Monday, November 30, 2015

Stop, Drop, and Pray! A Writer’s Prayer Life By Karen Wingate

Welcome Karen Wingate, a Hartline author:
--Karen Wingate came to the Hartline family with a solid writing background in Christian education curriculum and with over 200 magazine article credits.  She writes historical fiction and has just completed her third yet-to-be-published novel.  Karen teaches several women’s bible studies and directs the Women’s ministry at her local church. You can read her blog at

True confession. I need Jesus. I need His guidance in all I do, all the time. That includes my writing life. Especially my writing life.

If my aim is to represent Him through the ideas and stories I share with my audience, then I need His partnership to do the best I can.  On my own, I’ll mess it up.  Pride, self-gratification, ambition, fatigue, infatuation with my own cleverness, and twisted thinking all threaten to neutralize my message.

Jesus used the imagery of a master and his steward to illustrate our relationship with God.  Everything belongs to Him.  The earth is his and all that is in it.  That includes our skills and spiritual gifts, particularly my ability to arrange words on a computer screen.  It only makes sense that I would confer with the owner about how to manage and utilize His resources or go to him when issues arise that threaten my productivity.

If my goal is to write the truth about God and about the transformation available through His Son, the Lord cares very much how I present Him.  He is more than available to help me.  He wants to make available the resources of heaven.  He doesn’t mind discussing the smallest detail about my writing.  He cares about the relationships, encounters, and obstacles I experience en route to my writing destination.

My memos to Him about my press releases about Him is summed up in one word: prayer.

I think we would all acquiesce that prayer should be an integral part of a Christian writer’s life.  With heads bowed, we would probably agree that we could surrender a lot more of our writing life to Him.  How?  Beyond panicked pleas to help me finish this manuscript before my deadline and please oh please send me a contract, how can we pray specifically for our writing life?

Here are a few bullet points for your prayer log. I invite you to add more.

Pray for yourself. Pray that God will order your day and smooth your path. Pray that your words will represent Him accurately, that you will speak truth in love. Pray that He will help you discover deeper truths about Himself through your writing process. Pray for the courage to say the hard things. Pray for protection from the Evil One when you must write about topics contrary to the world’s ways.

Pray for the little things. Pray over tangled sentences, clumsy dialogues, and elusive research facts.  We pray for missing car keys and convenient parking spots; why not pray that God help us find that research tidbit we’ve been searching for?  Pray for your connections with potential interviews. When one doesn’t work out, accept that God knows the right timing or knows someone better for you to talk to.

Pray for your audience. Pray that your words will connect with their life experience in a way that will renew and deepen their relationship with God.

Pray for other writers.  Pray the same things you would for yourself.  Pray for the life issues that distract them from their writing. Contrary to popular belief, writing is not a solitary activity.  We are all part of a team, reaching toward a common goal.  We are part of a body and each of us has a function.  We need to lift each other up, guard each other’s backs, pray over the challenges fellow writers face, and rejoice when one of us breaks out in front. It doesn’t matter which of us gets the limelight, only that together we reach the mutual goal of shining the limelight on our Lord.

Pray for your agent and editors. Pray that God give them wisdom in knowing which manuscripts to move forward and which will advance the cause of Christ best at this moment, even if it is not your own.  Pray that God will give you an inside look at their lives so you know how to pray more effectively for them.  Then do a lot of listening.  Through connections I had at a writer’s conference, I discovered one editor works with a junior high youth group, another is still suffering pain from a shoulder surgery a year ago, and yet another is juggling editorial responsibilities with her first pregnancy.  That gives me a lot to pray about!

Let others pray for you.  We have critique partners, why not prayer partners? Find someone who will pray for you and with you.  It doesn’t have to be a fellow writer.  It does help if it is someone who shares your passion for ministry.  Over the years I’ve had an email team of seven prayer warriors.  When I’m working on a difficult topic or had a bad night’s sleep on a deadline week, I shoot an email to my team, knowing they’ll bend their knees before the Father in my behalf.

I’m excited. Imagine what might happen if all the clients and agents at Hartline intensified their prayer efforts over the next year.  Imagine how the Kingdom of God could be advanced through our written words fueled by the Father’s power and partnership.

Let’s make it happen!


Diana Flegal said...

Karen, Thank you for emphasising the importance of prayer in all we do.

Karen Wingate said...

I feel privileged to share!

Elaine Stock said...

Karen, let's indeed make this happen! Thanks for your guidance in these needed prayers.

Karen Wingate said...

I so appreciate the people who have stopped and prayed for me during a difficult writing moment.It is such a blessing. I hope we can find ways to intensify our prayers for each other!

Kathleen Rouser said...

I appreciate the reminder to pray for all the little things
involved in writing and for others in the field. Great
perspective, Karen!