Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I have written off and on since I was in college. But I did not begin my most industrious writing until I was diagnosed with cancer. After I retired from pastoring I began writing full time. So my writing has been integrated with my cancer in the past few years. My writing has actually been a means of dealing with and praying for my health.
Here are some ways I connect with God in my writing: Concentration, Prayer, a sense of Calling, Personhood, Satisfaction, and inspiration. I will leave it to you to decide if any or all these things are actually prayer.
I couldn't title something "Better Than A Pain Pill," without mentioning Concentration. The concentration of writing can be a form of prayer. I have to admit that concentration is not enough to deal with severe pain. But at least in the early years concentration has been a good friend.
Actual Prayer is part of my writing discipline. I don't necessarily pray for my cancer or my pain while I am writing. But I do break my writing up with prayer. And any prayer is a blessing.
A sense of calling is crucial for the kind of writing I do. God has spoken personally to me in Habakkuk 2:1-3. I know many people that I think should write. Some of them can tell marvelous stories. I know some, especially pastors, who have so much to say and hold people spellbound week after week with their sermons. But many of them just don’t want to write. I tell them writing is an opportunity to expand their pulpit. But I have come to realize that they need a sense of calling from God to write. Interestingly enough, I have read books by secular writers who admitted with some embarrassment that they sense a calling from God.
I am not yet the person God plans for me to become. But there is a sense in which I am the person God created me to be. In that sense my personhood can be an obedient response to God. I would like prayer to be, or at least become, the heart of my personality. I believe someone's personality makes her a writer or keeps him from being one. I am not sure what this is. I suspect it is different with every person. I certainly don't want these words to discourage anyone. There are so many things to discourage writers. It is easy enough after a dozen or less rejection slips, to say, "I guess I am just not the writer-type."
There is also a great deal of satisfaction to writing, especially when you have a sense of the calling. That satisfaction is a type of answer to prayer. This even applies to individual books and articles. Knowing God wants me to write something brings joy even in pain.
Nothing is as satisfying to me as a sense of inspiration as I write. This is not to be confused with the inspiration of Scripture. My inspiration is not even close to that level. But I often sense God speaking through my writing in the same way I see evidence of God speaking through sermons. This does not make me great, although it certainly makes what I write better. But I am not called to be great, or popular, or even successful. I am called to faithfully communicate what I believe God wants me to say. And if that is not prayer, it is closely related.