A little background story....

I like to pray out loud when I am alone in my car. It is my time for uninterrupted conversation between me and God. It must look very strange to people as they pass. I can just imagine them looking at this girl flapping her jaws away; talking to nobody - in a deep east Texas southern accent. I have decided... If I ever see anybody looking in, I will wave real big at them! I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer!

While reading the book of Daniel, I stumbled upon a great scripture, and it really made me think about how I should pray. Daniel 9:20-23 tells of a time when Daniel was praying to God. It was how he was praying that struck me.
"While I was speaking and praying...." (Daniel 9:20) 
He was speaking, out loud, while he was praying. He was doing that in solitude while pleading for his people. In the middle of his prayer, the angel Gabriel, came to him and said,
"Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision" (Daniel 9:23)
That is the kind of relationship I want with God. He wants to be close to us so, for me, I like to think of him as a close friend that wants to talk to us like any other close friend. In order to have real relationships with people, we talk to them, right? Out loud... We don't usually expect them to read our minds.

Side note: (I don't say this to condemn anyone who would rather pray in silence. This is a personal thing between me and God, and I believe that is how he wants me to talk to him. You may be very comfortable with praying in silence and I still do on occasion. - although... I have been known to fall asleep in the middle of my prayer! - anyone else have this problem?!)

What struck me about this verse in Daniel is that Gabriel said, "As soon as you began to pray, a word went out." I LOVED THIS! It is such a great reminder to all of us that God is listening! He hears our prayers and He responds. For Daniel, He received the voice of Gabriel to hear and understand. For us, since Christ has given us "a helper" we have the ability to hear God's response through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I believe if we REALLY could see all of the ways God responds to our prayers, we would pray so much more!

As I was praying out loud Saturday morning on my drive, the Holy Spirit inspired me to start an encouragement campaign through Heart Java. As I sat and reflected on this during my drive I could see how using social media could be a fantastic way to reach people that might need a little Light throughout their day.... especially on Mondays! I often have a hard time on Mondays, as I am sure many of you also do.

Another thing I thought about is, how much negative nonsense is out there that people see every morning on Facebook - and what a discouragement it often is!  (You know you are just as bad as I am and read Facebook as soon as you get up in the morning!) 

There is so much negative, that we should BE THE LIGHT for others and give people the encouragement they often look for. (I'm afraid people are getting so caught up in the number of "Likes" they get on their selfies, that they forget who gave them their identity in the first place. - Can I get an AMEN?)

When you woke up this morning and grabbed your cell phone to see what was on Facebook -or who "Liked" your latest post- how would you have felt if someone had sent you a scripture telling you, "YOU ARE HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, AND REDEEMED!" It probably would have made your day a little brighter, right? Or if someone tagged you and said, "YOU ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!" I bet you would have had a big smile on your face.

That is what the #Tag3Campaign is all about. It is an opportunity for all of us to make a difference in someone's day. I like to think of it as a way to encourage someone we may not know well, but we may want to say, "Hey! You are loved and known by God!" What a way to make a difference in the life of someone else! What a way to be the church and share the love of Jesus and the gospel to those who may not know Him!

Not only that, but this may be a way for all of us to get into the Word more and share the Word with others!

So I challenge you, my friends, to join me in the #Tag3Campaign. Every Monday, there will be a "scriptpic" (scripture picture) with a verse that can be used to encourage 3 people you are friends with on social media. You can tag that picture or choose ANY other picture on the Heart Java Facebook page, Twitter page, or Instagram page. Or... feel free to choose another picture from any other site. The purpose of this campaign is just to be an encouragement to others. Hebrews 3:13 says,
"But encourage one another DAILY, as long as it is called TODAY so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." (emphasis mine)
1 Thessalonians 5:11 also talks about encouragement,
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

And finally, a verse that speaks to my heart regarding the purpose of this entire campaign,
"My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, mainly Christ." - Colossians 2:2
My Friends, may you all go forth and be the Light of Christ and an Encouragement to those who need the love and grace of Jesus! Be sure to type #Tag3Campaign if you share a picture on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! It will be a way for us to share encouraging quotes and scriptures so that we can have a bank of them to use. God Bless All of YOU!

Like the Heart Java Page on Facebook! - www.facebook.com/heartjava

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