Shirer's online Bible studies, global reach
Candice, from Garland, Texas, gathered with friends from all over the country to study God's Word.
Carole, from Coatesville, Pa., led a group of women from her church through a Bible study with streaming video content.
And Sherri, a woman from Manvel, Texas, had the same Bible study pop up in her Facebook feed after she cried out to God for help in a difficult family situation.
"I decided to do this study because I needed to overcome some issues that occurred a long time ago," she wrote. "I feel like I'm being attacked in my mind for my past life and just couldn't take it on my own anymore."
Lauri, Candice, Carole and Sherri -- four women in different locations, with different life circumstances -- all did the same online Bible study in summer 2016: Priscilla Shirer's The Armor of God. These four women were among 40,000 reached by the study.
This seven-session series is the second Bible study from Shirer offered online.
"The Lord has taught me so many things," said Shirer, a LifeWay author and Bible teacher. "One of the most amazing things (He taught me) is that we can really hear His voice. This Bible study will remind participants that we can hear the voice of God as we study Him through the Scriptures. We'll talk about how to open up our spiritual ears -- heighten our spiritual senses -- so we can detect the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives."
LifeWay Christian Resources often hears from women who want to know the heart of God, said Elizabeth Hyndman, content editor and social media strategist for LifeWay Women.
"I think this is something every believer wants to know," she said. "In today's climate, when we hear opposing messages from every outlet, all claiming to be truth, it's as important as ever to know how to hear God speak through His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit."
LifeWay Women's audience has grown through online Bible studies, but the studies were launched as a means to reach women with biblical truth -- wherever they may be.
Many women cannot attend Bible studies at their church due to schedules or child care needs. Some don't live near a church offering Bible studies for women. Others are leaders who participate in the online study as a way to prepare to lead the study at their church later.
Additionally, Hyndman said, women can enjoy community with faraway friends and family.
"We've had women study with daughters and sisters who live in different states," she said. "They meet together via Skype or Google Hangouts. They'll watch the videos online and then discuss together."
Women from all 50 states have participated in at least one LifeWay online Bible study. Some women have joined the studies from abroad, in countries such as South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. A few have joined from Barbados, China, Japan, India, Greece, Kenya and France.
"They may be the only Christian or the only English speaker in their community and long for fellowship," Hyndman said. "We've seen women make friends in the comment section of our blog, making plans to email for accountability, praying for one another and offering words of advice."
Since 2015, about 80,000 women from around the world have joined LifeWay's online Bible studies.
"Our world is getting smaller and smaller through technology," Hyndman said. "It's not unusual to meet true friends and have community through the internet. We want to use the technology available to us to glorify God and point others to Him. Our online Bible studies are one way to do just that.
"We've learned that people see LifeWay as a trusted resource for their biblical and spiritual questions and needs," she said. "We can study His Word with women around the world, growing together in Christlikeness."
To mark the release of Discerning the Voice of God, LifeWay is offering a gift bundle, a $78 value that retails for $19.99. The package includes resources authored by Shirer:
-- Awaken, a 90-day devotional book.
-- A Discerning the Voice of God Bible study book.
-- Limited-time access to streaming video content from January 18 (the release date) to March 31.
Visit lifewaywomen.com/DiscerningOBS to learn more and register for Discerning the Voice of God. To order the gift bundle, visit lifeway.com/Product/priscilla-shirer-gift-bundle-P005803856.