Today I welcome Biblical Life Coach and debut author Penny Cooke to Jubilee Writer. Congratulations on being a finalist in 2020 Selah Awards. Penny, let’s start by talking a little about your writing journey.
I always wanted to write but didn’t think a nobody like me could ever get published. Then God started opening doors. I had been asked to teach a class on prayer at church. Then came an opportunity to write articles for an online magazine based on the material from the class. Then I was asked to go to a writer’s conference and enter their contest. My potential book on prayer won first place. That was just the encouragement I needed to keep going, and doors kept opening from there.
What an exciting time that was for you. Tell us about this new book, why a book on prayer?
Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World, released from New Hope Publishers last November (2019).
I have seen God work through prayer on many occasions in my life. He’s not only given me insight, comfort and strength through His Word and prayer, but He’s answered some pretty big prayers – He healed my marriage, He saved my addicted son who is now a pastor, among other things. Now I look around at how busy we’ve become and see the neglect of continual prayer and the need for more fervent prayer.
There are many books out there on prayer, what makes yours different?
My book is written from a life coaching perspective. It’s about being proactive and intentional with our prayer lives. It uses an acrostic for prayer to address the different elements of the Lord’s Prayer, which many of our on-the-go prayers may be missing. Jesus taught us how to pray, but mostly we just give Him our lists. I believe we need to get back to fervent, fruit-bearing prayer. Our families and our world are at stake.
Explain the acostic briefly.
The book is a Bible study (or personal devotional) with six weeks of study. Each week addresses a different letter of the prayer acrostic and coincides with a different element of the Lord’s Prayer:
1 – Proactively Pursue Prayer (Pray then like this…)
2 – Remember His Righteous Deeds (Hallowed be Thy name…)
3 – Acknowledge Sin (Forgive us our debts as we forgive…)
4 – Yield to His Will (Thy will be done…)
5 – Enjoy His Daily Bread (Give us this day…)
6 – Rest in Him (Yours is the Kingdom…)
How did you research for this book?
Books, commentaries, and on line resources, etc.
When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?
I didn’t realize my love of writing and words was because I had a calling on my life. I realized it when God led me into writing through many open doors I could not have opened myself. And I might add – many closed doors for what I had been pursuing.
Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?
Regarding the topic of prayer – Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. But, we have to ask; we have not because we ask not, James 4:2.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?
Just start writing; take hold of that desire and run with it. Stop thinking small; stop thinking you’re a nobody and you can’t do it. God is a big Somebody and He can do it! Wow, if only I understood that sooner. But praise God, I have to trust His timing.
Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?
I’m a member of Word Weavers International, a writing critique group. They have been so supportive and encouraging, and I have learned so much about the craft.
What is your favorite genre to read for fun?
Nonfiction, but I love getting lost in fiction every once in a while!
Where is your favorite place to write?
In my comfy chair in my family room. I do other writing-related tasks at my desk, but when I want to concentrate on the creativity of writing, I like to put my feet up and get comfortable for a while.
More about Penny
Penny Cooke is a Certified Biblical Life Coach, writer and speaker. She has been a leader in women’s ministry for over 25 years and has taught numerous Bible studies.
Penny seeks for women to be in the Word and for them to be empowered by His Spirit for this battle we call life. Her passion is to see women (and men) rise up (or kneel down) and pray more often and more fervently.
Penny is a multi-award winning writer and the author of Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. She also contributed to Lighthouse Bible Studies’ Heart Renovation study and Worthy Inspired’s Let the Earth Rejoice devotional. She has written articles for CBN.com and Thoughts-About-God.com, and has had two columns in Blessed Living Women’s E-Magazine. She also enjoys blogging about things of life and faith at pennycookeauthor.com.
Penny and her husband live in South Florida and have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
Links to connect with her on Social Media:
Order link: https://amzn.to/38ZuYAq
For multiple copies: http://bit.ly/2qa4g7g
Subscribe to Penny’s blog and receive her free download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here: http://bit.ly/32RKcE7
Plus, everyone who subscribes March 5-9 will go into a drawing for a FREE copy of her book, Pursuing Prayer. (Winner will be announced via email and on her Facebook author page March 10, http://bit.ly/39kYfWD )
Thank you so much, Penny, for being a guest on my blog today.