Sherri Wilson Johnson
Sherri Wilson Johnson is a writer and speaker who loves to make people laugh and forget their troubles. She loves Jesus and hopes to inspire and encourage others because life is tough and can seem hopeless without God! She is a former homeschooling mom and a graduate from the two-year Christian Writers Guild course. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
To Dance Once More and Song of the Meadowlark are published by OakTara Publishers.
Lord, Enlarge My Territory
Reading is my favorite pastime, second only to writing. I love to read the Bible, Bible studies, all sorts of books, blogs, emails, Facebook messages, my Twitter feed, texts…you get the picture. I spend most of my day working from home, then writing and editing. I read when I go to bed at night. Words are moving in and out of my head all day long. I’m not sure what the world would be like without words and the books that contain them. I write because I want people to be inspired, like how my favorite authors inspire me.
The book The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson is one of my favorite books. Who is Jabez and what was his prayer? Jabez was just an ordinary man who is mentioned in a tiny section of the Bible. In the long list of names in I Chronicles 4, suddenly there is a break and Jabez and his prayer are mentioned. In verses 9-10, it says: “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”
Jabez is not anyone of great significance. From the beginning of his life he was marked because the mere mention of his name reminded folks that he caused his mother great pain in childbirth. He was, however, more honorable than his brothers and it made God want to grant him his request. This prayer inspired the book written by Dr. Wilkinson and it inspires me.
I’ve prayed this prayer regularly since September 2011. I want God to do amazing things in my life and in the lives of my family members and friends. I didn’t start praying the prayer because I wanted God to give me wealth or popularity. I wanted Him to bless me with whatever He wanted to bless me with—to enlarge my territory because that would enlarge His territory. My thoughts were that the more people that found out about me, the more I’d be able to spread the Good News about Him. I wanted His hand to be with me because I couldn’t imagine walking through this life without Him. And I truly wanted Him to keep me far from evil and to guide me along the right path so I wouldn’t sin against Him and cause my friends and family to follow me down the wrong path.
As soon as I began praying this prayer, God started answering it. It’s not a magic prayer. What it is though is a prayer that opens your eyes to the blessings of God that are already there in your life. It makes you watch out for opportunities in which you can tell others about Him. You become more conscious of the traps that Satan tries to set up for you. You begin to see that as a child of the Father, you have an inheritance that compares with no other and blessings that are right there at your fingertips.
James 4:3 says: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
We can ask God to bless us, to protect us, and to enlarge our territories, and to be with us always. When we ask with pure motives and with a desire to make Him be glorified, He will answer according to His will.
In the last few months, God has enlarged my territory. It is so obviously Him that I can only give Him credit for it. He has opened the doors for me to have my third book published (details coming, so stay tuned!) and to go on my first mission trip. I am leaving at the end of March! My first ever mission trip and I’m getting to experience it with my daughter. This is a definite step outside of my comfort zone because I haven’t flown in twelve years and I’ve never been out of the country. Gulp!
God desires to use us to spread the Word and He loves giving to His children. Sometimes we forget the most important part of it—asking and believing! And trusting Him with the outcome!
by Sherri Wilson Johnson
When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection,
and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again?
Shamed by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town.
While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area.