Writing from the Closet
by Jan Powell
(Matthew 6:6, NIV).
Consistent secret prayer is commanded and rewarded by the Lord. To focus on him, I learned I had to get away from the everyday distractions of family, media, and work. The world entices, entertains, and exhausts me if I give in to its sparkle and distraction. I agree with friends that we’re urged to worry, post, and surround ourselves with earthly stuff to pacify ourselves rather than turn to the Lord.
A habit I’ve worked on for years is establishing a writing time that works in balance with prioritizing my prayer time and keeping that schedule with delight. If my prayers become dull, I’ve asked God to restore my joy and anticipation. Thinking about him as my king, creator, redeemer, and friend has renewed my desire to hear him. One outcome of strong communion with him is that I write better.
When I make time to pray, he enables me to make time to write. If a respected official gave me a task to complete for the good of the country, I’d eagerly adjust my schedule and follow through. Earthly recognition would be great, but the Lord’s approval for putting him first is higher and greater.
We need our time with Jesus—just the two of us. Then, when we face the lonely computer screen, we sense his presence. In solitude we learn to hear his whispers. Computer time becomes God time. After we complete our initial draft, we share our words. In a similar way, we pray alone, but our answers extend beyond us. We write by ourselves but intend to reach many people.
While we pray and worship at home or in our cars, we know the value of gathering with other believers to strengthen our faith. The Lords shapes us through both. This balance reminds us to write first and then meet with others to get feedback for improvement. Both activities perfect our efforts, so we persist, adjust, and get better. Only foolish people resist or refuse help.
Pray and write. Receive insight and reflect on it. In this way we polish our life and work to fulfill our calling.
Lord of solitude and inspiration, open me to your words through prayer and community. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. Through Writing with You, she offers writing services: editing, rewriting, coaching and ghost writing for fiction and non-fiction. She loves to help polish manuscripts for others. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal and Splickety.