“You either need to kill me or rescue me because I cannot handle this.” I can remember saying these same exact words as I called out to God in prayer. It seemed as if my world was caving in on me, but GOD. I am so excited to share this wonderful interview with such a beautiful author. Author Zari Banks is a mother, editor, author and a prayer warrior. I am sure you will be blessed by this interview and her series of books. Prayer changes things.
What inspired you to begin writing the “O Lord…” series?
I’ve journaled my prayers for years. So, the writing of the prayers would’ve happened regardless of publication. But, specifically the first devotional, O Lord, Hear My Cry was an answer to prayer itself. A year ago I made the decision to relocate my son and myself to my hometown in Washington State. I had been laid off from my position as a school district Instructional Coach and wasn’t able to find another position, even outside of Education, with comparable pay. I had been supporting us on savings and a part-time job at my church for a while and something had to give. So going home to get back on feet made sense. Well, my ex took me to court to stop me from relocating and requested temporary custody and the judge awarded it to him. I was beyond shocked.
So, on March 2, 2011 I had to drop my son at his dad’s and he crying and I was crying. So, I sat in my car in the library parking lot and I was screaming at God from the top of my lungs and said: You either need to kill me or rescue me because I cannot handle this. You promised that if I called out to you, you’d answer and tell me things I can’t understand. I need you to answer now!
God simply said, “Read the Psalms.”
That may not seem like rescue to some, but as I read through the Psalms with a new focus – with the intent of finding the message God was giving me – I was changed. I was ushered into a real and raw relationship with Christ. And, what I discovered in the Psalms is that my struggle wasn’t new God and neither was my restoration.
Had you ever considered writing or publishing a book prior to this series?
Yes, and these devotionals are actually my 3rd, 4th and 5th books.
How long have you been writing? And when did you realize writing was something that you wanted to do?
I’ve been writing my whole life. The earliest story I remember writing and illustrating was from about age 7. And, I was so serious about my desire to be a writer I got a Bachelor’s in Journalism.
What is the most important message that you want people to walk away with after reading your series?
The message is that God is real and bigger than anything we have ever imagined. We cannot limit Him or really know what He can and will do until we die to self and have to submit to Him because it’s so messed up there’s no earthly hope.
How important has prayer been in your life over the most recent years?
Prayer is extremely important to me. I wouldn’t be here today without prayer.
How has prayer changed your life?
Prayer has saved my life.
What would you say to someone who feels like they don’t know how to pray?
Prayer is simply conversation. Everyone can do it. And, though God doesn’t require one specific process, you learn what He likes as you get to know Him. It’s just like any other relationship – only better.
Was it a hard decision to share your prayers with the world through your devotional series?
Well, I shared the prayers with a small group of other singles – some parents, some not – and their encouragement about being able to relate to and be uplifted after hearing those prayers caused me to thank God while praying one day for allowing my pain to help someone else. And, He told me, “I can use these prayers to help more.” So, I put them in book form and showed it to my mentor, Patti, and she told me to go for it.
What can your readers expect next from you?
They may notice me as the editor of some books published in 2012. Other than that you never know. The sky’s the limit.
Are you interested in writing in any other genres?
Yes, I have three fiction children’s books already written that I’d like illustrated for publication at some point.
How do you balance your own writing projects and the editing projects of others?
When I’m editing I make it a point to not write anything similar to what I’m editing. So, right now that means I’m not writing much at all because the projects I’m working on run the gamut of topics.
Any last words?
While I don’t wish struggles on anyone, I hope that everyone comes to the end of themselves, and tastes and sees that the Lord is good. The abundant life Christ promises is a reward of the relationship established through complete and utter trust, faith and submission to God. He will knock your socks off.
Connect with Author Zari Banks at Z Writes Words