You’ve Got “Connections”

It’s a great privilege to connect with the world through our words and a greater privilege to connect with the Word about our worlds.

Connect with God about our writing

“God gave you this dream,” my pastor told me.  “You need to give it back to Him in prayer because He’s the only one who can make it count for eternity.”

One of my friends posted this on Facebook:  “I struggled with my writing for three hours, but after praying, I couldn’t stop the flow.  Why did I wait so long?”

When we’re not intentional about prayer, it falls by the wayside like everything else we’re not intentional about.

God wants to be our writing partner.  He says, “Let me have it!”

  • Lord, give me wisdom and direction today.
  • Inspire me and keep me focused.
  • Help me to persevere for your glory. 

“Commit everything you do to the LORD.  Trust him, and he will help you. ” Psalm 37:5

Connect with “the connected”

“You need prayer partners,” a well-known Christian author told me.  “Trustworthy, faith-filled people who will intercede on your behalf before God.”

Because we’re missionaries of words, the enemy stops at nothing to hinder us.  We need to call on our allies.

I took my friend’s advice and prayed for a little army of intercessors I could add to my email prayer list.  They encourage me to keep going, and I encourage them that they’re a key part of my ministry’s eternal reward.

“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:8

Connect with God about our readers

If we’re missionaries, our readers are the mission field.

I wrote the poems in A Friend in the Storm, with only one reader in mind, my friend Chantale who was dying of cancer.  I didn’t know my audience would grow from one to hundreds when she asked me to read them at her funeral.  I didn’t know my audience would grow from hundreds to thousands when Zondervan published them in a gift book.  I simply wanted to be a faithful friend.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”  Luke 16:10

Here’s how I pray for my readers:

  • Father, draw the right people to my book today.
  • Anoint my words to jump off the page into their hearts.
  • Please bring Holy Spirit peace and transformation.

Connect with God about your agent

If we’re going to pray about our God-given gift, we’re going to pray for our agents because they’re a big part of the gift!  Just as they represent us before editors, we’re privileged to represent them before the Father.

  • Lord, may she stay close to you, in the Word and in prayer.
  • Please help her be balanced and manage her time wisely.
  • Give her favor, Father.  Please open all the right doors for her today.

Connect with God about other writers

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

We need to pray for other writers the way we would want them to pray for us.

Here are three great groups to remember in prayer:

  • Writers that feed us
  • Writers in our immediate circles
  • Writers we DO NOT want to pray for

Who are we currently reading?  Karen KingsburyMax LucadoKathi Macias?  We need to ask the Lord to continually inspire and bless them.

If we’re a part of a writer’s group or literary agency like WordServe that shares prayer requests, we have a community opportunity to practice true, selfless love.

Are we envious or jealous?  We need to pray!  God even calls us to pray for those writers who wronged us.  It happens.  And prayer changes us ever as much as it changes them!

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

I’m wondering, dear friends, what is your experience with the power of prayer?

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52 thoughts on “You’ve Got “Connections”

  1. Cheryl, what a beautiful post. It was only when I gave my writing up to God and said, “Lord, whatever your will is, show me the path, if it’s not writing, let it be clear, but if it is writing, show me the way.” When we seek Him, He will always show up.

    Yes, we are to guard ourselves in prayer and to pass that along to others. You’ve reminded me to make this a daily prayer.

    We are out there to change lives for Him, what an honor we’ve been given.

    • Melissa, I like how you ask God for clarity about your writing. Clarity, confirmations, open doors – God is faithful.

      We walk an exciting journey. We don’t need to walk it alone. Hand and hand with the Author of life; that’s what it’s all about.

      We seek to change lives for Him and discover… He’s also all about changing ours.

      Blessings as you follow the call.

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  3. Love the way you thread the spiritual and emotional with practical reminders to keep us attuned to the urgency of keeping God in the details. Without Christ we can do nothing, but with Him all things are possible. The Holy Spirit is our muse and mentor.

  4. This is exactly what I was convicted of this morning. Stuck on my book and hadn’t prayed. And then you expanded the idea into so much more. Thanks for the confirmation and the inspiration.

    • With all of life’s busyness, it’s so easy to let prayer slip. But we need that God-connection, don’t we? Thanks for your transparency, JoAnne. Blessings on your writing – and prayer time.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have found a definite help in praying before I sit down to write, not just in inspiration but also with peace over my subject and where I am in the publishing journey.

    • So true, Meghan. Praying before we write, we’re aligning our minds with God, reminding ourselves who we are positionally (we’re His). This, in turn, graces our souls with peace… His peace.

      Enjoy the journey!

