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  • janetmchenry

#LookingUp When You're Discouraged

I’ve had a couple weeks of struggle trying to launch an online masterclass called Prayer School. The chat experts from the venue have been slow to answer and vague in their responses.

Then I realized I created the course in the wrong manner and tried to figure out how to shift what I did into the correct spot. Seemingly, “no can do.”

I didn’t respond well. Complaints. Pleas. Tears.

I didn’t want to have to create the thing all over again. It had taken me two months to put together: 28 lessons spread over five modules with 28 videos. I couldn’t possibly go through all that again.

And then I remembered the summer of 2004. Earlier that year I had submitted a full manuscript of a contracted book, PrayerStreaming, to my publisher. And my editor rejected it. It lacked substance, and I hadn’t delivered what the editor had expected.

I had to rewrite the book. Scrap the first one and write another entire book. I had to dig deeper, learn everything I could about the lives of classic writers on prayer who had written that they were praying without ceasing. I ordered every single book I could find relating to eight different writers–their own works on prayer, biographies, and autobiographies. And I immersed myself for months and months in those writings and God’s Word until I discovered what it was that CLICKED with them–some instance or understanding from the Bible–that helped them say they were praying all day long.

By that time I had been prayerwalking for almost six years. I too was learning that everywhere God had me there was a reason for prayer–I simply needed to open my eyes and notice the needs. As I read and wrote and prayed, increasingly I sensed God With Me, guiding me not only in my writing but also in my parenting and in my marriage and in my comings and goings.

Remembering that season of my life helped me put into perspective the simple annoyance of my own frustrations. Had I prayerfully sought God’s help with all those lessons? I looked at them with new eyes and asked God for his wisdom for my words and my ways of the course creation.

And so, in just a couple days’ time I no longer see hordes of enemy horses and chariots and armies headed in my direction and overtaking me but God’s pause button, his guiding hand, and his encouragement that he is with me and he is ready to give me the victory . . . not for my sake, but for his.

Sometimes we magnify the mountains of armies headed in our direction. If we instead maintain a #lookingup perspective, we can see that they’re just shadows that fade away with the Son.

Hey friend: If you’re interested in learning more about praying without ceasing, I invite you to check out my book, PrayerStreaming: Staying in Touch with God All Day Long (WaterBrook/RandomHouse, 2005). It’s available at online bookstores and on my website:

Janet McHenry is a speaker, author, and prayerwalker. She leads a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year group called Bible Girls and coordinates the prayer ministries at her church in Reno. She loves to speak about how God has transformed her life . . . and that’s why her business name is Looking Up. You can contact her through her website at or janetmchenry @

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