Tuesday, January 03, 2006

DR: A Writer's Prayer

Special Charis Connection Encore . . .

A Writer’s Prayer

A few years ago, for the first time since I’d begun writing, my job as a novelist was beginning to be more than a part-time pursuit. I had multiple contracts and my calendar was filling up with speaking engagements. We had two of our four kids in college and one still at home, and I was feeling conflicted about being a full-time mom while trying to also be a full-time writer to pay those tuition bills. The writing life wasn’t quite the bowl of cherries it had been at first, and I was letting a lot of things distract me from what I had originally trusted to be a calling.

One morning I was praying, feeling overwhelmed and pouring my heart out to the Lord about a pressing deadline. I asked Him what I should be doing. I rarely write down my prayers, but for some reason, this time I went to my computer and began to type the words I was praying. God answered my prayer that morning, and I’ve gone back to pray these same words many times in the years since. This prayer is personalized—you may not share my tendency to be a little lazy, for instance—still, I hope it might express the fears and desires of other writers who log on to Charis Connection today. As you adapt it for your own situation, I trust God will meet you with the same comfort and peace He gave me that morning. Without him directing our fingers on the keyboard, we are nothing more than noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.

Father God, quiet my heart and clear my mind this morning, and help me focus on this story You’ve given me to write. Keep me from anything that would distract from the work I need to accomplish, but also let Your Spirit within me discern what is truly a needless distraction and what is important enough that it should distract me. In my striving, never let me put project above people or worldly gain above things that are eternal.

As I write, guard me from my tendency to laziness, Lord. Nudge me to dig as deep as necessary in researching my story; remind me to use all the tools at my disposal so that I handle the language in a correct, yet creative way. At the same time, don’t let me focus so harshly on one “tree” that I never make it through the “forest.”

Lord, I know that as I write this book––a book that won’t be published for many months––even now, You are preparing hearts that will one day read my words. So let every word I write accurately reflect Your truth and Your precepts. Supernaturally imbue my writing with that quality that, by Your Spirit, will woo souls to You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.

Deborah Raney, July 29, 2002
Deborah Raney, author of A Nest of Sparrows and Over the Waters


At 7:30 AM, Blogger Gina Holmes said...

Hi Deb! I look forward to seeing you in a couple weeks at the ACFW conference.

Great prayer. Just what I was struggling with this morning. God's funny that way. Thanks.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Angela said...

Amen, sister! Praying with you this morning.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington said...

I'm going to print this out and use it, praying it before I write. Thanks for sharing, Deborah.

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous BJ said...

Beautiful, Deb. This is a definite "keeper!"

We'll have to make this a repeat entry to keep it available on a continuing basis!

Bless you.


At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:52 AM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

You know, I think I speak for many of us when I say that Charis Connection has been every bit as much a blessing to the contributors, as it has to you readers who've come back day after day and posted comments. Thanks so much for all your encouraging notes and feedback. I look forward to "seeing" you all here first thing each morning! (AND seeing some of you at ACFW next month!)


At 11:49 AM, Blogger Dee said...

Thanks for sharing your prayer with us. I needed not only the prayer, but your thoughts on getting consumed by it all, while trying to keep your family centered. Thanks so much.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

Thanks for the wonderful prayer.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Vennessa said...

Deb, thank you so much for sharing your heart and prayer. I plan to use your prayer often as I struggle not to waste what precious time I have left in a week to follow my calling and write. May your day be truly blessed and productive!

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...


That prayer is timeless and for everyone trying to walk out their calling whether it's writing or not.

Thanks for sharing!


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Joanne said...

Thanks for always remembering that Christ is your focus. Too many times there are Christian authors who become a clanging cymbal because they rely on their strength to write, not God's wisdom and guideance.

And I hugely appreciate your books... they have affected me very deeply, and I appreciate the truths that shine forth in your novels.

You, living for Christ, encourages us to live for him to.

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Joanne said...

My stars, I just wrote "to" instead of "too." I haven't done that since second grade.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

Thank you for the encouraging words, Joanne. And LOL about the "too." Sometimes I still do that to. ; )

I've appreciated everyone's feedback so much. Thank you!

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Angela said...

What a great way to start off the new year! As perfect a prayer in January as it was last summer. Thanks, Deb!


At 10:03 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington said...

"You are preparing hearts that will one day read my words."

A powerful statement. When I realize this, it changes the way I view my writing.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous vasthi said...

Didn't copy it the first-- will do it this time. So needed!
God is faithful.
Thank you Deb for your obedience to Him.
Good start to the new year.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

WOW, great prayer! Thanks, Deb!

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller said...

This is beautiful! Thanks for reposting it!


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