Woman 1: Sometimes I just feel completely overwhelmed with life.
Woman 2: I have, like, dishes in my sink. I have laundry all over my living room. I’m trying to pack for my trip.
Woman 3: I feel responsible for a lot of things that I actually can’t control. (Laughter).
Woman 1: Those are the times I go to Facebook and start scrolling. And all of a sudden, it’s an hour later. I - I’m looking at cat videos. So how did you end up looking at cat videos? I have no idea. (Laughter).
End of Excerpt
John Fuller: Well, if you can relate to those women, you’re going to find hope and encouragement today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.
Jim Daly: I love that clip, John. I mean, you start in one direction. You end up in a totally different place, right? Looking at cat videos. She needs help. (Laughter)
John: I would agree with that there. Yes.
Jim: Hey, today we want to remind each of you that you are accepted and loved as a child of God. Now, that may come as a news flash. But I hope you feel it, uh, because that’s how God sees you. There’s nothing you need to do to be more worthy or worthy enough of accepting God’s love and grace. And that’s the - the gift of God’s grace, and it is awesome. Uh, you’re loved right where you are in this moment. And you’re loved because He created you in His image, and that’s sufficient. Uh, we also, of course, want to challenge you to, uh, stop doing things for God and to start doing things with Him. I love that phrase. And we are going to talk to someone who has lived this and who continues to inspire so many women, Jennie Allen. And, uh, I’m looking forward to this conversation, John.
John: Yeah. Jennie has a real ability to connect the head and the heart on this matter. And, um, we have her resource,Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard, uh, at our website. And you can also find out more about her speaking and about the IF:Gathering, which she founded. Our site is focusonthefamily.com/radio. Or give us a call. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY.
Jim: Connecting the head and heart. Could this be an intervention for us, John?
Jim: Maybe Jennie’s here for us. (Laughter).
John: Perhaps, yes.
Jim: Um, Jennie, welcome to Focus.
Jennie Allen: Thank you so much.
Jim: For the first time.
Jim: I’m so excited.
Jennie: Honored to be here.
Jim: Uh, I just love what you’re doing, particularly for - for women. And you heard the clip. Respond to the clip and what you heard there.
Jennie: Oh, I relate. I mean, those - those words have come out of my mouth. Those words have come into my ears many a time. I’ve seen it in women’s eyes. Sometimes you can just feel it, just the feeling of being overwhelmed and unsure if we’re doing enough and if we are enough. And I see that, really, in almost every category of life that we lead. It’s not just in our jobs. It’s not just in our families as we parent. It’s not just in our marriages. It seems to run the gamut. (Laughter).
Jim: It does. You know, I’ve said this before. But, you know, it’s so interesting how God has wired men and women. Because with - with men, yeah, we’re enough. We’re good. We got this ego that covers up a lot of gaps. (Laughter) But for women, it’s always, I’m coming up short. There’s a sense of guilt. There’s this sense of shame. And that’s so hard to bear, isn’t it?
Jennie: It is. And especially it’s discouraging when you also hear, underneath, all of the doubt and insecurity, hearts that really are trying to please God and love their families well. So you - it’s such a ironic thing that there are so many people that are giving everything they can to love these little humans that they’re raising to - to cause good in the world, to - to be a good friend, to be a good daughter. They’re striving so hard to do these things. And yet, ironically, they don’t feel that they’re measuring up.
Jim: And the one I like the most, you know, helping your husband to be a better follower of Christ. (Laughter).
Jennie: Yes. That one too. (Laughter).
Jim: Women have that gift to just, uh, spur us on. Right, John? (Laughter).
John: Every day. Yeah, the Lord uses my wife in a pretty profound way that way.
Jim: I know.Jennie, let me ask you about IF and what it is - the IF:Gathering. When did it start? How many women are impacted? And when a woman goes to an IF conference, what do they walk away with?
Jennie: So about five years ago, um, we - we brought together women from all over the world. And we didn’t know what we were doing. I knew that, um...
Jim: (Laughter) I love that.
