As cross-cultural missionaries, one of the questions most asked of my husband and I is, “How can we pray for you?” Christians know that prayer is a powerful way to support, network with, and/or minister to another person. As James writes, prayer “has great power as it is working.”
Regardless of who we are or what we do, we all need prayer, for who are we in and of ourselves? The writer is no different, especially the Christian writer, since our desire is composing creations to serve to others as we follow the supreme Creator Himself.
Here in the Redbud community, we are writers who “influence culture and faith.” Our tagline states we fearlessly expand the feminine voice…in print and culture. The truth is, we cannot do that effectively unless we first fall on our knees before God Almighty, fearfully exclaiming, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Certainly, God hears and answers, but greater still is the effectiveness when others fortify with prayer our calling to write. Have you ever asked a writer, “How can I pray for you?” If so, we thank you; keep it up! If not, we invite you to do so; keep reading to learn how!
On our private Facebook page, I recently asked the Redbud community for specific and practical ways that others can pray for them as writers. Here are ten ways to pray based on the responses:
To be infused with the Holy Spirit’s creativity.
Can you imagine the difference this makes? One writer teaches to “follow your muse.” Sounds eloquent until one realizes how precarious that alone can truly be. A better alternative would be “follow your God-infused muse.”
For Christ’s love to shine through.
Indeed, Christ must increase and we must decrease. His love is purer, greater, truer, holier. It is a burning fire and a healing balm. His love provokes, nurtures, transforms, and heals. It forgives. Yes, Lord, shine the virtues of your love through our written creation.
To be a growing disciple of Christ
None of us has “arrived” at the place of perfect character, obedience, or holiness. We have little or nothing of lasting value to offer when we are stagnant or empty. Daily growth and renewal in our faith will be reflected in our writing.
To be authentic.
This means being transparent; removing the masks to allow others to see and identify with our real heart and soul, in whatever condition it may currently be.
Furthermore, it is being true to our uniqueness in voice and writing style, even as that is refined through learning from others.
For God’s message not be swayed by fame or financial gain.
Sounds so beautifully pious in print when in reality it is a struggle. How do we maintain balance in our priorities when the bottom line of the publishing industry itself (Christian or otherwise) is fame and financial gain?
Those things are not inherently evil, but they do battle against our priorities of being obedient to the One who calls us and allowing Him to use our writing as He wills. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” is an all inclusive teaching.
Writing can be vulnerable, and with that comes fear. All writing will have its critics. Are we ready to face the dissecting and scrutinizing of our stories, thoughts, teachings, and arguments?
Then there are editors; are we brave (and humble) enough to allow them to shear what we’ve created?
For discipline to concentrate, reduce distractions.
Few of us writers have our own private space to escape to, so dealing with distractions is our lot. Learning how to reduce them will prove an advantage. Our greatest enemy –which ironically is pushed as our greatest ally– is social media! Sometimes More often than not, we need to say, “Get thee behind me, FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterestYoutube.”
- Which voices to listen to, which to ignore: Some scream and we jump to their attention, yet often the still small voice is the most profound one we should be heeding.
- What to write and how to approach it: It’s like standing in a forest of ideas staring at the variety of trails before us.
- What feedback to take into account, and from whom: some feedback grows us while other feedback slows us. Some people help us while others hurt us.
To not get frustrated.
Writing is a love-hate relationship. There comes a point with each piece we write where frustration enters uninvited. We need (prayer) help to kick it out instead of entertaining it.
For our words…
- To express our truest thoughts adequately: this aligns with being authentic, yet with the added component of sifting through and choosing the right words from the hundreds of thousands available.
- To not (intentionally) hurt others: Once they leave us, we can’t guarantee how they will be received. But our hope is that our words would be “like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
For God to use my words to bring others to know Him.
This is the highest and most eternal motive for the Christian writer, more important than “getting our name out there.” May our words, whether directly or indirectly, lead others to intimately know the Name above all names.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Amen and amen.