What do you pray for your writing? You might think that’s a silly question. Of course we pray for our writing. But what, exactly, are we praying for?
If we’re honest, our prayers are often centered on requests for favor with agents and publishers. Book contracts, large advances, and strong sales top our lists. Although these aren’t bad things to desire, here are some other things we could and should be praying for.
Everything we do, we do in Jesus’s name (Colossians 3:17) and for His glory (I Corinthians 10:31). This includes our writing, whether we’re writing for the Christian or secular market. It’s not about us. It’s not even about our readers. It’s about bringing glory to the Living Word, the One who gave us the ability to communicate through written words. Let’s be intentional about praying for His glory!
Our own spiritual growth
Even though our writing isn’t about us, we’re still part of the process. I teach a weekly Bible study class. People often express wonder at the amount of preparation required to teach the class. But I don’t consider it work because I benefit from my study as much, if not more, than the class members do. If I’m not growing spiritually, I can’t be an effective teacher. It’s the same with my writing. I can’t draw water from an empty well. Whatever we write, let’s ask the Lord to fill our spiritual wells with His creativity, wisdom, and insight as we grow in our dependence on Him.
Our readers’ spiritual growth
We write our stories, poems, songs, and plays to benefit our readers. However, while our target audience may be children, our readers also include parents, teachers, and other adults. It’s often an adult who purchases our works, and in the case of younger children, it’s an adult who reads to them. Are you praying that lives—both of children and adults—will be changed and blessed as people read the words you write?
We belong to El Olam—the Eternal God. Although He created time, He’s not bound by it. That’s sometimes difficult to remember because we are finite beings who are bound by time. We’re especially sensitive to the passage of time when we’re in the middle of a project and struggling with writer’s block or when we’re waiting for the response to a submission. But God is sovereign and His timing is perfect. Will you use your times of waiting to trust God for His perfect timing?
Years ago, I had a great idea for a series of children’s picture books. But although everyone I spoke to loved the concept, not one agent or acquisitions editor said yes to the project. After several years, I wondered whether I should just file the idea and move on.
Then I met a terrific children’s author who agreed to partner with me for the series. She applied her rhythm and rhyme abilities to the existing manuscripts and made them sing. (Thanks, Crystal Bowman!) The project was picked up by a children’s publisher soon after our collaboration. I’m so grateful for the early rejections because my initial drafts didn’t have the polish that the published books have.
There’s nothing wrong with praying for commercial success for our writing. But something’s terribly wrong if that’s our only focus. Our heavenly Father continuously works to conform us to the image of His Son. If we want to look like Jesus, we need to share His priorities.
Now it’s your turn. What other topics can we pray for in relation to our writing?
Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called. In addition to her writing, Ava teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300 women. She is a passionate speaker and teacher and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s Word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. Ava and Russ have been married for 40 years and live in southeast Florida. For more information, visit her at AvaWrites.com.