Jennie: ...The words God put on my heart were disciple a generation. And I didn’t at that point have afollowing. I didn’t have a platform. There was no possible way to accomplish that purpose. And wisely, just - my friends said, Jennie, just sit back. And if God is doing this, He will do it. You don’t have to make something happen. And - and so that was - years later, um, some doors open. I’d always written Bible studies, and they were starting to spread. And - and so some doors started to open for me. And as they did, I realized, OK. There is a lot of need. There’s a lot of need, and it’s going to take more - to disciple a whole generation, it’s going to take more than just the writing I can build.
And - and so I brought together several friends that loved God and wanted to see the same thing happen. And it’s just been beautiful, because the magic of IF is that all across the world, um, women have risen their hand and said, I want to lead in my place for the good of the people around me. I want to make disciples. And so it’s really, truly incredible that that many women, you know, trusted us and - and through their local churches said, I want to host this. And so it’s a simulcast that we have the second weekend in February. And live all over the world are small groups, big groups, churches, homes, um, gathering and being a part as well.
Jim: That’s fantastic.And in fact, uh, your event is just a couple of days away, right?
Jennie: It is. And yes, you can go right now. There’s a map of all the dots of people hosting and it’s so fun because strangers become friends you can show up at an event that you know no one and all of a sudden walk out with just a herd of new friends.
John: That’s great. Well, we’re going to link over to that so you can find more detail. Again, that’s at focusonthefamily.com/radio.
Jim: Jennie, let’s get into the meat of the bookNothing To Prove, which I love. That’s a great title. Um, you talk about women finding, or trying to find, meaning and purpose in, uh, star charts and backpacks. (Laughter) I mean. And really, you could fill in the blank with anything there. But what were you driving at, that women are looking in the wrong place? That’s what you’re saying?
Jennie: Yeah. I mean, we are conditioned to look in these places. You know, we –from birth, there is achievement, um, measurements in our life, whether it’s grades in a classroom, star charts, um, performing well. And so I think we do pick that up. And again, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I use a star chart at home right now for one of my kids. It motivates him. But I think what we can do is translate the way that - that the world works onto our God and onto our spiritual lives. And when we do that, we start to trade.
You know, it’s this notion that if I don’t measure up, then I’m letting Him down. Then I’m not - and you started the broadcast with this. You’re accepted. You’re loved. And I think that we hear those words, and sometimes we know that’s true. But it doesn’t feel that way, and especially when we get alone with God. And - and what we know is we’ll run from relationships that make us feel pressure. We aren’t going to be drawn to those type of relationships. And so if we put that on God, we’re going to go the opposite direction. We’re not going to want to be with Him. And so I - I really am excited, as women rethink their view on this, how it doesn’t just change behavior. I believe it changes their comfort with God and their desire to be with Jesus.
Jim: You, in fact, have a story in there. You had an experience with some friends that you broke down into tears. Now, there may be more than one story (laughter)...
Jim: ...Related to that. But does that one pop for you?
Jennie: Oh, yeah.
Jim: What happened?
Jennie: That was a big moment. Well, what had happened for me, as I was leading and God was, you know, causing doors to open and I was having more and more happen in my life, I - we adopted our youngest son, who - from Rwanda, around the same time that - that public ministry started for me. And - and as well, I had growing kids into teenagers. And - and - andI was just watching my life, and I - I constantly felt pressure. I just - I couldn’t carry it anymore. And I - and I didn’t remember consciously deciding that I had to carry all this. But I was carrying it all. And so I was driving with some friends to Houston. And they said, Jennie, you just don’t seem like yourself. What’s going on? And they kept crying, you know. And - and honestly, I was at a place in life where I was way too busy to even think about it. I didn’t even know what was wrong. And so they were good friends and, you know, drove me into confession.And - and it was good, just to admit that I feel like everywhere I look, I was not enough or what was expected of me. And - and that’s a miserable way to live.And...
Jim: But that’s a common way, I think, for many, many women. That’s where they live. That’s where you were living. What - for that woman that’s in that spot, I mean, she’s listening. She’s driving down the road right now, saying I know exactly what Jennie’s talking about, but I don’t have a friend.
