I can’t say I have a strategy for prayer for my writing. I am not in the habit of praying in a specific way before each writing day. But I do usually start my day with the prayer: Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.
I believe that when I am in an attitude of listening for God’s voice, for the Spirit’s nudging, then whatever I do, whether writing or doing the dishes, it is done with a heart open for God to work through me.
Prayer is a little like breathing.
Breathe out – LORD, use my words.
Breathe in – God speaks.
Breathe out - May your love, your heart flow through me onto the page.
Breathe in – God directs, nudges, affirms.
Breathe out – Thank you for Your guidance and Your wisdom.
Yes, there are times when I do spiritual battle over a piece of writing, and then I get very specific in my prayer for that writing at that time. But the breathing kind of prayer is such that anything can happen in any moment.
It is such an unconscious thing at times that an idea will seem to come from nowhere (but of course I know God has sparked it). This was very clear when I wrote a poem for Christmas one year. I didn’t know I would be writing a poem but suddenly there was this rhythm in my head. First came the rhythm, then came the idea, then came the hard work of finding and fitting words to the rhythm and to the theme. During that whole busy week, in which I had little time to write, the rhythm and the words came stronger and stronger. It was hard work but it was work I knew I wasn’t doing alone. As I wrote, it seemed that God was right there, looking over my shoulder saying, “Uhuh, uhuh. No that word doesn’t work, try something else. Very good! That’s coming along.” He gave the rhythm. He gave the idea. I did the work, with His constant blessing. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t been in an attitude of listening for His voice.
I do often hear those other voices Glynis talks about, and I often succumb to self-condemnation. However, God’s voice is never condemning. That’s how I know it is His. I have found that if I ask God to speak and really open my heart to listen, He will lead in whatever I do.
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Joylene writes at Scraps of Joy.