Lady Inspire | Saunya Shelise

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Saunya Shelise
The Prayer Project
My name is Saunya Shelise. I am a Chicago, IL native, born and raised and currently still residing here. I currently work in the non-for-profit industry and my passions go far beyond my day job! I have a heart for people and encouragement. I love and am obsessed with connecting with souls like mine – people unafraid and unashamed to tell their stories and bear their souls to help others. I truly believe that this is what connects us and frees us from any shame and guilt we may have of our past. I am a writer, a poet, a creator and an encourager still evolving into all that God has created me to be.

What is The Prayer Project?
The Prayer Project is a 30 day written prayer challenge. Anyone, anywhere of any age can participate. Once signed up for the 30 day challenge on my blog,, participants will receive weekly emails full of encouragement, personal stories, tips, scriptures and testimonials to encourage them along the way. Sign up is continual and each challenge has a different theme.

How to participate:

Choose a person that is on your heart to dedicate 30 days of prayer to. Do not inform the person you are praying for that you are doing this. For 30 days, write one prayer a day as a journal entry. Keep them in a handwritten journal or type them and keep them in a folder on your computer.

At the end of the 30 days, only if you choose, present the person you were praying for with the prayer journal as a gift. Let them know that God placed them on your heart to lift them up in prayer and that you decided to pray for them with no hidden agenda or intent to receive anything in return. It is important that you are doing this as a pure and genuine act of love

·       What was the inspiration behind this project? How it came about? When did you hear God call you into this great ministry? Giving you this assignment...

The Prayer Project Story: A couple of years ago I was in a situation where someone close to me weighed extremely heavy on my heart. I was worrying about them way too much. I prayed and God prompted me to dedicate a month of written prayers to them. I didn’t understand why I was doing it at the time but I obeyed and completed 30 days of written prayers. Every day for 30 days, I poured out every single concern and worry I had about the situation on paper, and left it in God’s hands. During the 30 days something amazing happened. The weight was slowly lifted off of my shoulders and God filled my heart with His unexplainable peace. Not only was I at peace with the situation, but 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 about that person indirectly helped me! It taught me the discipline of loving an individual no matter if I felt they “deserved” it or not. It taught me how to love the Jesus way – loving without expecting anything in return. I completed the 30 prayers with no intention of giving them to the individual but again, God prompted me to do so. So I obeyed. I prayed, and released the journal to the individual and left the results in the hands of God. 

Last fall, during my study time with God, I was reminded of this gesture and the idea of this challenge enveloped me. I became overcome with excitement of the idea of people displaying selfless love in such a quiet and gentle yet impactful way. This is how The Prayer Project was birthed. 

Did you have any struggles, setbacks, doubts? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?

I did! Initially when God gave me the idea to begin this project, I was overjoyed! I was so excited that I had something to contribute to the kingdom of God and that my gift of encouragement would be able to touch more people outside of my everyday small circle. The very night before the launch of this project, December 31, 2013, I was overcome with fear and apprehension. My mind was clouded with doubt. At that moment I felt unqualified to do something of this nature and magnitude. I was worried that I didn’t have what it took to effectively share what God had put inside of me. Safe to say I was scared.

I began to pray and ask the Lord to remove all fear and doubt. I knew that Satan was trying to scare me out of doing something amazing for the Lord. I opened my Bible and read some of God’s promises to me and filled my head and heart with God’s truth. I knew that although I was nervous about doing this project that I was ready. God had prepared me and equipped me with everything I needed to accomplish this task He had given me.

What is your overall desire or goal for The Prayer Project and what can we look forward to in the future?

My mission and desire for this project is for us to be an example of what Christly love really is. Love is more about the person you love than it is about you. Love is unselfish. This basic principle that Jesus teaches us is what this project is founded on and what I hope for we firsthand display to those who may not know. My prayer is that this project changes the participants AND the person they are praying for, brings them closer to God and restores any brokenness they may have in their life. My prayer also is that the person(s) they are praying for receives their selfless act of love and is led by their example to do the same for others.


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