Jennie: Well, I would say that was just the beginning - admitting that problem. I - I want to share another story, because I think this was the place everything broke. Um, I was actually on a retreat at a young life camp. And there was a counselor there. And I remember thinking when I - when I arrived at young life camp - because we were just there with a bunch of friends, and it wasn’t supposed to be completely life-changing - but I knew I needed my life changed. Like, I’d just been so heavy for so long. And so I - there’s a counselor there that I ended up talking to. And he said, Jennie, why do you feel like you need to keep all these things up? Why do you feel it? And I said, I feel like there’s this Barbie Dream Castle. Like, my life is good. I like my life. I love my kids. I love the ministry God’s given me to do. But every day, I have this overwhelming compulsion to kick it all in. Like, I just wanna kick it in. And he said, well, why don’t you just kick it in?
Jennie: I was like...
Jim: By kick it in, you mean demolish it?
Jennie: I guess. I was like, what do you mean? And I was like; you’re not supposed to say that. Like, that went against everything I was thinking. And he said, you know what, Jennie? If it’s from God, then it will bounce back up. You cannot ruin this.
Jim: Wow. That’s a good word.
Jennie: But if it isn’t from God, you just did Him a great favor. So it was just this recognition. At that moment, I exhaled, maybe for the first time I had in years. And I realized that, you know what? This is not up to me. We are so - we think so much of ourselves. We think that we control all these things. We think that we can make our kids turn out perfectly. And - and again, it’s not that we don’t have parts in that and obedience in that. But I do think it’s so freeing when we get to do the best we can and open our hands and say, God, it’s up to you. And whatever you want to do, do it. And - and there’s a surrender in that, because there’s fear and doubt. And what if he doesn’t come through? But there’s also power in that. And I believe that the Holy Spirit has moved as I’ve opened my hands and - and really allowed Him to do what He wants to do rather than control it.
Jim: So you have that revelation. But then the - the big question - I’m - I’m sure people are thinking it right now listening. They’re going, OK. But what did you do next, I mean, to kick it in? What did that look like for you?
Jennie: Well, I actually started noticing every time I would get stressed why I was stressed. And almost always it had something to do with control. It had something to do with something I thought I could control. And so I’ll give you a really tangible example. I - I was meeting with, um, our board of the nonprofit, the IF: Gathering. And - and they said, Jennie, you’ve got a shortage of about 200,000 that if you don’t come up with in about three or four months, y’all are going to have to close your doors. And - and I remember everyone there was real somber.
And I was at this place in life where I was living this way. I was like, OK. Like, I’m in God. I will obey. I’ll do what you want me to do. But I kind of just giggled. I was like, well, this will be fun. Like, how are you going to provide this? And - and it was just such - it was not how I would have responded before. Of just - this trust of going, God, this is your thing. If it goes away, it goes away. If it stays, I can’t wait to see how you’re going to provide, and I’m here. I’ll do what you need me to do. I’ll get on the phone. I’ll travel. I’ll make the calls. But I just - I look forward to what you’re going to do. And it was so cool. And He did provide. And - and He always does, you know. And I - and I - I’ve learned just to enjoy it more rather than feel like it’s all up to me and carry it.
Jim:Hey, you talk also about confessing your sin of people pleasing. Ooh, another big topic for a lot of listeners.
John: I don’t remember that one being listed as a sin in the Scripture.
Jim: Yeah, it’s not right there. But I - I totally get what you mean. Express it. Tell us how you struggle with it and what - what - how did you overcome it, if you have.
Jennie: Well, I’m going to actually tell you Galatians 1 is pretty clear. If I’m still trying to please men, then I’m no longer pleasing Christ. So there is a very strong conviction from Paul and from Scripture and from our God, that this - this can’t - these don’t compete. We can’t listen to both voices. And for me, it was actually Katie Davis, who wrote a book calledKisses From Katie, and it was originally a blog. And I’d found her blog and was reading it one night late at night on my bathroom floor because my husband was asleep and didn’t want the computer open. And I was so convicted that she had given up everything and was in Uganda and adopting kids off the street. And it was a powerful story. It is a powerful story. But I think what got to me was her - she was just completely zeroed in on pleasing the Lord above everyone else.
And I - I was convicted and actually, that night shifted my life. At that point, I turned, and I said, OK, God, I’m in, whatever you want from me. And that was before IF and that was before adoption and all of that. And, of course, this wild adventure has unfolded, but I will say surrender, I believe, is the key to freedom. It is the scariest thing to do, to say anything God, whatever you want. I’m in. But it is exactly why we get to enjoy this abundant life that he has for us because we’re not clinging to things that ultimately won’t satisfy us anyway.
