by Becky Wade
“Work, work from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” -Martin Luther
Every time I sit down to work on my novel, I’m acutely aware that I’ve taken on something so big that I’m going to fail. I know it, down to the marrow of my bones. I’m going to fail, period. Unless — and this is a huge ‘unless’ — God is in it.
And so, no matter how little time I have to write on any given day, I never begin pounding the keys before I’ve first read scriptures and hit my knees in prayer. If I have five writing hours ahead of me? I first spend time worshipping God and begging him for His help. If I only have one hour of writing time ahead of me? I first spend time worshipping God and begging him for His help. Five hours of writing is useless without God, but the God who multiplied loaves and fish can multiply the productivity of one hour surrendered completely to Him.
What does your pre-writing time with the Lord look like? Have you given it much thought?
Some of us pen thrillers, some gentle romances. Some of us are plotters and some of us start our manuscripts with little more than a single foggy idea. It follows that our pre-writing time with God will look (and maybe sound) different for each and every one of us. Here are a few pre-writing components you may want to consider, test for yourself, and evaluate.
• Scripture. Personally, I use a daily devotional that contains a scripture verse and a paragraph of encouragement. Once I’ve taken that in, I go to the Bible and read that day’s scripture, plus the entire chapter it came from. Whether the chapter is O.T., N.T., centered on Abraham, or written by Paul, there’s never a time that God doesn’t speak directly to me and my writing ministry through His word.
• Music. Does Christian music lift up your soul? Does it inspire and equip you? Worshipping God through praise songs brings me deep joy and a sense of centeredness. Have you tried listening/singing along to music before (or during) your writing time?
• Prayer. I recommend praying scripture back to God. I take any passage that speaks to me and then I personalize it. For example, here’s Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” I might pray, “God, out of your glorious unlimited resources, please empower me with inner strength through your Holy Spirit as I sit down to write.”
• Prayer, Accountability, and Encouragement partner. Almost a year ago a fellow author and I realized that we were at a similar point in our careers and that we’d be walking the same road side-by-side in the months to come. We joined together as prayer partners. Once a week we email each other our prayers for our work (and anything else that’s on our hearts). We reassure one another, we swap Bible verses, we pray faithfully for one another, and we keep each other focused on God and on His glory — instead of on the earthly worries that can sabotage our joy in our writing.
Do you take time to meet God before you write? What have you done that’s most heartened and blessed your walk with the Lord as you strive to serve Him through your work?
Becky Wade makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children. Her inspirational contemporary romance, My Stubborn Heart, was released by Bethany House last spring. When she’s not writing, she’s taking care of kids, playing tennis, or trying to tidy a house that refuses to stay clean.