Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Jesus said it in Matthew Chapter 7. “You can't grow grapes from thorn bushes.” This applies to every area of our lives from running a marathon to raising your children. And it especially applies to writing which is the fruit of your soul. I remember reading something Baxter Black wrote on how he began writing poetry. He told about writing a poem with a religious theme for an English class in college. He got the paperback with the words writ large and in red across the top of the page, “WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW!” Who does not agree with this principle? You must write what you think. You write about what you care about. And yes, you write who you are. Your own character is the foundation of all your writing.
I recently read a quote by Danielle Steel, a secular writer, in a secular book on writing.
“Where do the ideas come from? I don't really know. I've always had a deeply religious feeling about my writing. I feel very unimportant in the scheme of it all. I pray a lot before I start a book and as I work through it. And the less important I feel the better the book goes.”
Let me deal briefly here with four aspects of prayer that are essential to writing.
We spend time in prayer to develop intimacy with God. The more time you spend in direct fellowship with God the more He shapes your character.
Character development is painful. We need to allow God to make changes in our lives. And we have to come to Him with a tender heart repenting of attitudes and actions that do not please Him.
To get the most nourishment we need to pray the word of God. We take prayer to the level of meditation by memorizing a scripture and then thinking about it over time, maybe several days.
Many years ago I pastored church in a rural community in Texas. I am convinced that during the five years I served there a man who died shortly before I came continued to have the most Godly influence of anyone in that community. His wife told me every morning as he began his day he would fix a Bible verse in his mind. Then he would repeat that verse over and over all day long. And God developed his character and multiplyied the fruit of his life.
Praise is sometimes a neglected element of our prayer life. And yet nothing that I know of develops faith, courage, hope, joy, or peace as thoroughly as praising God for who He is and what He does.
Do you spend time talking to God about His mission for your life? Sense of mission it is essential to the attractiveness and benefit of your writing. This is of course true in writing Christian non-fiction. But it is also an underlying foundation for all writing, fiction or nonfiction.