John:Jennie, about that - so a lot of people are wired to be people pleasers.Is that wrong? I mean, do we have to just totally quit trying to please other people?
Jennie: No, no, in fact, so many of the things that God often competes with in our life aren’t bad things. You know, money and that’s not a bad thing in itself. And I believe it’s that when we have a love of money that it turns evil. And I think when we have a love of people’s opinion, that is when it turns into people worship, and I would say idolatry. And we’re prone to worship. We’re prone to worship all kinds of things. We will worship something. And I believe that especially in this day and age when you look at social media constantly, when you constantly have so many opinions in your mind and in your ears and through these screens, you can start to live for that. And I believe for me, it was - I was a pastor’s wife when I had to come to a head with it because for years prior to that, my mom had always said, mom - Jennie, people don’t think about you as much as you think they do. And that had worked. I was like, OK, you’re right. They probably don’t.
John: Yeah, it’s not all about you.
Jennie: It’s not all about me. But then I became a pastor’s wife and they actually did think about me exactly as much as I feared that they would. And - and I heard their opinions constantly. And so it was - it was a great gift because I had to deal with that and come to a place where, am I going to live for this or am I going to live for God? And so, you know, people’s opinions shrunk. I think of that incredible hymn that says,the things of this world grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace, and that’s so true. And I think that’s why He calls us into such an intimate relationship with Him because if we’re walking with Him, those things get smaller. It’s not that I - I obviously still care what my parents think. I obviously still care.
Jim: Yeah, you need to.
Jennie: And I - I should. But there’s not, um, a bending to their opinion before there is this obedience and relationship I have with God.
Jim: Jennie, I want to ask you inNothing To Prove, which, again, I love the title. But you went out for a college cheerleader spot never cheering before, and I love that. That’s gumption, I think. I played football. And I mean, I love that, the fact that you just did it. And you unexpectedly got on the squad.
Jennie: Yes, yes.
Jim: But it came with some stuff, right?
Jennie: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: I mean, it began to be a burden for you. Describe that because I think a lot of women particularly can connect with the image management that you then had to deal with.
Jennie: Yeah, so I did actually cheer one year in high school...
Jim: (Laughter) OK.
Jennie: ...But not much, not much, not enough to think I could do it. And so...
Jim: Well, that’s University of Arkansas, right? I mean, that’s the big time.
Jennie: Yeah, this was before the world of, you know, hyper growing up cheering all your life, so yes.
Jim: Big time scholarships, too, for cheer.
Jennie: Yeah, well, no, I didn’t get that. But I did - yeah, it was - it was a whole universe. I mean, I got there, and they put you on a scale weekly and - and...
Jim: A weight scale?
John: Because you can’t weigh more than a certain amount.
Jennie: Yes, and if you did, you would get benched and if you gained more than just a couple, two or three pounds. So there was a lot of pressure. And- but then, add to it, I was living in a world of worship of people’s opinions. And so being in college, I think a lot of people will start to struggle with an eating disorder at that time in their life and - and then add to it the pressure of - of being weighed every week. And - and I think I was prone to it anyway. And so in that time, just, again, control, I really got controlling about what I ate. And - and that bled into - I mean, you can’t turn that off, you know. It’s hard to turn it off. And so - into young married years and on into - struggled a little bit after I had kids as well. And so what was difficult about that, I know - I don’t know if anybody has ever struggled with that type of thing.
But what happens is it’s like a channel that you want to turn off in your - on your TV but you can’t. You can’t find the remote, and you can’t turn it. And it’s just this constant narrative that’s - that’s always playing and...And so for me it was a worship issue. I wasworshipingvanity. I wasworshipingpeople’s opinions, and I wasworshipingcontrol. And –and so when you think you can control something and then you go try to do it and you realize that you can, it’s empowering. And - and I think that was what it looked like for me. And it was - it was a fight to walk away from that.
Jim: Yeah, you warn women against numbing out. I think I understand what you’re driving at. But what are some of the specific examples of - of that problem of numbing out? What does that look like?
