The last few years, I've found myself speaking on a topic I didn't anticipate speaking on. Yet, I've found myself speaking to college students, participating in panel discussions, and leading workshops on this topic. I've mentored people in person and answered questions via email on the subject. And though it was unexpected, I've enjoyed it. I’ve loved helping people find their place and encourage them in the journey. What is that topic? Writing.
People write for many reasons. Some find it therapeutic. It’s a way of releasing emotions. For some, writing is the way they process their thoughts. There's something about putting your thoughts onto paper that helps you see and understand them in a way you didn't before. Some, like me, don't even know what they think about a topic until they write about it. The very process of writing helps them think through an issue.
For others, writing is an art form. It's a way of painting a picture, but instead of using a paintbrush, they use words. The craft of taking 26 letters and arranging them into words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs is a creative act.
For still others, writing is a way to teach and instruct. It's used to communicate a message. Such writing compels people to think differently about something, differentiates truth from fiction, and helps solve a problem. Writing is a means to an end rather than the end itself.
For all believers who write, whatever form of writing we do, and whatever context we do it in, it's all for the glory of God. "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether we write fiction, non-fiction, poems, or newspaper articles, each word is for the honor and praise of God. We magnify him in our writing when we work hard and write well. We highlight his wonder and majesty when we use words to point readers to who he is and what he has done. We reflect him when we write for his praise and not our own. When we craft beauty out of words, it's a way of imaging and reflecting our Creator God to the world around us. In all these ways, we write for God and his glory.
Like all things in life, we can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). Writers must abide in him and rest in his grace, wisdom, and strength. One of the ways we do that is in prayer. Like all the things we submit to our Father, we must submit our writing to him as well, asking him to use it for his glory and praise.
A Writer’s Prayer
Father in Heaven,
You are the Maker and Creator of all things. You spoke this world into being and keep it in its orbit. By your word, all things exist. You watch over each creature and know the stars by name. Your word made flesh, Jesus Christ, shows us who you are. And your written word feeds, strengthens, and sanctifies your children.
As your image bearer, you made me to reflect you to the world around me. You gave me gifts and abilities to use in my life and work. One of the ways I image you is in my writing. I thank you for this gift. I thank you for the joy I have in weaving words together. Words are an amazing thing, they have the power to build and the power to destroy. They can point to you or away from you. They can honor and glorify you or honor and glorify ourselves.
Forgive me for the ways in which I have stolen your glory in my writing. Forgive me for the ways in which I have not glorified you in the words I have written. Forgive me when I fail to use the gift you've given me in a way that honors you, when I waste the gift and horde it, or when I fear what others think of my writing more than I fear you.
Help me to continue to grow in this gift. Help me to use words to build and not destroy. Help me not to worry or fret about how you will use my words, but to entrust them to you, knowing you will use them in the right time and for your eternal purposes. Whether one person reads them or many, may they be used to exalt and magnify you.
In everything I write, may it be for you.
Because of Jesus I pray, Amen.