Tag Archives: prayer

“Carefully & Prayerfully”

Yep…I know I just used two “ly” words. I did it intentionally and happily [Larry snickers gleefully]. Seriously…(that makes 6!)…the two words I used for the title of this post are my answer to the question: “How do you approach your responsibility as a writer?”

Carefully and Prayerfully.

But, today, I’m going to concentrate on the second word. The more I am blessed to be around other writers, the more I am feeling a conviction that we ought to be praying for one another. Specifically. By Name. We are, after all, a band of brothers and sisters toiling together to impact our world with the light of truth. Yes, we want to deliver a strong emotional experience. But we are CHRISTIAN writers, which makes us brothers and sisters with the same Lord and children of the same Heavenly Father. The strong emotional experience we offer should be delivered in words soaked in spiritual awareness.

As Christian writers, we are dealing with a spiritual reality that secular writers can not possess or reveal. And regardless of the genre–or even the market–in which we seek to publish our stories, we can call upon a power that no unbeliever can claim: the power of God!

Of course no writer can prayer for every other writer…there are too many writers. But we can pray for some. And we should. If you are in a writing group, do you pray for those other writers? To you take time to pray together at your meetings? Do you pray for your favorite writers–the ones whose books have blessed you? ACFW members could take a minute to pray for the names of the new members when they are posted on the loop.

Let’s hold one another up in prayer to a God Who has promised to hear our prayers. Let’s tap into the power that awaits us. And let’s intercede for one another.

 

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Larry W. Timm, Writing

Sometimes It’s Good To Ask “Why?”

     “Dear God, help me remember WHY I am, for I”M FORGIVEN.”

     Read the above request again.

     You see, I’m not just a  writer who happens to write fiction. Most importantly–and this is a crucial distinction–I’m a Christian writer who happens to write fiction. And I happen to write stories that highlight truths about the God Who has redeemed me.

     Colossians 1:13-14 says, “For He delivered us from darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

     As Christian writers, we bask in the unfading glow of forgiveness. Hope trickles down through our stories to our readers. Some writers will deliver this message in very explicit ways; others will do it with subtle scenes and plots and themes. Jesus, Himself, used both methods in His story-telling. But behind either style of delivery is the desire to connect hearers to the source of hope and forgiveness.

     I write Christian fiction because I want to shine a spotlight of attention on the One who saved me from the eternal consequences of my sins. I don’t ever want to take that for granted. Do you?

     Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

     that saved a wretch like me!

     I once was lost but now am found,

     was blind but now I see.

     Our writing is the result of forgiveness, not the source. Our writing expresses our salvation, it doesn’t secure it. WE ARE WRITERS BECAUSE WE ARE FORGIVEN AND HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH A LIFE-CHANGING MESSAGE OF SALVATION. Isn’t that worth remembering?

     What does it mean to you to know that you are forgiven by God? Your answer to that question may just get at one of the motivations for why you write what you write.

     I hope this “Writer’s Prayer” has encouraged you. May it always help you keep or rekindle anew a fresh focus on WHO, WHAT, WHERE, and WHY.

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His Eye is on the Sparrow and…

     You know the rest of that song verse, don’t you? The finish to that line uses different words, but it still expresses today’s petition from “The Writer’s Prayer.”

     “Dear God, please help me remember WHERE I am, for I’M IN YOUR SIGHT.

     Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, My Rock and my Redeemer.”

     Hebrews 4:13 declares, “For there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

     I want the words of my stories to please God, because He sees them before anyone else.  Isn’t it thrilling that God watches us as we labor to craft stories that honor His truths?

     No matter where you are, God sees you. I’ve heard people describe the writer’s life as a solitary life–I’ve used similar descriptions myself. But beyond the fact that writer’s spend hours working alone, is the wonderful truth that during those times, God sees us. He has a plan for what we are writing.

     Be encouraged, fellow writer, God’s eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches you! He sees you when the writing flows like a raging river and when it jerks to a halt like it’s tied to a stump. He sees you when the agent calls and when the phone never rings. He sees you when the contracts are offered or when the rejections come instead. He sees you when a reviewer fillets your book like a cod-fish or when people tell you it’s one whale of a story.

     When we wonder if anyone is ever going to notice what we write, rest assured in this truth: We are in God’s sight. We really do write–first and foremost–for an audience of One. And that One loves you with a passion that is beyond measure.

     Does it encourage you to know that you’re in God’s sight? He does a pretty good job of watching over His children…don’t you think?

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Dear God, help me remember WHO I am, for I’m YOUR CHILD

     Writing is what I do, but it is not who I am. I’M A CHILD OF THE KING! Yes, I’m a husband, father, preacher/teacher, and a writer–and these relationships are very important to me. However, there is no relationship that compares to the gracious privilege of being called a child of the Heavenly Father.

     And our Heavenly Father will never abandon or abuse, reject or refuse us! EVER!

     Fellow writer, hang on to this truth with relentless tenacity. We’re not writing about someone we don’t know, or about a deity we’re blindly pursuing. Rather, we’re stewards of story because we’ve been adopted–through faith in Jesus Christ–into Almighty God’s family. Published or unpublished, that’s not going to change. Best-seller or bargain bin, that’s not going to change. IN CHRIST WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE KING, because of our faith in His Living Word, not because of our ability to produce our written ones.