Jennie: Yeah, I think this is what we’re struggling with today because there’s so many ways to do it. Um, you, you know, used to - maybe there was a TV in the house, and you’d go downstairs. You’d eat with your family. You’d, you know, finish up dinner. You do the dishes. You’d be together. You’d read. There weren’t as many options to just zone out. And now, I think there’s so many, whether...
Jim: Social media, the whole bit.
Jennie: Netflix, yes, TV, social media, you know, and then there’s for other people, it’s alcohol. It’s food. You know, there’s all types of ways to do this. And so, what I love is that this is not living. This is not the best life. We go to - I just think of Jeremiah, where he talks about these empty cisterns, these broken, empty cisterns that people kept going to, trying to get water, but there wasn’t water. And that’s what I see when I look out right now, is that...
Jim: In our culture.
Jennie: ...Yes. As a generation, we are going to broken, empty cisterns because they numb us, and we don’t want to deal with fears, doubts, insecurities, difficult marriages - um - rebellious children. There’s so many things that we try to avoid and - and the day will go better if we can just numb out. And I think we’re easy on the ones that aren’t as destructive, like Netflix and social media and that kind of thing, but what we don’t realize is that those things have become addictions. Those things have - have stolen so many hours of our lives, so much - um - energy and time that we could be used - using to build the kingdom.
And I saw that in my own life. I saw myself rather than dealing with the pressure and turning it over to God, I was-I was now trying to carry the burden of my life. I was trying to carry parenting. I was trying to carry the work he’d given me. I was trying to carry all the people he’d given me to love and to serve and to minister to. And I wasn’t happy. I had lost my joy.And because I’d lost my joy, I didn’t know how to fix it. And so I would just go numb out, and that came in the form of, for me, Netflix, that was my favorite and (laughter) and I would say social media sometimes.
Jim: So binge watching, something like that...
Jennie: Yes. Oh, I was a pro. I was a professional.
Jim: But let me ask you, there’s a couple of things in that, one, what are we trying to soothe when we numb out? What are we trying to fill? You know, that’s one question. The other one is how do you take steps to break away from that?
Jennie: Right. That’s a great question. I think the first thing we’re trying to numb and fill is people really do have hard lives. I mean, a lot of people listening right now have walked through - I mean, I’m just thinking of my closest friends. And I mean, whether it’s divorce, unwanted, whether it’s - I have - one of my very best friends had a massive stroke. I have...
Jim: Prodigal kids.
Jennie: ...Yeah, I have so many difficult situations just in my very close personal life right here. And then I talk to almost everyone I meet and there is a lot of difficulties. So I think we’ve got to learn what it means to suffer well, what it means to build the kingdom even as we suffer. And I think that is a hard thought, but I believe that that’s throughout Scripture - um - that suffering was, in a strange way when you read Scripture, a gift, but we never get to the gift of it because we numb out. So I’ve watched my sister go through so much darkness, so, so much unwanted suffering and lost so many things all at once and she looked at me and said Jennie, how am I so blessed that I get to know that God is enough because I’ve lost everything? And I’m thinking there’s a magic to difficulty that we avoid, that we can’t be afraid to move into. And we’re missing it.
Jim: That’s powerful. I’m just thinking of so many people who are in that spot right now because they’re not sensing blessing, as they describe it from the Lord, that I’m not getting material gain or my marriage isn’t where it needs to be or my relationship with my children isn’t what I want it to be, that they think it’s all a downer.
Jennie: Well, and I think God’s in it...
Jim: God’s in everything.
Jennie: ...I do think it is unbelievably difficult. And I have watched - um - so much pain through it. It’s not that that goes away, but it’s that - that there’s an intimacy with Him that actually is better than - than comfort here that’s temporary, that actually doesn’t settle our soul the way we wish it would. And so I think we run to the wrong things and they don’t fill us up and then we’re surprised. But I love God because he says OK, I don’t really judge that. That’s not how I work. I actually just - I just invite you back in, and I welcome you back in and no matter where you are, no matter how far you’ve run, I just want you back. And I found that he’s just, again, just such a kind recruiter. He just recruits us back. And so, you know, back to the question you asked, too, about how do we change it, I think we’ve got to recognize that there are addictions in our lives, and we’ve got to name the things that are causing addiction that - that may not - you may not go to, you know, AA for. This is still an addiction. And how do we fight it? And so often I think it comes in the form of a phone that we are constantly tethered to. It comes in the form of social media, Netflix. And I think we’ve got to start talking about these things.