  6. What a powerful exhortation to include God, thru prayer, in the relationships formed as part of the writing community!

    Thank you, so much, for sharing this vision!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Joe. Prayer is a process for sure. We’re all so busy, it’s tough to love beyond ourselves. It truly is. But can you imagine what would happen if every Christian writer did this? We’re talking explosive impact. So here’s the prayer call… “Lord, may it begin with me.”

  7. GREAT post, Cheryl! I affirm your testimony of flowing words. I’ve said before that I never get writer’s block. That’s not completely true. Any time I don’t have the words, I simply ask. God has always supplied them. Just a couple weeks ago I sat down to complete a project requested by our church. I had only a vague idea of where to start. So I closed the computer and prayed, telling God I wasn’t willing to put a single word to the page until I understood what He would have me say—willing to wait for however many days that might be. Within an hour, I knew exactly what to write.

    As for praying for writers we DO NOT want to pray for … how did you also know about that one? As soon as I’m struggling with someone else, or sensing personalities clashing, I know this is a person God wants me to pray for. I’m so glad you put that one on the list.

    • Thanks Anne!

      My heart beat fast when God nudged me to include “praying for writers we DO NOT want to pray for,” because; well, it’s just plain hard. Totally anti-flesh. And I knew I couldn’t write about it if I didn’t practice it myself.

      So any writer I envy… I need to pray, “Lord, bless her more.” I feel like a heel saying how hard that can be sometimes. Especially if I’m just struggling along and she’s not, and I want to pray for ME.

      Prayer for others is such a great love-seed to sow. “Do unto others.”
      If I’m merciful in prayer… I’ll obtain mercy. I just know God will rise up someone out there to pray for me at a time I need it too. Which is always.

  8. Thank you so much for this post. I so deeply believe in the power of prayer but so often forget to start my writing day with it. What an encouraging post. I will reread it and keep it close.

    • Thanks! It means A LOT to me that you want to reread my post and keep it close. Wish I could give you a hug for that. But instead, I’ll just say, “thank you, Jesus, for helping me bless another Cheryl today.”

      I’ll also say, “Lord, please keep discouragement far away from that other Cheryl. Remind her that you have exciting, hope-filled plans for her future. In Jesus’ name. Aaaaa-men!”

  9. Much as I already love your book. I learned something about it from this post. I did not know the messages were written to one friend. And that one friend died. Thanks you for sharing the message contained in A Friend in the Storm with the rest of us. God bless you.

    • Sharon!! Thanks for stopping by! So you didn’t know about Chantale… Yeah, she was a wonderful inspiration. In her last months on earth, she was still praying for others above herself. It blew me away!

      She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt where she was going, and she said “goodbye” with peace.

      This past year, I lost several dear friends and a close relative. It’s a reminder of what matters most. Loving God and others. Lord, please strengthen us to love right today.

  10. I loved the comment of your friend who posted on FB that after struggling for 3hours with her writing she prayed and then she couldn’t stop the flow. That’s so great. Sometimes it’s too easy to forget to ask God for His downloads. I find myself often in that spot of struggle…need to remember to just give it to God and then listen to His voice:-) Thanks for the timely post!

    • Lorna, the neat thing is, that friend has no idea how much she blessed so many with her simple, humble admission. She felt God’s conviction, she did something about it; then she told us about it. Thank you to all those transparent social network friends out there! That includes you, Lorna. Thanks for sharing! May God download on ya big-time today!

  11. As one of five finalists in the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, I found out late last night that my book did not win. Truthfully, I would have been more surprised if I won . . . but it didn’t stop me from hoping. Even though I know in my HEAD that winning or losing a contest should not effect how I feel about myself and my writing, my HEART woke up discouraged. Your message on connecting with God was just what I needed. Thank you. God is so good!

    • I wish I could give you a hug, Clarice! It’s tough waiting for that win, isn’t it? Don’t give up. God has great things ahead for you. Even better things.

      I love how you’re open to connecting with God. You’re right. He IS so good. And you have a great God-pleasing attitude. A winning attitude. I pray He strengthens you to praise Him the next time the enemy tries to whisper discouragement.

      God has great plans; and you’re His prize!

      • We are all blessed when we encourage each other. I love my brothers and sisters in Christ! Thank you, Cheryl. I hope you don’t mind, but I printed out your blog and posted it right in front of me!

  12. Wonderful words and a great reminder today as we head into the weekend. Thanks for these needed reminders!

    • I’m delighted you stopped by, Donna!

      May the Lord big-time bless you this weekend – above all you could ever ask or imagine!

      And let me know what happens, ok? Because I know it’s going to GOOD!

