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Christy Catherine Marshall

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May 2, 2007

With Mother’s Day coming soon, I want to highlight some special moms who reach out to encourage those of us deep in the trenches.

Gina Conroy is an author and mom of four who has a heart for using her gift of writing to build up her peers. According to her website, Gina grew up in a New York Italian family where she says “there was never a lack of drama, love and interesting dialogue.”

At the age of 15, she went to a Wayne Cochran retreat and gave her life to the Lord. She graduated with honor from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Communication Arts. Gina is founder of Writer…Interrupted and writes about her experiences trying to balance it all at Portrait of a Writer…Interrupted. She’s the co-author of Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms and has also contributed to Reach for Your Dreams Graduate.

Welcome, Gina! Why do you feel it’s important for mothers to pray?

Believe it or not, praying is not an easy thing for me to do. I’m not talking about the quick prayers we moms mutter consistently under our breaths every day. I’m talking about the more concentrated and thoughtful prayers, specific to each child. I’ve always known it’s important to do, but knowing and doing are two different things.

When I wrote Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, God met a need in my own life through my own prayers. The topics I was assigned to write about were exactly what I was going through. My prayers flowed naturally from me and ministered to me.

Mothers know their children better than anyone else except God. We know their weaknesses, struggles and strengths. We have a built-in “worry mechanism” that father’s don’t have. We worry, so we pray, and that’s a good thing.

Prayer brings peace and takes care of things in the spiritual realm. Prayer can also change the course of our children’s lives.

Recently I adapted a new rule into my parenting: “Pray before Punishment.” Though I fail daily at my own rule and I’m still trying to break bad habits, it just makes perfect sense. You can’t argue your child into doing right, but you can pray him into it.

Do you have any tips for those of us who need help learning how to pray more effectively?

I’m still learning how to do this. In fact, I recently purchased The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian so I can pray more effectively for my children. She offers meaty chapters on why you should pray with comprehensive prayers at the end.

I have that book on my bookshelf — and I love it!

These books are wonderful, but sometimes you need a quick prayer to get you through the moment. That’s when I pick up Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms and other books like it. I keep one in my bathroom near the kitchen where I homeschool. Then when I’m overwhelmed and need a quick prayer to get me through, I know where to find it. The well- thought-out categories in the table of contents make it easy to find the right prayer.

These prayer books are so helpful because the prayers are written out for you, so when you’re at a loss for words, all you have to do is read them. God doesn’t care if they’re your words or not; if you’re praying them, and they’re from your heart He listens!

What types of prayers are included in your book?

All my prayers start out with a problem, and end in hope.

Some of the prayer I worked on are:

When I’ve Experienced Failure as a Mother
When I need Guidance in Regards to My Child
When I need Hope, Peace, Patience
When I’m too Ambitious Regarding my Child
When I’ve Become critical and Judgmental Towards My Child

What mother couldn’t benefit from those?

There are over 100 prayers of praise, supplication, confession, and intercession to choose from. And every prayer has several scriptures to encourage moms.

One of my favorites starts off like this…

Dear Lord,

It happened again. I told myself it wouldn’t, but it did. I feel like such a failure as if I’ll never be the kind of mother my children deserve. Why can’t I get it right? Why do my children have to suffer for my shortcomings?

Then it ends with a prayer of hope…

Lord, encourage my soul and help me overcome the doubts and self-criticism that have crept into my life. My failure as a parent is draining me of energy. Recharge me with Your divine strength….

What did you learn about prayer while writing your book?

I learned that prayer is easy when it comes from your heart or out of a specific need. Prayer doesn’t have to be formal; just raw and real.

God wants us to pour out our heart to Him. That’s all prayer is. I just need to remember that when condemnation starts to rise within me because I don’t pray enough or the “right way.”

Prayer is not just an act; it’s a way of life.

Wow — that’s so true, Gina. Are there any scriptures that stand out to you on showing us how to pray?

“Pray without ceasing.” To me this means having a prayer relationship and not just a prayer time. Before I moved to the Bible Belt, I communed with God in prayer all day long.

Then I “learned” how to pray. That it was supposed to be done early in the morning and for so many minutes or hours. I failed miserably at this kind of prayer.

I’m just now getting back to the way I used to pray, and it’s very freeing.

That’s wonderful, Gina! Thank you so much for visiting here and for sharing with us about the power of a mother’s prayers. I know I couldn’t live without my active prayer life!

You can read more about Gina at her fabulous website, which is a springboard to many of the writing ventures she is involved in.

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