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How Much Do You Pray Over Your Writing?


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Like others, never enough! Just reading your words now; I see where I need to do so much better and not just with my writing but in so many other areas of my life. It has been a blessing to read your words this morning. They had to come from God!

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I didn't use to pray much about my writing. That started to change when I was writing my last book, on Job, because I got nowhere for months, until I started praying.

 

For my current book, on Ecclesiastes, I have prayed lots, sometimes hours over a single idea I am wrestling with. I also spend lots of time in silent praise, because of the graciousness of God in pouring ideas and encouragement into me. I don't think much of this prayer or increased commitment to prayer is my doing. I believe that God is at work in what I am doing lately and that work requires lots of prayer to succeed. God could dictate the words, but he doesn't - they flow out of conversation. It is strange. When God wants something done, he can just do it himself, without any human intermediation, but instead he often ropes in believers to pray, then answers their prayers. When that happens, it is not just the answer to prayer that is a gift, it is the prayer itself.

 

I thought (again!) that I was done writing the last chapter for my latest book, but no. In my online community group at church, a member expressed something that shows they need wisdom from God to correct a misconception that is stealing their hope. They don't want to go to heaven - they just want to die and be no more. I have had conversations with this member before on the topic, but made little progress.

 

While rereading the first few chapters of my book on Ecclesiastes, I noticed that I had made a promise to the reader that I did not keep. I said that I would tie everything together into a statement about heaven and how that hope can motivate and encourage us. This was not the first time I came across that promise and said - oh, yeah, I never got around to that. I could have removed that promise, as I have plenty of other material in the book, but I left it in. Yet I had nothing to say on the matter of substance - Until after our recent prayer and Bible study meeting, which was about the story in Matthew where the Sadduccees try to trap Jesus, because they don't believe in heaven. All of a sudden, I can see the connection between the main points of my book, about reaping a spiritual harvest, and heaven. As I walked, drove, and puttered through my morning, I prayed and was filled with one idea after another. I know I can now write a whole chapter, a fitting conclusion to the whole book. It was just waiting for me to pray for someone. As I struggled in prayer to construct the argument in my head about how to persuade them about a number of other misconceptions that they have about heaven, grace came to me. It was no longer words to fill a book, it was truths to help a friend.

 

I hope I still remember to pray for my writing when I start my next book...

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21 hours ago, Johne said:

(You might ask why God would be interested in a golem detective. I asked Him.)

I thought of you recently. I heard somewhere, (I think on Jeopardy), that Adam means golem. Not sure if it is true, but man of clay and your detective fit that definition of Adam. 

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16 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

While rereading the first few chapters of my book on Ecclesiastes, I noticed that I had made a promise to the reader that I did not keep. I said that I would tie everything together into a statement about heaven and how that hope can motivate and encourage us. This was not the first time I came across that promise and said - oh, yeah, I never got around to that.

Writer to writer: When I'm reading nonfiction, (and much of the nonfiction I read has to do with God), I read it for a purpose, and that purpose comes in the beginning of the book. If the writer said everything will be tied together, I expect to see it in all parts of the book, not merely some. And I'm reading it as-if what was promised is true. (Joni Eareckson Tada often wanders around, but she does get back to the point by the end of the chapter.)

 

That's one of those concepts that fits writers of fiction or nonfiction. We all make promises in the beginning and have to keep them, or the reader will quit reading it.

 

It also pushes us not to wander. It tells us which parts are rabbit paths that we want to tell everyone, but it's unconnected to the topic at hand. You might want to go back through that manuscript to make sure you have no rabbit paths too. If we don't stick to our purpose, our original promise, even if readers finish, at best, it will be unsatisfying.

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On 11/6/2021 at 8:06 AM, Spaulding said:

I heard somewhere, (I think on Jeopardy), that Adam means golem.

I think I heard that Adam means "son of the red Earth." Its meaning comes from the Hebrew word "adamah" meaning "earth," from which Adam is said to be formed. The name also refers to the reddish color associated with human skin. If you squint, you can see a connection with golems. (According to the lore, golems were created with one great flaw. Adam was created in perfection, and drew his great flaw down upon himself.)

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On 11/6/2021 at 9:29 AM, Spaulding said:

You might want to go back through that manuscript to make sure you have no rabbit paths too.

When I walk my dog, my favorite activity is spotting rabbits. My record is 16 for a single walk around the block. (Coyotes have moved into the neighborhood recently. I think they are also very good at rabbit spotting, as my regular bunny census is in steep decline.)

 

My current work is a massive rabbit warren. In it I develop an entire theory of eschatology and then proceed to support it by analysis of Ecclesiastes, 16 Psalms, Job, Matthew, chunks of Revelation and the Pentateuch, and scattered bits from the prophets and Judges. Throughout the whole I make extensive reference to a sevenfold harvest pattern that ties everything together. My first promise - finding purpose in life - I address up front in a focused series of eleven chapters. The bulk of the book is God's sovereignty over time, which deals with prophecy. Part of showing that God has control of time is discovering his purpose for history and showing the analogy between our purpose for our life and God's purpose for all of time. That coherence is strong. Fitting heaven to the harvest pattern (and related sevenfold pattern based on the 28 times of Ecclesiastes 3) can ti eit in at the end. The hard part is working heaven back into the rest of the book. The book is about peace. Heaven is peace, but so much more.

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On 11/4/2021 at 11:08 AM, suspensewriter said:

This isn't meant as a guilt trip, but I'd like to know how much you pray over your writing, and your writing career.

 

Usually only when i am desperate or desire help on some difficulty i have. Now that you bring it up I will and hopefully in the future as i go along. Thanks 

 

 

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This topic about praying over writing has really made me think. I do pray before I write online but I don't always pray before I work on articles, or my books. I will, with God's help, do a better job. He is the Author and Encourager for all things.

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I am inspired by this question and all the answers. We pray for each other's writing too.

A fellow writer friend recently experienced a solid wall of spiritual attack trying to stop her book from coming into the world. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. She persevered in prayer. She asked for prayer. She overcame each obstacle one by one and now has a lovely book to promote. 

I am praying for patience while I wait for Leoshine. Everything seems to be in place for the final push, but I am waiting on God's timing.

This is the time for strong, heartfelt prayer. Confession, seeking the flaws in me that would try to take the glory from God. It is His book. Like Johne said, He is the creator. I am inventing in His creative system. Staying close to Him means that, just maybe, I can give the world a little more of Him. 

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I,  too, have been experiencing a wall of spiritual attack trying to stop me from completing my pamphlet which I call, "God's Pamphlet." In this pamphlet, one that I am working on for NANO, it has been a struggle. Everyday I pray and from prayer, I am receiving patience and guidance. Without God's guidance and help, it would be nearly impossible.  So, I will pray for Nicola's friend, Shamrock and everyone doing God's work.

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Definitely, I cannot start writing without prayer. I also pray Psalm 139:23-24 before I begin to write. Prayer is very important and it must be a part in writing journey especially when you write a devotional and even sharing your story.

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Good writing displays the intent of the author.

Prayer is recognizing and connecting to you relationship with God. 

My father  explained the need for the golden rule - Love God with all your heart and soul and your neighbors as yourself-  because  that is wrong with your relationship with God often is reflected in your relationship to your neighbors.

 

As a Christian I pray for my writing  and  characters to reflect to the reader what I am trying to question and understand about how my life connects to my faith.

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