When you are called to serve God as an intercessor, and you say “Yes” to Him, don’t be surprised where He will place you for the purposes of intercession.
Prayer is a key part of the writing process. We should seek God regularly for what He would have us write. We need to begin and end our writing time and writing projects with prayer. We should remain prayerful as we write. Ideally every word we write should be bathed in prayer. But that’s just part of the prayer life of the writer.
Here are five ways that will enrich our writer’s prayer life:
1. Daily conversation with God – As we spend time each day growing in relationship with God, we will experience a daily process of transformation. That process is about our life, not our writing, but it will shape our writing and give us a new excitement for the things God calls us to write.
2. Seeking God for inner healing – Again, this is part of our transformation, and we should do this whether or not we are writers. But the benefits will be clear to us and our readers. Imagine how different our writing will sound when we have found peace or forgiveness in an area where we have struggled with bitterness. Imagine the testimony through which the Holy Spirit can impart peace to those who read our words of God’s healing.
3. Lectio divina – This meditation on scripture that has been practiced for centuries in the monasteries can benefit the prayer life of the writer. We just need to be sure we are engaging the process as God’s kids, not as writers. While we can (and should) engage in lectio divina as part of our preparation to write about scripture, we also need to take time for ourselves to immerse in scripture with no writing agenda. A time to just be with God in His Word. As the Word of God comes alive in us, He will shape our writing.
4. Centering prayer – This spiritual discipline, also practiced in monasteries, is devoted to simply sitting quietly in God’s presence. Just being with Him. During this time with God, we are not aware of anything God is doing. We are simply present with Him, focused on Him, and filled with His presence. Not talking, not listening, just being. This time spent with God will shape our whole day. And the next time we sit down to write, we will see that God has been (and is) with us.
5. Soaking in God’s presence – God is always with us. But the world is also very distracting. It is life-sustaining to take time and intentionally soak in God’s presence. Just breathe Him in and revel in who He is. This may look different for each of us on any given day. It might be taking a walk and enjoying nature, listening to music, playing with animals, reading an uplifting book, or enjoying a meal with friends. If we ask the Lord, He will prompt us for what He knows we need that day. Our writing will reflect what we have soaked in.
Those are just five (of many!) ways to engage a life of prayer as a writer. We need to remember that we are not simply practicing these ways for the sake of our writing. The life of prayer is vital to our spiritual growth and well-being as God’s kids. But a healthy prayer life will also affect our writing and will impart God’s peace to our readers.
When you begin the journey of Christian writing, or even if you’ve been writing for a while, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It seems like there are mountains of things to learn: writing voice, structure, editing techniques, how to get published, blogs, which conferences to attend, pitching an agent, devotional writing, freelance writing … or even the most basic decision: “I know I’m called to write, but what do I write?”
As you enter the world of Christian writing, you will find wonderful resources to help you at each step.
But the first step begins before you consider those other questions.
The first step starts with God.
That thought should bring you comfort. Our awesome God knows exactly what you need and where to find it. He knows the best way to guide you, step by step, on the writing journey to which He has called you.
So take a cleansing breath and exhale. Relax. Rejoice! Christian writing is a journey of spending time with God in prayer and writing. What could be more wonderful than that?
As long as you stay close to God, you can’t get it wrong. What a relief!
More than anything, He wants to spend this time with you.
And He has a message to share with the world – through you. It’s a message uniquely shaped by your life experiences and by the writing voice He has given you.
If you surrender your heart to Him and spend your writing time focused on Him, God will deliver the message when the time is right and where it is most needed. You can trust Him!
All those other questions about techniques, how-to’s, and connections will be important down the road. But before you focus on those questions, start by spending time with God.
Talk with Him about His plans for you as a writer. Share your heart with Him. Tell Him your fears. And your joys. Listen to His heart for you. Know that He loves you with an everlasting love. Enjoy His loving presence.
Get in the habit of spending time with Him every day. Allow Him to shape your heart as a writer. Down the road, when you get busy with your writing, remember to continue spending this time with God each day. Write while sitting in His presence, focused on Him. Practice listening to and writing His heart. Share your own heart and let your words be shaped by the ways God has worked in your life.
He will take care of the rest. It will be an amazing journey.