Holly Murray wrote a devotional on spending five minutes with God that has been included in a book published by Thomas Nelson. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Holly Murray wrote a devotional on spending five minutes with God that has been included in a book published by Thomas Nelson. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Woman’s words of encouragement find way into Lysa TerKeurst devotional

“Just give me five more minutes.”

That’s often been Holly Murray’s response when trying to finish daily tasks before going to bed. It’s also the thought behind a piece she wrote that is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart: 50 Devotions for Sleeping Well in a World Full of Worry,” which was released March 26 by Thomas Nelson Publishing, a subsidiary of Harper Collins.

Once she settled in for the night, she sometimes realized she’d forgotten to do something.

“I didn’t have five minutes with the Lord today,” she said.

Murray wrote the original devotional about spending five minutes with God as part of a writing challenge in a Proverbs 31 Ministries’ group. Proverbs 31 is a ministry TerKeurst founded. Murray connected with the organization after attending a conference a few years ago.

A copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional which contains a piece written by Holly Murray. Courtesy photo

She said she’s participated in several challenges and was excited when her piece was one of 40 selected from among 600 entries for a devotional book that TerKeurst published about a year ago and gave to her supporters.  Murray got a couple of copies of it and thought that was the end until she got an email.

“Thomas Nelson ran across it and loved it and decided they wanted to publish it,” she said.

The version published by Thomas Nelson has been updated to include four pieces by TerKeurst. On March 29, the book had a No. 1 new release designation banner at Amazon.

Murray said the devotional she wrote encouraged her even if it did “step on her toes” because it’s not the amount of time she spends with the Lord that’s important, it’s the quality and intention that matters.

 “I think a lot of people feel ashamed.  ‘Did I dig in? Did I read and study today?’ The reality is that I don’t do that every day, but that doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t love me. He still wants to know me and spend time with me. I need to make spending time with Him a priority. He can do more with five minutes than I can,” she said.

The devotional book isn’t Murray’s first foray into writing.

In 2017, she published “Believing for a Miracle: Our Journey of Faith, Miracles, and the Healing of Cancer,” about her son’s cancer diagnosis in 2011. Caleb Murray was 11 at the time.

The process of writing a book was daunting to Murray at first, but she said she had a great support system including a friend whose book Murray later helped publish.

After encountering other people who also wanted to share their stories, she started Integrity Publishing in 2019.

“I thought ‘This could be something I can do. Not everyone can do it. This is something I’m good at,’” she said.

She said it’s been exciting to help people not only in Augusta but in other parts of the country to publish their books. She’s got other ideas she’s working on including writing her own devotional focusing on how God keeps His promises.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for more than 35 years. Reach her at charmain@augustagoodnews.com. Sign up for the newsletter here.

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