  • John 1:12:  “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
  •  Romans 8:14-16:  “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”
  • I John 3:1:  “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are…”

     And how did Jesus teach us to begin the “Lord’s Prayer”?

     I’m writing christian fiction because of my relationship to God. I want to use the truths from my Heavenly Father’s Word to shine light into darkness. I’m not crafting stories to earn God’s love. If you’re a Christian writer, God already loves you as His child. In fact, it’s impossible for Him to love you more than He does now.

     So as we sit down to write, let’s think of our Heavenly Father–He’s the all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful One Who sent His Son to save our souls. Strive to tell people about Him. Yearn for others to Know Him.

     So, fellow writer, ask God to help you remember that YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE! That ought to give us something to write about, huh?

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“Dear God, help me remember…”

     Holidays. Memorials. Observances. Anniversaries.

     All of these things exist to help us recall something. These important remembrances rekindle our allegiance, renew our awareness, and refresh our relationships. Old Testament believers built their lives around yearly activities that would remind them of God’s dealings in their lives. In the New Testament, Jesus gave us what we call “the Lord’s Supper” and told us to observe it in remembrance of Him. Even baptism causes us to recall the death, burial, and resurrection of our precious Lord. And Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter…please!!! Wow!

     The Writer’s Prayer that we are looking at is a way to keep a writer focused; to give our memories four windows through which we can view our incredible calling to write for God. We ask God to remind us of the Who, What, Where, and Why of the writer’s journey.

     The work of a writer can be hard, lonely, and often exhausting. We sometimes question our calling, and our value. But then God lets a drop of refreshment fall into our lives; gracious reminders of the things that cause us to love the task. And passion pumps through us again.

     And often times it’s not that we’re learning a new truth or experiencing an original eureka moment. Rather it’s that God is reminding us of a precious truth that has blessed our souls many times before, and, undoubtedly, will bless us many more times in the future. After all, God’s truths are timeless. It’s why we can read the Bible over and over and still find living blessings in familiar passages. It’s why ten writers can tell ten different sotires about the same topic.

     Writers want to tell exciting stories. We want to capture our reader’s attention, and hold it carefully. But are we doing that by revealing a new truth? Are we unveiling an idea that has never been seen before in the history of fiction? Probably not. And that’s okay. Our great task is to illustrate grand old truths in fresh ways. What an awesome calling and responsiblity it is to be a steward of story.

     Never forget how much God loves you. Never forget that He has entrusted you with something incredible. Never forget the reasons you wrote your first story, and the lessons you’ve learned since then. Never forget that someday we will see the One for Whom we write! Never forget that what we write REALLY does matter. And never forget that God will not call a person to write without also equipping them to do so.

   So as we move forward, and uncover the important truths in this Writer’s Prayer, let’s ask God to “help us remember.” I can’t wait until Monday!

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Looking past the Almighty

     Great people of faith (see Hebrews 11) must look upon our generation in utter dismay. For them, coming into the presence of ALMIGHTY GOD was the greatest–and most reverent–experience of their lives. They longed for it and feared it at the same time. Many more imagined, but never enjoyed an encounter with their Creator. High Priests were given the singular honor of entering the Holy of Holies, perhaps only once in their lifetime. Once!

     Can you imagine this conversation?

     “Howdy, Zechariah.”

     “Greetings, Brother Big-name-that-I-can’t-pronounce. Anything exciting happened for you lately?”

     “Not really. Just chasing sheep all day. You?”

     “Well, actually this week has been rather bland. I whitewashed my ox-cart on Monday…had lunch with the in-laws on Tuesday…met with God on Wednesday–”

     “You’re kidding!”

     “About what?”

     “You actually whitewashed your ox-cart? That’s great!”

     No one would take a meeting with God so lightly…right? How was your prayer time today? The fact is many times I either neglect to take advantage of one of the greatest–and most undeserved–privileges ever extended to me, or I enter into it with little sense of awe. That’s why this “Writer’s Prayer” is so important to me. I don’t get too far into it before I’m reminded that I’m talking to God.

     “Dear God,…”

     As a writer, I must always remember that God is my first reader. More than that, He is the reason I write and the One that I want to please before anyone else. He’s the One that uses the stories, in ways that I can’t imagine, according to His purposes. I’m His steward, but the truth and light that I hope fill my writing are His.

     God invites us into His presence, and allows us the gracious honor of coming any time we choose. I hope we don’t overlook this incredible offer. It’s significant. It matters. In fact it’s essential.  So before we write stories that talk about God, let’s talk to God about our stories.

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No Identity Crisis

     I love mottos, bumper stickers, and other pithy uses of words. They’re like darts. A few are going to stick, maybe even hit the bullseye. Regardless, creating something that helps keep our minds focused, or at least gives our memories a helping hand, can be important.

     With that in mind, I share with you a prayer motto that I created many years ago. For a long time I applied it to my ministry as a preacher/teacher. Now I’ve chosen to also use it as a guide for my ministry as a writer. Over the next several posts, I’m going to take each part individually. But for now, I invite you to make the entire prayer yours also.

    “Dear God,

     Please help me remember:

          WHO I am, for I’m YOUR CHILD.

          WHAT I am, for I’m YOUR AMBASSADOR.

          WHERE I am, for I’m IN YOUR SIGHT.

          WHY I am, for I’m FORGIVEN.

     In Jesus name, amen.”

     I hope you’ll join me as we unpack this prayer in future posts.

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