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Prayer Support Thread

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Prayer Support Thread

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  • #143399
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    In my latest article published today, I talk about the value of praying regularly about our writing–and also provided a four-week guide in how to do so.

    Starting tomorrow on Friday, November 5th, I’m committing to using this guide over the next four weeks to practice what I preach and train myself to do this more regularly.

    Does anyone else want to join me?

    If so, comment below with your intentions to do so! Then, as we go through these four weeks together, this thread can be a place where we share the things we’ve learned as we talk with God about our writing, and encourage each other along the way.

    I’d love to dive deeper into our relational lives with God together.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #143402
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    Thank you, Josiah! Great idea.

    I commit to pray regularly and responsibly about my writing over the next four weeks, hopefully to build a better habit than my current one.

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

    #143444
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @josiah

    I agree!

    I will commit to doing this as well.

    I need this, our city needs this, our country needs this and our world needs this.
    It makes sense that change should begin as a personal commitment, and especially in the gifts and passions that God has invested in us.

    Thank you, Josiah, for taking a personal lead.  We’re with you.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #143456
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    This is really, really good, @josiah 🙂 Thanks for the article and for starting this thread!

    I commit to praying over my writing every time I sit down to pound out my words this next month. And hopefully, with God’s help, it’ll continue into a life-long habit. 🙂

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #143465
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    I’ll commit to following these prayers for the next 28 days as well. Thanks for starting this, @Josiah!

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #143477
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    I thought it might be helpful to have the link to the Prayer Challenge PDF.

    Click Here to see the PDF

     

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #143476
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Here is the link to the Prayer – Challenge PDF:
    https://storyembers.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Prayer-Challenge.pdf

    I thought it might be helpful to include it here on this Forum Topic for reference as we go through this each day.

     

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #143688
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    Hey friends!

    Just thought I’d touch base with you all a week later and see how this was going for you all. 🙂 I’m a couple days behind due to some travelling I did over the weekend, but have been appreciating going through this habit over this past week. Thinking through the Day Three prayer prompt in particular helped me to realize just how important it was for me to give readers visual images to latch onto as they think about what it means to live well in this fallen world of ours–and how much of that will ultimately be beyond my ability and up to God’s control since so much is determined by what the reader’s imagination brings to the table.

    How about the rest of you? Where are you in this process, and what things have you learned through doing this?


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world
    @taylorclogston @morreafirebird @anne-of-lothlorien

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #143702
    Anne of Lothlorien
    @anne-of-lothlorien

    Hey @josiah!

    It’s been… going. 😀 Some days I’ve forgotten, which I’m sad about, but the days that I’ve held to my commitment of praying anytime I start working on writing have been amazing. I’ve been in a huge writing slump recently, as in the entire year of 2021 huge. But the… I believe it was fifth day prayer prompt was so good for me, the one about how we often lose sight of our identity in Christ as a writer and get wrapped up in seeing our identity in our writing. If our writing isn’t good enough for us, we’re not good enough for us. I get lost in criticizing myself as a writer because I think I’m not as good as someone else or I’m mad because I can’t rewrite something as good as it was. But praying and refocusing on the fact that God made me a writer and my purpose is to writer for Him and His glory, not to write as good as someone else, has been hugely encouraging. I’m not quite out of the ‘depths of despair’ yet… still sad that I can’t get my story that I loved rewritten… but I’m on my way and I’ve got a great Guide. 🙂

    Just curious – where’d you travel to?

     

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    #143917
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Hello Josiah @josiah

    Day 5 of Week Two hit me hard.

    Talk with God about the challenge of putting yourself in a character’s mind and portraying a human soul. How have you been struggling with that recently and what would you like to learn from Him about that?

    I am at a particular point in my WIP where my protagonist is falsely accused by an enemy (unknown as being an agent of darkness) with an insinuation that causes him to be suspected and isolated from a positive influence.

    He feels alone. He feels fearful.  He feels that he is going to mess up what God has called him to do, and he feels inadequate in his own ability to be able to hear God clearly enough to make a decision in faith.

    A past failure led to several deaths among his traveling companions and he is terrified that he will make a misstep and endanger those in his present company.  However, he knows God has called him to a position of leadership, and those present who do not yet trust him are in danger if they do not follow where he is called to lead them.  It is a crisis of leadership that feels so real to me that I cannot shake the feelings of fear that he experiences in this fictional story.  I find myself so identifying with this character that I dream myself into the story at night and wake up panicked and hurt by the false accusations that arise in the story.  I know as a Christian, a lie is only given power when it is believed to be true, but I feel that to go to my own “spiritual happy place” would be to abandon the authenticity of the connection I am experiencing with writing this character.

    I have tried taking a break from writing the scenes in the sequence that I know is necessary, but that only delays the inevitable.  Please pray for me as I grieve with this character and walk empathetically with him through it.

    It has been a rough year for me with the death of my mom.

