How to Start Your Writing Time with God
How do you start your writing time? Christian and non-Christian writers will answer that question differently. Christian writers instinctively want to get in touch with God before they start writing.
Most of us want to start our writing time with God. We start with prayer. However, it can and should go beyond that. Let me share my personal ritual.
I get up at 6:30 A.M every morning. I do the usual morning ablutions, then make my coffee and toast. Some people have a habit that I cannot argue with—no food until they have had their Bible time. But I am different. I sip my coffee and munch my toast and think about what I want to accomplish that day.
After that, I go to my computer and open the Bible software program I use, which I write about here. I read a Psalm, then I open my prayer list and pray for people and situations. My list is divided into these categories:
- Family members
- Other people
- Missions and ministries
- My personal needs
- My writing projects
It’s always good to start the day praising the Lord. It is also good to on your own sins and shortcomings in accordance with 1 John 1:9, and confess them in an act of contrition to God.
When my own heart has been unburdened to the Lord, I pray for the spiritual and material needs of others, including family, friends and neighbors. I have wide missionary interests and so I pray for them too. I not only pray for the various missionaries and their projects, but I also pray for the people they are serving. By the way, ChristianWritingToday.com is a Christian outreach and I am praying for you and your writing project even though I may not know you personally.
Then I pray for my own needs, which usually are health and financial in nature, and then I pray about my writing projects. I usually have 3-4 going at any own time. Some are for clients, some my own. It is a good thing to pray for writing projects. Sometimes the Lord will give you ideas as you pray, ask you to change something that will bring him greater glory, or will sometimes ask you to adjust your priorities. It is wonderful to know that the Lord is supervising your writing.
Offering First Fruits
Next, I offer the first fruits of my writing day to the Lord. Giving an offering of your first fruits is an Old Testament concept brought into the New Testament. It is a way of honoring the Lord. Exodus 23:19 says, “The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” In Romans 11:16, Paul says, “If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
So, I work on that principle. I offer “holy dough” to the Lord each day with the expectation that he will bless the “whole lump” of my writing, no matter what the topic may be. My first 500 words each day are written solely as an offering to the Lord. Right now, I am working on a devotional commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Only after I complete my 500 words writing it each morning do I move on to articles or books I’m writing.
I don’t read a selection from one of those devotional books after I pray—I write one. The time in God’s word blesses me, and I am priming my writing pump at the same time.
Will I ever sell the devotional commentary I am writing? Yes, Lord willing, but that is not its primary purpose. Since I believe it is nonsense for Christians to write without the intention of making a profit (see Matthew 25:14-30), I hope to sell it for big profits. However, since it’s intended as first fruits, all the money will go to the Christian ministries I pray for each day.
Have a System
Most Christian writers don’t think they can use a system like mine because their schedules are so different. I understand. Yet, I would still challenge you try my method for ten days, even if it means getting up earlier. It is easier to get up earlier if you go to bed earlier.
Most don’t think they are capable of writing 500 words as part of their devotional time. Ask God to enable you to do it and then see what happens. If you only type 35 words per minute, it will only take you 15 minutes to write that much if you are writing with a purpose. And your purpose is a worthy one if you are offering those words as the first fruits of your labor to the Lord.
Adjust my system to meet your own needs. However, it is important that you have a system and that it starts with putting God first.