InScriber Bryan Norford once wrote on how he is driven to pray each day before writing: "Lord, my thinking and understanding is so often fallen and distorted. I desperately need your insight and wisdom, that as I write, I may clearly express your thoughts and desires.”
How does Bryan’s quote resonate with you?
Artists’ Morning Prayer
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice.
“In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3 NIV).
Have you ever begun your prayer time feeling your thoughts are very general? I certainly have. However, I’ve learned a lot from David’s Morning Prayer in Psalm 5:3.
Let’s unpack that verse and explore what David meant as he prayed.
David begins with acknowledging that God hears him—in other words, he praises God.
For me, it was a wonderful experience when, several years ago on my morning prayer walk, I began my prayer by focusing more on God, praising Him for His many attributes and His love, a love beyond anything we can imagine.
David next lay his requests before God. In writing those words, he used the Hebrew image from the morning sacrifices. “I lay my requests before you,” means an “ordered strategy”. Each morning the Levites reverently laid wood on the altar, each in its own place. Carefully they cut the sacrifices and placed them in order. Hi prayers were to be intentional, his requests well-thought out and specific.
In the last year, I’ve begun writing a list of points at the top of my blog draft as a reminder to pray each time I open my document and plan to write. This prayer includes:
· Giving thanks for the abilities He has placed in me, the desire to write and the development of my skills and ministry
· Surrendering my art to Christ for the Spirit’s enabling
· Praying for the specific challenges that my writing presents as I begin writing or revising—the thoughts or images or structure, for example—those aspects of writing where I need the Spirit’s illumination that day.
· Praying more diligently that the light of Christ would come into the lives and situations of my readers
Praying in this manner brought strength and peace, and a greater awareness of the Spirit’s guidance.
Turning back to David’s prayer, he concluded by waiting before God in expectation. He knew God would answer him.
What encouragement! Writer Madeleine L’Engle so aptly described this expectation: “Before we practice our art (for the day), let’s learn to practice the art of listening to what God has to say to us as artists,” she wrote. This waiting before God is essential for creativity, inspiration, and a sense of direction.
Prayer warrior Dick Eastman adds: “The more specific and complete (our) petitions, the more faith we receive for its answer.”
Over time, I’ve seen the Spirit infuse my mind with:
· Words and images that spring to mind
· Clues or directions as to where my writing should go
· Structure: I was amazed last year when the Spirit began giving me a visual image of the outline for my writing piece. Even though I needed to fill in the details through hard work, the Spirit was guiding me in an area that I sometimes find difficult: structuring and organizing my work.
I concur with InScriber JackPopjes’ wisdom: “The ideas for these blog posts and their development into a well-rounded article do not come from my mind but through it. Each part comes from another Mind. It is the Creator Himself who puts the ideas into my head and leads me to expand and develop the piece.”
As we pray to develop an “ordered strategy”, we will demonstrate a deep dependence on the Holy Spirit who will give us both order and insight.
What about you? What is your morning prayer like? How does the Spirit infuse your mind and your writing?