A few years ago—more than fifteen years ago, to be exact—for the first time since I’d begun writing in 1994, my job as a novelist was beginning to be more than a part-time pursuit. I had several contracts to fulfill, and my calendar was filling up with speaking engagements. Our oldest son had his degree, but our middle son and daughter were in college in Missouri and Iowa, and our youngest daughter was still at home. I was feeling very conflicted about being a full-time (and long-distance) mom while trying to also be a full-time writer to help pay those skyrocketing tuition bills.
Alas, the writing life wasn’t quite the bowl of cherries it had been in the beginning, and I was letting a lot of things distract me from what I had originally trusted to be a calling.
One morning I was praying—feeling overwhelmed and pouring my heart out to the Lord about a pressing deadline. I asked Him what I should be doing. I rarely write down my prayers, but for some reason, this time I went to my computer and began to type the words I was praying.
God met me with comfort and peace as I prayed that morning, and I’ve gone back to pray these same words many times in the years since. I suspect this prayer expresses the fears and desires of other Christian writers who long for their words to stay true to God’s Word. Without him directing our fingers on the keyboard, we are nothing more than noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.
So once again, as I begin my work on this Monday morning of the fresh new week God has given me, this is my prayer…
~Deborah Raney, July 29, 2002
Throughout the coming months, as I find myself in a similar situation with editing and writing deadlines pressing down, with meetings and speaking events on the horizon—and in the midst of it all, the holidays to prepare for—I’ll pray many versions of this prayer. Because I never want to lose the joy I’ve found in the writing life, but neither do I ever want to take lightly the responsibility of writing for God’s glory.