Welcome Debbie! I met Debbie Presnell  through writing with Refresh Bible Study Magazine. We’ve shared zoom calls, writing critiques, and prayer requests. Debbie is founder and director of Shine Camp for teen girls, whose mission is equipping middle and high school girls with Biblical principles to embrace their identity in Christ and discover their purpose. In the last of my summer treats of guest writers, it was fitting that I offer her my space to spread sunshine to you. Read more about Debbie in the bio after you read her helpful post about making decisions.

When I was nine years old, I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. But as a young child and spiritually immature, I didn’t know how to pray or the best words to use. So I prayed something simple like this:

“God, help me.”

As I grew in faith, my spiritual vocabulary grew too. I could pray those fancy prayers that I often heard other people pray. But do you know what? I have returned to my simple nine-year-old prayer. God knows what’s ‘ve on our hearts. We can pray authentically with our chosen vocabulary, for God completely understands. He also “hears” our tears when that’s all we have. He “hears” our sighs when words won’t come. So I’ve learned to pray simply, and I ask God to help me know what to think, say, do, and go.

God, help me know:

  • What to think– What we say and do begins as a thought. Philippians 4:8 tells us, Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (NLT).
  • What to say- Most of us have either said the wrong thing or said the right thing at the wrong time at some point in our lifetime. Ephesians 4:29 tells us, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (NIV).
  • What to do- As busy people, we make dozens of decisions a day—everything from choosing a career, planning a vacation, or finding a daycare. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us, Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know (NASB).
  • Where to go- We have many choices. Psalm 25:4 tells us, Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow (NLT).

What about you? Have you prayed any of these? How did you see answers? Share with us and we will be encouraged.


    Debbie Presnell, whose career has spanned nearly four decades of teaching — from elementary school to higher education, where she trained future teachers—is a member of Gardner-Webb University’s Gallery of Distinguished Alumni. A published author, national speaker, and Bible study teacher, she is also the United States spokesperson for Mukti Mission in India where she partners with Mukti Mission US to bring hope, healing, and life to women and children of India.

She is the author of four books: Shine! Radiating the Love of God — A Bible Study Designed for Young Women in Middle School and High School, Shining Through the Psalms — A 150- Day Devotional Journey, Shine On! 30 Biblical Principles for Radiant Living, and Shining Through James—Living the Journey that Doesn’t Make Sense, a contributor to Crosswalk.com and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). Read more about Shine Camp Black Mountain on Facebook and visit Shine Every Day With Debbie, where she vlogs and brings devotions and inspirational messages.

Debbie and her late husband, Alan, have three adult children, two sons-in-love, and two grandchildren. She loves both the mountains and the beach and spending time with her family. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com. Email her at debbie@debbiepresnell.com.


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