November 11, 2017

The Pre-writing Battle and Prayer by Connie Inglis

I am a foot soldier in the midst of battle—part of a centuria moving forward against our foe. We’ve reached a low ditch and now I freeze, my body flat on the ground, my fingers clinging to the grass and dirt, for I know what lies ahead. The enemy. I peek my head over the ridge and see my target—a large, fortified castle but 100 feet away. I see my General standing on the battlement, looking out upon the field.

The field. One hundred feet of nothing. No protection. I watch other soldiers attempt to cross. Run! A barrage of enemy arrows come zinging from the left, then right. Put up your shields! Some make it. Some freeze. Some turn around and dive back into the ditch. Can I do this?

I look up at my General. I feel like he’s looking right at me—calling my name—telling me I have everything I need to get to the gate—promising me that the victory has already been won. I believe—oh help my unbelief!

I check my armour—my weaponry. All is ready. That helps put my mind at ease. I can taste the fear, bile sticking to the roof of my mouth. I swallow hard and close my eyes, focusing on the words of my General and his promise of victory. I recite his words, giving me strength and hope.

I feel a surge of energy in my legs, my arms. I go! The blood pounds in my head. No more thinking—now just doing! I hear the high-pitch of the approaching arrows and instinctively shift my shield of protection. They hit hard. My soft soles slip in the clay. I stumble. Doing an internal body check, I look up at my General. He is shouting. Calling my name. Urging me forward. I am a soldier. I obey.

Back on my feet, I run hard, keeping my eyes on the gate. It’s shut tight. Will it open for me? Will I get in? Closer. Closer. I’m but a few feet away. I made it! The gate opens—I fall in. The gate closes. I am safe.

My General is there. He picks me up. “Well done,” he says. Those two words flood my mind with peace. I rest in that peace.

“Now,” he says. “Now you are ready for your true calling.”

* * * 

That soldier is me, and you, even before writing one word--before settling into our writing chair--for there is a battle going on, a fight for our minds because the enemy does not want us to fulfill our calling as writers. 
This picture of the spiritual battle for our minds came to me in the winter of 2015/2016 after I agreed to become one of the spiritual advisors for ICWF. As I took on the role of intercession, I became suddenly overwhelmed, discouraged and weakened by the enemy. My own writing suffered. I cried out to God for strength and understanding.  He heard my cry and provided a way out through prayer--and a desire to fight for my mind and the minds of fellow writers. 
And, in that, He guided me to seek a mind of peace, because only out of peace can true freedom be realized--freedom to stand firm against the enemy's lies and distractions, freedom to hear Him as we write and freedom to write what He wants us to write. Isa. 26:3 and Phil. 4:6-8 are my go-to passages in this. I have learned my need to pray before writing--a Pre-Writing Prayer, if you will. Or, what I have termed, "My Prayer Manifesto." This is my verbal declaration combating the enemy and then calling upon and believing in God's promises. This is where I go before I write.

Connie Mae Inglis lives life out of the silence of spending time with God. She loves to write, paint, travel, read, sing, laugh, play with her grandchildren and just see God in those things. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta but part of her heart will always be in Southeast Asia where she lived and worked as a Wycliffe missionary for almost 20 years.


  1. Thank you for this thought provoking post on this special day.

  2. Uncle George, who owned and managed a general store in Small Town Saskatchewan came home for his lunch. Absent-mindedly he sat down and ate what Aunt Adele had set out for him. His finished his main course. Then he reached for the fruit-nappy of canned grab apples, set that on his plate and gobbled it down as well.

    "My, that was powerful stuff, Adele."

    My aunt turned around to see what he meant and she laughed. George had just polished off a bowlful of grab apple pickles.

    Your writing, Connie, was powerful stuff, and I mean that in a positive way. This is something to digest that it might be spiritual warfare that tries to lure us from writing that gives credit to our faith.

    1. Thanks Sharon. I like your little anecdote. Thankfully the war has been won, though the battles continue.

  3. Thank you Connie for this image of the prayer warrior. Your words that true freedom can only come out of peace. And thank you for how you put into practice what you preach, I value the email note that arrives telling me that you have prayed scripture on my behalf. Thank-you!

  4. Thanks for your encouragement Jocelyn.


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