I’m Saunya Shelise a native and resident of Chicago, Illinois. I currently work in the non-for-profit industry by day and am a writer, blogger, and entrepreneur by night. I own a small business, an online jewelry boutique www.sashgems.com and a published blog, www.aloveperfect.com.

The whole idea of The Prayer Project 30 day written prayer challenge was inspired by a 30 day prayer journal I had written for someone I was in a relationship with a few years ago. I was in an extremely complicated relationship with a guy at the time and there was so much about the situation that was out of my control.

You know that feeling of being exhausted from trying to figure everything out yourself? That’s exactly the place I was in.

So I prayed and asked God for guidance because I didn’t know what to do.

During one of my many conversations with God, He gave me an assignment–to write prayers for him for 30 consecutive days. I was like, “What?” I had never done anything like that before for anyone. And that was the first time I had ever been given such specific instructions by God before. I knew I had to do it no matter if I understood why I was doing it or not. So I obeyed.

Every day for the next 30 days, I wrote out a prayer for Him. Over time, it became therapeutic for me. Something about releasing everything that was on my mind and heart about the situation in written form calmed me. I had an extreme peace about the situation and I fell in love with the habit of pouring out my heart to God in written form. Setting aside time every day to write what was on my heart for him indirectly helped me! It taught me the discipline of loving an individual no matter if I felt they “deserved” it or not.

Two years later (Fall of 2013″>, during my study time with God, I was reminded of this gesture and the idea of this project enveloped me. I became overcome with excitement at the idea of people displaying selfless love in such a quiet and gentle yet impactful way.

This is how The Prayer Project was birthed. I gathered my ideas and began working on The Prayer Project 30 Day Written Prayer Challenge. The first challenge began January 1, 2014.

The idea of this project is to commit to praying for one individual by writing a prayer a day for 30 consecutive days. After the 30 days of writing prayers for that individual, it is your choice to gift them with the journal if you would like. The goal is three-fold: to encourage believers to intercede selflessly on behalf other individuals, to encourage spiritual growth, and to encourage others to be the example of loving without expecting anything in return.

So much has inspired me along my journey; it’s hard to pick just one person or occurrence. But I can say that the go-getters of my own generation have been a huge inspiration to me over the past few years.

It has inspired and encouraged me so much to see other young adults in my age group overcome obstacles and setbacks and still push forward toward their dreams in unconventional ways no matter how many naysayers are saying that it’s impossible. Watching so many of my peers consistently reach for their dreams has given me the extra push to continue to work toward my own.

I once heard a quote that changed my perspective on living.

It says, “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.”

A lot of the turmoil and strife in our lives tend to be a result of wanting control over every situation. We have these ideas in our minds of what we want our lives to be like, and when it doesn’t go the way we plan, we become disappointed and frustrated because of all of the twists and turns in our perfect life that we create in our heads. Let that idea go! Our journeys were not meant to be perfect.

We were meant to be tried and tested, broken and hurt so that we each of us would be able to be refined and polished…not to perfection but polished and refined into a whole useful being that God can use to help someone else. So my advice would be to embrace the diversions in your journey and thank God for them as they help you evolve and make you better.

What really touches my heart is all of the encouragement, warm words and feedback on how something I wrote or shared has helped them. I don’t take it for granted at all the position that God has placed me in to be able to share with so many. Every day I am humbled by this opportunity and am thankful that God placed within me a gift that I can freely share with so many others.

Follow me online and become a part of the 30 Day Prayer Project!

Blog: www.aloveperfect.com

Shop: www.sashgems.com

Instagram: www.twitter.com/saunyaaa

Twitter: www.instagram.com/saunyaaa

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