“Lord, guide my writing along the right path for Your name’s sake.” This prayer is modeled on Psalm 23:3. God acts as a Shepherd, one who watches the path, sees ahead, and knows the best direction to take. I want God to shepherd my writing.
Where do you want your writing to go? What path do you want it to take? How do you envision your audience receiving it? What effect do you want it to produce? All these questions beg a guide, a wise mentor. Once we craft our writing and put it out for others to read, our words have a life of their own. We understand we must trust God to guide the path of our words as they are received by our readers. What a special blessing to call on God to shepherd our writing through the entire process.
My calling is to craft prayers. Personally, I want my prayers to be said aloud with others. I want my words to speak to God and bring God and people together. I am inspired by Meghan Cox Gurdon, who writes about the power of reading together in families: “A miraculous alchemy takes place when one person reads to another, one that converts the ordinary stuff of life—a book, a voice, a place to sit, and a bit of time—into astonishing fuel for the heart, the mind, and the imagination” (The Enchanted Hour). If this is true of reading literature, how much more can it be true of praying together?
I write this on my birthday. When Roger came downstairs and sang, “Happy Birthday,” I thought of what my parents must have felt that day 60 plus years ago when they first met me. Then I read the card Roger handed me. “I love getting old with you—it never gets old.” This writing may be cliché, but it carried the full weight of Roger’s meaning right into my heart. God guided his words. They had an audience of one; but they were fruitful to their purpose.
We need God’s guidance for our writing more than ever in this age when technology changes everything at a dizzying, disorienting speed.
May I pray for us? “Lord, guide the path of Christian writers! Guide our words to penetrate hearts with the message of the dignity of being human in a technology-driven world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”