Author Archives: SharonBrani

Awake and Pray

    From the time I was a child I’ve prayed. Short prayers. Meal time prayers. Goodnight prayers. And many others.

     Yes, there were prayers before going to Vacation Bible School asking the Lord to help me find the right bus home. And there were always the prayers before taking a quiz or test. Without prayer I absolutely know I would not have passed high school.

    Then there were the money prayers. Please, Lord, help me. I’m short this much money and the bill is bigger than life itself. Please, please help me.

     And the sickness prayers. Please, Lord, help me not to come down with that flu that everyone else seems to be struggling with. And help me, Lord, to stay healthy and strong. And, Lord, heal me so that I can get out of this bed. I just hate being sick, Lord. You know.

     And then the travel prayers. Lord, you know how I hate to fly. Please keep the plane up. Please, Lord, help it not to crash into the Atlantic where the sharks are. And please help me drive safely and place Your hedge of protection around me so that no one crashes into me.

   So many different prayers. All of them from the depths of my heart.

   Now that I’m a little older my prayer life has begun to deepen and grow. Desperate moments continue but they don’t drive me to prayer. Need for health and healing for myself and many others is on-going but that doesn’t dominate my prayers.  

    No, my prayers are simple moments of conversations between my Lord and I. Sometimes it’s structures. Many times it’s not. We just talk about this and that. About this situation and that one. About that dear person and that one. And oh how I treasure these times.

    Because of Him.

    He’s always welcoming. Always pleased to spend time talking with me.  Deeply interested in all that interests me. And so much more. Much more. My prayers have grown to be focused on Him.

    The time I spend in prayer goes so quickly. I find myself listening more. It’s like He quiets me with His loving look and I settle into His Presence and care.

     Well, for these reasons and more, I decided to waken each morning and not only pray which has been my routine but also to video it so that others would join me too. Yes, it’s a strange action for one as quiet as I am.

     But one morning I sensed that He wanted me to open myself and welcome others to pray with me. All together with Him.

    As we gather together from around the world in prayer, God strengths us, gives clarity to our days and gives peace. He hears and answers our prayers. He draws us closer to Himself and others.

    My prayer is that you too will discover that wellspring of benefits that flow from simply praying. We learn to pray by praying. So let’s begin this adventure by praying now.

Dear Lord,

     Thank you for calling us to come to you in prayer. We praise you that you have made it possible for us to come into your presence through Christ’s death and resurrection. We are so grateful that you welcome us to spend time with you and to listen to your Voice. In a world that is desperate for Answers You keep shining your Light. We believe in You and simply trust You.

     I encourage you to awake and pray every day. If possible join me on Facebook on my personal page Sharon Beth Brani. I’d love to pray with you.

             

   

 

House Arrest?

Her words caused my breathing to stop. For a moment.

How could it possibly be?

“You are under house arrest. You must stay inside and talk to no one,”

My thoughts raced in a million different directions.

What had I done?

Here I was thousands of miles from home.

I was in the process of completing an adoption

and suddenly this.

Instantly there was fear.

How long would it last?

What if? A million what ifs.

 There was no way to communicate with my family in the states.

No. There I was.

So what do you do when suddenly life changes

and the unexpected happens?

What do you do when you realize that you are helpless to change things?

“O Lord. I really need your help.”

I prayed and prayed.

Hours dragged by as I sat in the small room with only a narrow bed.

One minute at a time.

I never expected that my desire to adopt would lead to this.

Simple meals were brought to my door.

No words.

Then my worse thought  hit me.

Would I ever get out?

To see my little girl at home?

My parents?

Ugh, but I was seemingly helpless. No phone.

It was at a time of unrest in the world many years ago

and for me a time of awakening.

These things really do happen to ordinary people. Like you. Like me.

I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time it seemed.

House arrest?

Me?

Well, after a few days I was released

and was flown out of that part of the country

and back to a safer city.

But I’ll never forget that scary experience.

While the world kept turning

I sat and prayed for release, for freedom.

And in His time

God made it possible for me to be safely released

to board a small, very old, rickety plane

and to fly. Just me and 3 other foreign men.

Hair-raising moments? Yes.

Today as I remember

I’m grateful beyond words

that I was released.

Quietly set free and flown out of that hot spot.

Grateful to once again experience God’s hand in the details of my life.

And while we experience all kinds of changes and unsettledness today

it’s reassuring to know

that God hears our prayers.

He knows exactly what is going on

where you live

and where I live.

He knows how trapped some people feel,

He knows how much we miss what we used to do.

Yes, He knows.

And even though we don’t understand everything

we can trust Him

with all of our moments.

He has us safely in His care.

We do not wait in vain.

Let’s just rest in His arms while we wait

knowing that we are not alone.

And nowhere could be safer

than in His tender care.

 

 

7 Words That Could Change Your Day

The words stayed with me long after my vacation in Maine

long after I’m miles and miles from the store

long after the long summer days have ended.

“It’s Going to be a Wonderful day.”

Yes, that’s how she greeted us each morning when I pay for

 my hot vanilla coffee

 and blueberry muffin.

Big smile on her face

and those words.

“It’s going to be a wonderful day.”

I always received them like a blessing on my day.

Of course it would be wonderful.

Why I was on vacation and the sun was shining

and well it couldn’t possibly be anything less.

But what about today?

My coffee is poured on this early Friday morn

 and I’ve had my morning Quiet time

and then those words come to mind

It’s going to be a wonderful day.

I could feel myself smiling,

But then…

what about all the pain

the suffering

the known huge struggles all around?

Those still exist .No denying that.

But in the midst of it all

to declare that it will be a wonderful day is more about a

personal  statement than about  the conditions all around us.

No, it’s an inner preparation –

a mental mindset-

to declare right at the beginning

it WILL be a wonderful day.

Reminds me of ‘This is the Day that the Lord has made

and I will rejoice and be glad in it.’

Today.

A gift.

A declaration.

A truth.

No matter what

It’s going to be a wonderful day.

Suddenly I feel  energetic, and strong and upbeat.

It gives a  clearer perspective of hope

that prepares  me for whatever lies ahead.

Yes, I might not have the ocean but I have this gift. These 7 simple words.

At the beginning of the day

to declare

that it will be a wonderful day.

Guess I have a new way to start my day.

Instead of waiting to see

I’m calling it. And encouraging you.

If every day you began it by saying to yourself

‘It’s going to be a wonderful  day’

wouldn’t that help? A lot.

You might just find it helpful too.

Try it with me.

And please take the time to share with me your experience.