|Don't leave your writing success to chance. Pray about it!|
(And, yes, I do have Hello Kitty fuzzy dice in my car.)
Do you pray before you write?
I pray before I travel, I pray before I teach, and I always pray before I run a 5K or half-marathon. But I don't pray before I write.
I don't pray before I write because I'm cocky. While I recognize that my writing talent is a gift from God, because writing is so natural to me I tend to think I don't need any extra help. I feel as if God has given me the gift of writing so I can take it from here. But I couldn't be more wrong.
I may be a good writer, but I'm not a great one, and I could certainly use some supernatural assistance to get me there. Plus, there's so much even beyond the quality of work that a writer should pray about when it comes to her craft. We need to pray for inspiration and we need to pray that our writing will somehow touch the lives of others.
Chances are, however, you're not the arrogant jerk that I am. Chances are, you don't pray before you write because you feel as if you shouldn't bother God with such things. You believe that prayers of supplication should be reserved for times of dire need or times when you're concerned about the well-being of a loved one. But we are told over and over in Scripture to go to God about everything.
This is something I've struggled with myself and, believe it or not, God used my car bumper to teach me to pray about all things. Less than one week after I bought the car I'm currently driving I hit a huge gas container that was sitting in the middle of the highway. The result was an unsightly dent in my fender. For weeks I terribly upset about this. I knew it was silly to be so distraught. I should have been happy that no serious damage had been done and thankful to have a car at all. So I prayed and simply asked God to help me get over it. Ironically, I was driving when I decided to pray this prayer and as soon as I said "Amen" Francesca Battistelli's song "Free To Be Me" came on the radio. In case you're unfamiliar with the song, check out the chorus:
'Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I'm so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me
As the song played all I could do was laugh. I think I was even wearing ripped jeans that day. Needless to say, I got over the dent in my fender. In fact, I completely forgot it was there. But imagine my surprise (and the one-woman praise party that ensued) when one day later that summer I was washing my car and discovered the dent was gone!
If God cares about a stupid dent in the bumper of my Mazda 3, certainly He cares about your writing, certainly He cares about you effectively using the gifts He gave you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "pray continually."
Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And in John 14:14 Jesus told his disciples, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
So before you write your next blog post, your next article, your next short story or poem, or the next section of your book, pray about the words you will write and pray for the people who will read them.