A Month of Prayer Requests
Our books are out there, all over the world, sowing seeds. But we need to pray – we can provide the books, but we can’t touch hearts and lives – only God can do that.
So, as I have no doubt you are already bombarded with ways to spend your money this Christmas, I thought this month I would request your prayers, rather than give you all the news. But first there is one thing I have been itching to tell you about which can’t wait till next month . . .the first of the Beech Bank Girls books is being translated into Croatian! We have never sold rights to other publishers in other countries before, so this is a brand new thing for us – Eleanor (the author) and I are delighted that girls in that tiny country, with an even tinier Christian minority, will be able to read this encouraging book. What do you think of that? Good news, eh! May it be the first of many translations! 🙂
So, if you have a few minutes to spare now, or would be willing to pray for one item every day through December, would you print this off and stick it somewhere convenient, and pray for us? I would be hugely grateful.
1. Please pray for the translation of BBG into Croatian, and pray for many more opportunities like this.
2. Please pray for supporter Michelle and the plans she has to translate and print our books in Greek – the first steps have been taken, but there is still much work to do.
3. Suicide rates are on the rise among teenagers, which is terrible. One fourteen-year-old took her life near us recently, and another girl’s attempted suicide was thwarted. Please pray that our books will touch children who feel hopeless and helpless. The World Health Organisation states: “Although suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst elderly males, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries.” This includes the UK.
4. Pray for a local teacher who uses our books in a lunch time book club. The children have enjoyed reading our stories – please pray for seeds to be sown that will bear fruit. One grandma asked to borrow one of the books after her granddaughter told her all about it with such enthusiasm! Please pray that other similar groups will be formed.
5. More and more children are being radicalised, marginalised, bullied, and becoming bullies. Please pray that in some way children will find our books, given by neighbours, friends and through schools and Christian youth clubs, that the Lord will transform children’s lives before they get into gangs, crime, drugs and violence – or become victims. 14 teenagers have died in stabbing incidents in London so far this year. 🙁
6. Pray for the children who will receive our books this Christmas, whatever their background, that through all the tinsel and glitter, the parties and the food, the sparkly presents and the many distractions, or the lack of any of these, our books will be read and re-read, loved and cherished because they feel the touch of the Lord on their lives as they turn the pages.
7. Give thanks for the new website, and that I can now update it myself. Please pray it will be found and used by people who want our books, not by phishers, spammers, and anyone with malicious intent!
8. Pray that technology won’t break down (or cause headaches!), and we’ll be able to comply with the many statutory regulations.
9. Please pray for good relationships with Christian bookshops – pray they will support us in our ministry and not just stock the books, but promote them in creative ways to their customers, local schools and churches.
10. I would be grateful for your prayers for our authors – Eleanor and Mary have had particularly difficult health and family issues this year. There is opposition to the work.
11. We are planning to bring out The City Kid in paperback next year! Please pray for every step to be made plain to us as we consider new ways of production and try to keep costs to a minimum. Pray that this excellent “prodigal” story will be eagerly received by young people all over the world, and that many will turn to God.
12. The City Kid was originally written in Uganda, and we’d love to be able to produce the book in large quantities at low cost locally, though I’m not yet sure how! Please do pray for this.
13. Pray for all other plans for next year, that the Lord will lead and guide, open or close doors, that His will will be done.
14. Please pray for better sales of our current stock, so we can keep going and produce more books, so that we can reach more children. Please pray that 2016 will be a year of great increase! The Lord has given me the task of getting Christian books into children’s hands all over the world – I know it sounds crazy, but believe me, I wouldn’t have chosen me and often feel tiny and inadequate. All I can say is that sometimes the Lord uses what is weakest and of no account. And there has never been a time when children needed the gospel more. Books are such a non-threatening way to reach hearts and lives. The Lord is using our books for good . . . please pray that our ministry will grow and multiply even more than we can ask for or imagine!
15. Pray for effective use of advertising and promotion, including through facebook, so that the people who want what we have will find us!
16. Please pray that I will use my time wisely – there are so many things to do!
17. Pray that many young people’s hearts and lives will be touched by the Holy Spirit as they read our books in other countries of the world. I know books have gone to France, Belgium, The Gambia, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Greece, and there may be more (do email me if you have sent any anywhere else!). And if you are reading this in any of these countries, please pray for us in the UK, too!
18. Pray for Write for a Reason, that I will be able to help more writers fulfill their mission. (Write for a Reason is a resource I run for unpublished Christian writers of stories for 8-14s.)
19. Please thank God for all the wonderful testimonies we have received so far of how our books have touched lives. Please pray that the seeds that have been sown will keep growing and bear fruit in season.
20. Pray that churches will not only buy books for their own children and young people, but also those on the fringes of church life. Please pray that whole families will be transformed by the message in the stories.
21. Pray that more schools will use our books for class readers and as a resource for RE.
22. Please also pray for a new initiative we are trying out, writing studies to go with the books, so they can be used in “café theology” study groups in schools, churches and youth groups.
23. Pray for a better storage solution for us – as we produce more books we are needing more space!
24. Shipping abroad is expensive, and it seems that Print-on-Demand is becoming more and more of a viable option – if we can print books in other countries, it could help us resource hard-to-ship-to places more easily. Please pray for this.
25. Pray that our own church children who read our books will be encouraged to keep walking in the faith. Just reading a book with Christian characters can help them feel less marginalised, and our books can show how their faith can make a difference in practice. I met a lady at an event recently whose two children have walked away from their faith, even though they used to be “right there” when they were younger. This is, sadly, a common story. Statistics of the number of young people dropping out of church is both sad and frightening.
26. Pray that parents and grandparents, godparents and neighbours, Sunday School teachers, youth workers and church leaders will see the importance of giving the older children they love good Christian books to read, to encourage and inspire them in their faith.
27. Pray for children from non-church backgrounds, that they will have an opportunity to hear the good news in a way relevant to them through our books. Pray that children will be drawn towards our books in school libraries and bookshops, and they will be drawn to the Lord through them.
28. Pray for children all over the world in desperate need of books, that somehow we might be able to get our books to them, maybe partnering with other agencies.
29. Pray that churches and schools will buy books for schools and churches they sponsor/care for in deprived places, that the good news will particularly reach the poor and needy, the abused and oppressed.
30. Pray for health and strength, energy and wisdom for all who help with Dernier in whatever capacity – production, editing and proof reading, illustration and design, IT, accounts, authors, distributors, reps, sales – and for me, too! Please pray for wisdom in all the decisions that need to be made.
31. Please pray for my family – my elderly Mum with dementia, my husband and three (adult) children, their partners and children and my two step-children . . . and me!
Thank you so much for praying with us. May the Lord hear! May the Lord act! May the Lord do mighty miracles by his grace! “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
If you have a word of encouragement to share, or a story of how one of our books has touched a life, please don’t hesitate to email me, I would love to hear from you.
Janet Wilson, Founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason.