign that read “Ladies’ Night of Encouragement” and be drawn to the special night we were planning at our church which would, in turn, draw them to You. That was probably about 20 years ago. There was a huge turn-out with lots of ladies who needed encouragement…but one stood out to me. It wasn’t just that she had the only rich dark-skin in a sea of much paler-skinned women; it wasn’t that she walked in with a big beautiful hat and lovely scarf lightly thrown over her thin body dressed in style down to her spikey heels while most of us wore jeans and nice casual tops. That was the night Deborah walked into my life. She’s been my sister-in-Christ ever since and we have gone through many joys and challenges since.
I cannot count the times she has credited that Night of Encouragement as a turning point in her life. There was no doubt in my mind that she was the one You had me pray for as I put that banner up. Of course, we both know it wasn’t a women’s evening that changed her life…it was You- through Jesus Christ! You just happened to use that event to join her together forever with Yourself and with me and the other ladies. That was at a very hopeless period in her life and she knew she desperately needed some encouragement…so she came. We have prayed, laughed, cried and worshipped together ever since. Much has changed in those 20 short years since that night. It has been mostly both of us who have changed, as we have grown in You, Lord!
Now we are planning a similar event; in fact, Deborah will be giving her testimony at one point. Only this time instead of being one night, it will be a WEEKEND OF ENCOURAGEMENT. I decided after seeing what You’ve done in Deborah’s life when I prayed for one person to come as I hung that banner 20 years ago, this time I’m praying for many women to come and find true encouragement in You! Lord, Your encouragement doesn’t just last one night, or a weekend, or 20 years- it is so rich that it is always spilling over to others. May this Weekend event be overflowing with Your eternal encouragement in Jesus’ name!
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2
“Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak .” Acts 13:15
“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Father, How can I share encouragement with others?