    • You’re most welcome, Sue! Funny thing is, I think I need it too. When we’re not intentional about prayer it tends to way by the wayside.

      Life is to short… to short our connection with the Power Source.

  13. Thank you for this reminder! It’s so easy to go about our work, forgetting to call on the One who inspires and enables us. When I cry out to him, he gives me answers in the night; I arise with a fresh perspective and the answer is now clear. When I beg him for help in the midst of my writing, he untangles the threads and my word-weaving makes a beautiful tapestry. When my heart is battered, I come to him for comfort, and he holds me in his arms, reminding me that he has made me for his purpose. When I make a mistake, I fall on my face before him, and he puts me back together. I can’t fulfill this task without him! What wonderful connections we have!

    • Hi Melinda! Do I detect another poet? I love, “he untangles the threads.”

      Hmm, I think that’s my problem: I have too many threads. Yeah, he untangles them and he prunes them. When I fix my eyes on him, he improves my vision to see everything else in the world… as I should see it.

      Lord, give us the right focus and vision today.

      • We are all poets for him: “We are his workmanship (poiema), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). “Poiema” is the Greek word from which we derive our English word “poem.” Here it means: “the result of God’s activity, that which God has made as Creator.” We’re each a masterpiece made by the Creator, his product, the fabric of his weaving. We are God’s poem. He created us to be writers. We do the good work of spreading his fame—this is how he crafted us. And we are glad!

  14. Hi Letty, I love your name by the way. I can see it on the cover of a book, can’t you?

    God isn’t going to waste your pain, Letty. I just read your bio. I’m sure you could teach us a ton about the power of prayer. Truly. God’s going to put all the missing pieces together. He’s going to speak to you and through you. Just keep delighting in Him. And He’ll give you the desires of your heart.

  15. Hmm, I know Karen Kingsbury and Max Lucado, but Kathi Macias? Guess I’d better check her out. LOL! Thanks for the shout-out, Cheryl. Always enjoy your posts. Blessings!

  16. Such an inspiration, Cheryl. Thank you for your beautiful words that keep us “connected” to the One who has it all planned out! Truly enjoyed your post 🙂

  17. Lovely post! I completely agree and know what you are writing about. When I finished my first book, The Dragon Forest, after working on it for almost 20 yrs., I sent it off with a prayer that it would bring the Lord glory.

    The Lord wants what we hold tightly in our hands…when we release it to Him, we experience true freedom!

    • Twenty years? Wow, Ruth! You get the perseverance prize. Talk about a labor of love. Makes me think of Galatians 6:9. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

      You’re an inspiration to me. And you’re right: we need to release it to Him to experience true freedom. Put the ball in His high court!

  18. Cheryl, I usually pray for the words God wants me to write, but thank you for the reminders to pray for everyone involved in the process. I love the practical prayers and encouragement you’ve given us–many thanks!

    • Thanks Sara! I really appreciate your RTs on Twitter too. You clearly know how to think of others, and God will bless you for it!

      Like you, I’m in the habit of asking God to give me the words, but it takes a little more heart and push to cover the other bases. Praying for those we don’t want to pray for is especially tough, so I added a little link in my last line to expand that thought over on my blog.

      Heaps of blessings!

  19. God has shown me amazing results of prayer during my time here on earth. But the changes in people’s hearts, including my own, are the ones that stand out most for me. My troubled relationship with a professor was impeding my ability to learn from him. I prayed, and the Lord brought healing and reconciliation. The professor became less demanding of me, and I became less critical of him. The Lord has also worked healing in my family relationships and is still doing so. I’m grateful that God allows us to partner with Him in prayer.

    • You sound like a woman of great insight, Pauline. Yay, God, for showing Pauline how to mend her heart with her professor so she could learn from him again. Sounds like a classic case of enemy interference – until God stepped in. Way to go for letting in the Healer to do with work. And thanks for the beautiful story!

  20. I’ve discovered that “God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Eph. 3:18 MSG).

    • Ooo, Karen, I like the Message paraphrase on that verse. “…by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.” I’m glad He’s gentle with me… God knows I’m so sensitive, I’d probably break if He wasn’t.

      His Spirit… He’s the One working in me, isn’t He? And to think that I’M busy? God working on me? Could a job get any bigger than that? I think not!

      Oh so thankful for His new-every-morning mercies!

      Thankful for your comment too.

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  22. Thank you for being an answer to prayer today. I needed Words of inspiration and comfort and you certainly provided them in this post.

    Although this was written for writers, I think the same could be said for anyone God has given a dream to.

    Thanks again.

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