Tuesday, July 06, 2004

let's stand in prayer for Christian writers everywhere

Today is the official Pray for Christian Writers day here on Author Intrusion. Think I'm joking? Okay, it sounds like something silly I might do as a joke, but I'm really serious. Post CBA is the most discouraging time for those of us in the Evangelical publishing world. I'd wager to say that if we could somehow measure true productivity, this time of the year would be the lowest. If we could somehow measure discouragement, this time of year would show the greatest amount.

There's a lot of criticism on the web about Christian fiction. Unfortunately it's usually painted on with a broad brush that lacquers everyone. But there are writers in the CBA who are doing a good job -- in fact a reviewer for Publisher's Weekly told us in Atlanta that Christian fiction is improving year by year. That's really good news, isn't it? Let's pray God keeps on giving the grace to do better.

Let's pray for those wonderful writers out there that aren't yet published. I'm telling you, folks, some of the blogs I read contain the finest writing out there today. Look to your left on this page and sample a few. Let's pray for each other today, because, well, God wants us to and we really need His strength to carry on.

LORD, all our words are Yours anyway, for we cannot think a thought or write a sentence that hasn't originated from You. Help us walk inside our artistry knowing its Your artistry. Help us walk inside of Your grace and mercy. Make us excellent, caring deeply that each word we pen is a reflection of Your gift. Help us hold each other up. And realize that when one of us succeeds, we all do, because You are glorified. In the name of Jesus -- Amen!

If you care to join your prayer here on the blog, please, by all means, do so. It would be a wonderful testimony that we, as Christian writers, are joined together in one Spirit for the sake of the Kingdom.

grace,

lisa

8 Comments:

Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Hi Lisa:

You're absolutely right. One can't paint the CBA with broadstrokes. (I've been guilty of it.)

I would like to use this opportunity to share some news. OK, get the groans over with now -- there's a new Christian writers group forming. Why do we need another one? Well ...

This is only my opinion, and I'm not a gospel writer. Feel free to agree or not.

Many of the writers groups and Christian writing publications focus so much energy on marketing, platforms, etc. Whatever they include about craft is basic. Talk about God is tacked on, just to make sure faith stays in the picture.

Just for naming purposes, we're keeping The Masters Artist moniker for now. This group, I hope, will be different in that it focuses on our faith -- after all, how can we serve God to our fullest capacity unless we're entrenched in the Word (not just words) and spiritually healthy? It will also focus on craft. We're doing this in hopes of preparing writers to find their place in the Kingdom. There's this attitude that if you're not published, you're not important. I just don't agree. Our wisdom is foolishness to Him. Great writing is great writing, whether you write novels or write a heart-felt get-well note to a sick Brother or Sister. God's economy, you know? That letter might do more to change eternity than 1,000,000 copies sold.

I wanted to bring this up to say, yes, I will be praying Lisa. It's so important to keep our fellow artisans in prayer. And please, keep this group in your prayers. (You're more than welcome to join us, Lisa. I know everyone would love to have you.)

July 6, 2004 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Lisa:

The Master's Artist is expanding. We're trying to put together a group of Christian writers who want to go back to plain old excellent writing and good old obedience to the Lord. No gimmicks, no marketing, no platforms -- let's get back to the work and get away from Diva-dom. We want to help writers excel at whatever they're called to do, be it writing novels or thank-you notes. (You're more than welcome to join us, Lisa. We'd all love to have you aboard.)

Jules

July 6, 2004 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Sorry for the two posts. My first one didn't appear for hours, so I thought it didn't take. GRRRRRR ...

July 6, 2004 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Arnold said...

“Oh source of my inspiration, teach me to extend toward all living that fascinated, unsentimental, loving and all-pardoning interest which I feel for the characters I create. May I become identified with all humanity, as I identify myself with these imaginary persons. May my life become my art and my art my life.”

A prayer for writers by Christopher Isherwood

July 6, 2004 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Arnold said...

“Oh source of my inspiration, teach me to extend toward all living that fascinated, unsentimental, loving and all-pardoning interest which I feel for the characters I create. May I become identified with all humanity, as I identify myself with these imaginary persons. May my life become my art and my art my life.”

A prayer for writers by Christopher Isherwood

July 6, 2004 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Dear Father,

Thank you that as M. Gantt says, "It's not about me making my mark, but Him making His mark on me." I offer myself as a writer into your hands, knowing You have called me to this endeavor and will equip me for "every good work." I lift up my brothers and sisters also, Lord, believing that You will finish the good work You've started in each one. I pray for our writing endeavors, yes, Lord, but also, more importantly, that we will know you more. Reveal Yourself to us. Deepen our love for You.

As You teach us to love You, as You show Yourself to us, set us free to be Your vessels. We want to be a pencil in Your hands--Your scribe. Reveal Yourself to the world through the word You give us. Remind us that You are never inadequate and that You live in us and as we remember this truth, empower us to go forward in courage in all You call us to do.

July 6, 2004 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Deborah Raney said...

A prayer I wrote a couple years ago when I was on a desperate deadline:

Quiet my heart and clear my mind this morning, Lord, and help me focus on this story that You’ve given me to write. Keep me from anything that would distract me 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. Never let me put project above people or worldly gain above things that are eternal.

Father, as I write, guard me from my tendency to laziness. 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.

Deborah Raney

July 6, 2004 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Karen Ball said...

Father,

Forgive us for forgetting why we do what we do. Forgive us for letting our focus slide from You and fix itself on others. Others' words. Others' opinions. Others' approval.

You are what matters. Only You.

Words so easily spoken, so quickly written, bring with them life or death. May we speak and write LIFE. May we lift those seeking to serve you with words. May we embrace silence until YOU move us to speak, stillness until You move us to write. And may we surrender our desire to be best, to be liked, to be honored, and take instead the mantle of servant.

God, You told us over and over that we have to die to live. So let us die, even in this moment, to self. Let all that cloaks our eyes from seeing You clearly be removed. Ambition. Pride. Judgementalism. Condemnation. These and so much more wait in the wings to woo us with false promises, to slither into our hearts and wrap themselves around our spirits. To choke us with the cold fingers of self, and so keep us from being used by You.

Be merciful, Holy God. Be present, Wonderful Counselor. Be a balm to the wounds we suffer--and those we cause--all-loving Father. And remind us, when next we sit down to write, that we do it for one reason and one reason alone.

To glorify You.

Amen.

July 6, 2004 at 10:49 PM  

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