June 03, 2011

Why Do I Write? - Janis Cox

Why Do I write?

A blank computer screen – and no thoughts – that is the pang of a writer. I find praying is the best way to get inspiration. God knows what He wants me to say. So as I pray I ask Him to reveal to me His thoughts.

I know He says, ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD “ (Isaiah 55:8 NIV) So this expectation that He will give me something notable to write, I guess might seem preposterous.

But I believe He is here at all times, in my writing, my painting, my conversations; actually in the whole of my life. When I accepted Jesus into my heart, I told Him I would always follow Him. Then a Scripture made an impact – it was “feed my lambs”.

I had attended a Holy Spirit weekend in Ancaster, Ontario. At one point in the weekend when we entered the conference room, each chair had a piece of paper on the seat. We were told not to look at it yet. Then after the message and prayer we asked God where He wanted us to focus our lives and then we were allowed to look at the paper. Mine came from John 21:15 NIV … “Feed my lambs.” Simply stated.

How to accomplish such a task? What did it mean?

I think it means to make disciples of Jesus so that they can hear His voice. And I believe to hear His voice we need to talk to Him and to listen to Him. And that means prayer.

The Holy Spirit weekend happened four years ago. Last year at Write!Canada – a conference for writers and editors who are Christian – I had a strong nudge that I should start a blog on prayer. At the end of June I started Under the Cover of Prayer. I put the word out that I would like guest bloggers for this site. Many responded. I had fun putting up all their words.

Then I heard again from God – I told you to feed my lambs. So I started to write each Friday. It has been an enriching experience, a discipline that God wanted for me.

Something else happened while I wrote – I fed myself. As I read my Bible, and devotionals - I learned more about Him. In the past year I learned a little more patience; I learned not to be entirely task-focused; I learned to seek Him FIRST.

And I learned that a blank sheet of paper is not as scary as I thought. I do have something to say and He will lead me to say it.

Do you have something that God wants you to speak about? Is something holding you back? Ask God to reveal His plan for you.


Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.


  1. Jan, your words come at a perfect time for me.

    And too funny (on His part, if you ask me) that your 'feed my lambs' word He kept nudging you about is a similar word He keeps saying to me.

    I know that He's asking more from me in my writings, but something has been stopping me from just jumping in with both feet. After reading your posting, it's time to jump and begin.

    BTW, I enjoyed your posting where you heard again from God.

    Thanks Jan! Your words have given me to courage to start those new writing projects!

  2. Anonymous8:30 am GMT-7


    You inspire me with your words.

    Fear can keep us back from doing God's will and we know there is no fear in Christ. I push through those walls with this in mind and realize that nothing will get done unless I do it. So my motto is - just do it.

    Many blessings on your writing and may Christ encourage you, give you wisdom and strength to scale the walls.


  3. This was a great reminder to always listen to the Holy Spirit before, during and after writing. (And all the time.) Very inspiring. thanks


  4. Anonymous5:16 pm GMT-7

    Thank you Tracy,
    We get so wrapped up in what we are doing we forget to involve the Holy Spirit - at least I do.

    I believe it is a discipline we can work on.

    So let's encourage one another.


  5. I am so happy you are working on a children's story. Are you bringing it to Write! Canada? Thanks for the God reminder. Feeding the sheep is such an unselfish act - so opposite of the world's message - feed yourself (because you deserve it!) Blessings...

  6. Anonymous8:58 am GMT-7

    Yes I am bringing the book to Write!Canada - it is called A Better Way. I hope you like it.
    Yes, it is hard to look to others rather than ourselves. Even in writing I keep saying to myself - FOR HIM, FOR HIM.


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