Jim: Oh, I would agree. We’re coming into the landing here. And I want to cover this question because I think it’s so important. How did Jesus carry the biggest mission of all time without striving? I mean, your book,Nothing To Prove, mentions this. Think of the weight of the world literally on the shoulders of the Son of God, yet he seemed to do it.
Jennie: Well, that was what started me on this journey of this book. I wanted to look at how Jesus carried the heavy things that he carried, constantly touching the lives of people suffering and yet, he moved with such peace and zeal. And so what he did, I mean, it was just constant. He was always depending on his father. And he actually believed God had what everybody needed. And he was God, and so he could give it. And so when you look at that story the fish and loaves, and he’s standing there, and they’re all physically hungry, he doesn’t say oh, no, no, I’m going to give you spiritual food. That’s enough. He says no, let’s feed them. And I’m going to give - I’m going to fill your stomachs. And the way I’m going to do that is I’m going to show you the abundance that our God has.
And I just, you know, the image that God gave me, eventually, was just these warehouses, that he has warehouses of everything that I need in this life - the money that I needed that day to cause the ministry to survive, the confidence I have to even be able to parent teenage children in this day and age. That’s scary. You know, the things they’re seeing, the things they’re up against, the words I need and the - the things that need to happen in their lives, he’s got warehouses of it that I can trust in his provision. And that’s what Jesus did. You know, he prayed and he fed the people. He knew - and he knew that his God had what he needed.
Jim: Well, and I think this world is constantly telling us to be fearful. Cable news, constantly, be fearful, be fearful. Disaster’s around the corner. And Jesus is coming to the Christian community saying fear not. You know, I’ve overcome the world. It’s going to be OK...
Jim: ...Regardless of your circumstances.
Jennie: ...But it’s having to hope in that next world rather than this one because - because what we know is the worst may come true, at least that’s what I’ve seen. In my life, I’m, like, the worst may come true. However, God is enough in it.
Jim: Well, and if you’re in that spot, we’re here for you at Focus on the Family. And Jennie, I’ve so appreciated this transparent conversation. I love your bookNothing To Prove. What a great place to aim for as we walk through this life as a spouse, as a parent, as a friend. This is the kind of yoke that we were meant to carry. And I love it. And I hope people will get a copy of your bookNothing To Prove. It is wonderful. And God is working in all of our lives. That’s what matters. And you have proven that fact so beautifully.
And I want to encourage people-- if this is where you’re living, full of weight, you know, the weight of the world is on you and you don’t know what to do and maybe your circumstances are tough, contact us. Let us put this resource into your hands. I’d like to do it for a gift of any amount. And if you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you. Just contact the ministry here and we will do that.Nothing To Proveby Jennie Allen.
John: Yeah. And our number is 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Online you can find these resources and other helps at focusonthefamily.com/radio. At the website, we’re going to have some additional content with Jennie, a little bit more about that adoption story and about some of the work you’re doing that we just didn’t have time to cover here at broadcast. So be sure to swing by, donate and get a copy ofNothing To Prove.
Jim: Jennie, as we close, can I ask you to share with us one Scripture that women can look up today to find peace as you’re describing it? What’s a Scripture that really taught you so much of what you’re expressing in the bookNothing To Prove?
Jennie: Yeah, this is it for me. John 7:37, if anyone thirsts, let them come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as a Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. And what I love is that he doesn’t just promise to fill our souls. He promises to give us streams of living water. And that, I think, as women, what we’re craving so badly is not just that our souls would be still, but that our kids would be, that our husbands would be, that our friends would be, that we would have enough to give all of these other people. And we have to realize that the source is one place, and it is Him. And when we go to him and our souls are full, we actually have more than enough to give everybody else. When we don’t feel like it, it is through him and with him that we get to go give all this away.
John: That’s a great, hopeful reminder for all of us and once more our thanks to Jennie Allen for joining us today on Focus on the Family.
Next time, U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black brings an inspiring message about the importance of prayer.
U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black: My friends, God wants us to pray when we need Him, even as a parent wants to be with a child who needs him or her.
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