By Sarah Hamaker, CCWF President
I’ve been thinking a lot about prayers and writing these past few years. I’ve always loved that ACFW has a prayer room staffed with volunteers during the conference, and I’ve taken advantage of both praying and volunteering. Prayer is also top of mind because CCWF recently published an anthology of prayers for writers, which we hope will be of encouragement to both fiction and nonfiction writers who are Christian.
In my own life, I pray. I pray throughout the day and at specific times, like right before I get out of bed, right before I go to sleep, and right after my morning devotions. Prayer is an integral part of my life, and I honestly don’t know how non-Christians manage to get through their day without turning to God through prayer.
But what I haven’t done consistently is think about praying for my writing in a deliberate way. I pray when I’m stuck, for inspiration, for my stories to connect with readers, and for specific times when an editor is considering a novel—all good times to turn to the Lord.
However, lately I’ve come to realize that I should be praying more specifically, more regularly, for my writing. My ACFW scribes group started a monthly prayer day for its members, and I’ve grown to love that precious time we spend praying (separately, as we’re an online group) for each other’s writing and family requests.
I find too that writing down prayers can help me focus on what I’m saying (and not saying) in my time with God. When we bring our writing daily, hourly, minutely before God, we allow him to work more fully in our writing lives.
I’ll close with a prayer I often use to help me keep my heart on the right track in my writing.
Please guide my writing today. Help me to write for an audience of One, striving to please you first and man second. Give me the right words to bring glory to you.
Keep my heart attuned to the things of heaven, rather than the things of earth. Don’t let my desire for earthly success draw my attention away from my Savior. Give me a humble and teachable spirit, never thinking I am above learning or too busy to lend a hand to a fellow writer.
When I find myself discouraged, let me find comfort in your Scriptures. When I find myself wanting more than you’ve seen fit to give me, let me rest in the knowledge that I am exactly where I need to be on my writing journey.
Help me to not lose heart when the days are dark. Help me to seek after you when my heart hurts from rejection. Let me see glimpses of how my life is furthering your kingdom.
Above all, allow my words to bring the light of Christ to those who read them. May my love for you shine through all that I write, even when I don’t even mention your precious name.
May I write for your glory and may you use my writing for my own good.