    Adding this “fictional” connection to the mix because of how the inner mechanisms of my mind works are tough as a writer, even though I know God has called me to this place and given me this kind of expression.

    Being in dark moments, whether immersed in the co-creation of a fictional world or living in the daylight world God independently created does make one yearn even more for those places and harbors of light.

    Prayer truly is a place of connection with The Almighty.  Study of His Word is a rod and staff to keep me as I walk.

    Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [Psalm 23:4 NIV]

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #143919
    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    I’ve been praying about my writing, but it’s come during a very difficult few days of writing, including being told that I shouldn’t be writing stories because I clearly don’t care about characters and don’t write in a way that reflects reality.

    I can’t say that praying has helped me through it. Even though I know rationally that this criticism’s not true, it still hurts, and I can’t escape the question of “What if it is true?”

    The aspect of leaning on faith is one that I’ve found hard to lean on in the way the current article series has suggested. I need this book to sell if I don’t want to go back to working in a factory, a job which made me feel like life was not worth living almost every day for nearly a decade.

    I can’t control the future and no amount of my effort can make a book sell if that’s not what the Lord requires of my life, but at a certain level I do need to make sure I’m not in a position where my stories are useless and my characters don’t resonate with reality. I need to be responsible for doing good work.

    I feel the fear of not wanting to go back. Faith is an active thing I wield like an implement, not a thing that comforts me and gives me hope for the future. It’s the realization of responsibility and duty to never forget that I can’t do anything God doesn’t intend and that all ability I have comes from him, but that also it’s entirely possible this writing thing is only for a season or two, because that’s just sometimes what God requires of people, that I have no right to complain if that’s the case, especially since I’m getting a sort of life vacation in attempting work I enjoy, an opportunity most people in human history have never and will never receive.

    I pray continually. Maybe it’s keeping me a bit more accountable to acknowledging that whatever good will come is what God wills and that, even if I fail to write something that touches people, if I earnestly desire to serve the Lord, then He’ll do with it whatever He thinks is best.

    Actually being joyful in response to that knowledge is another thing altogether that I probably need to pray better for.

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

    #143951
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    @anne-of-lothlorien Those are some great thoughts! We have a great guide indeed. ^_^ I was travelling up to Harrisburg over the weekend of the 6th.


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world
    Those do sound like some hard experiences to go through as you work on writing your story. I will certainly pray for you when I go out and pray later tonight!


    @taylorclogston
    Ai–that’s hard to get criticism like that! 🙁 I’m sorry; I know stuff like that can get under one’s skin even when you know it’s not true. And I know as well that sometimes prayer doesn’t seem to be giving the consolation we’d long for when we approach God with it. There have certainly been seasons of my life where I’ve felt like I’m going to God every day with the same requests and not finding the comfort I hoped I would get. Those seasons eventually lifted for me and I was glad that I stuck through them, but they were hard to be going through them. I’ll be praying for you as well this evening–both for strength in the midst of that challenge, along with also the other aspect of actually finding a way to support yourself with your writing right now.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #144056
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @josiah

    I haven’t been quite as consistent as I’d hoped, so I’m doubling up on some days to catch up. I’ve found that a number of the prompts flow together really well when I bring them to prayer.

    I guess there wasn’t a certain direction any of these prompts were meant to go, but this week especially they’ve been starting points for praise. This year has been rough for me physically and emotionally, but I’m starting to see how what’s happened has given me a massive amount of inspiration for my writing. There are emotions, circumstances, and relationships I’m able to more powerfully portray after walking through this year. Praying over Day 4’s prompt for this week has been hugely encouraging. It’s healing to know that I can channel what I’ve learned and what I’ve gone through into a story that can connect with and encourage others. Receiving a lot of positive feedback on my novel, especially on the emotional resonance, from my critique group has cemented that belief for me.

     

    That’s a fantastic point about Day 3’s prompt from last week. We can provide the materials of the story to the readers, but it’s ultimately going to be God who utilizes them to touch souls.

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #144058
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world I’ll be praying for you! I think as writers, we have a unique call and ability to walk in the pain of a thousand people. Meaning, when we immerse ourselves in our characters’ pain to create believability, we are immersing ourselves in the pain of all the readers who will deeply relate to that characters pain. It’s a way for us to have compassion (co-passion — suffering with) on our readers and love them.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mom. I’ll be praying for you and all of your family!

     


    @taylorclogston

    I’m sorry to hear you’re in a tough spot with your writing and with your work. :/ I’ll definitely be praying for you. I agree with what Josiah said — sometimes prayer doesn’t instantly make things easier to bear or to be joyful in. But I think it always keeps us oriented in the right direction, even when it’s hard.

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #144159
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    @morreafirebird I’m really glad to hear that they’ve been a reason for praise for you as you’ve gone through them. 🙂 It’s great to hear about how God has been working through the hard events of the last year for you to enable you to become a stronger writer. It’s so beautiful to be able to serve a God who can use even our sufferings for our own growth and good.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

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