On Writing and Praying

Writing begets writing. Once you stop, even for a short duration (in my case a familial stomach virus that eventually made its violent way to me) it’s difficult to get the creative juices flowing. Presently, I don’t feel like writing anything. But I know if I remain inactive, I’ll simply grow stale and eventually my creativity and output will dry up.

Some people ask if I have a writing strategy. If there’s one strategy I can offer its this—write. Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t wait for the right time. Even when the feelings elude you (and believe me, they will), put your fingers on the keyboard and see what happens. Mind you, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should publish it. But you have to start somewhere. And starting, even when you don’t feel like it, is often where the battle is won or lost.

In this way, writing is like praying. The Puritans used to say, “pray till you pray.” They recognized that often we don’t feel like praying. Instead, we wait for the right time or for the desire to pray. The end result is that we don’t pray.

But in order to really pray, or even to begin praying, often you simply must pray till you pray. And as we pray—stumbling, distracted, imperfect, half-hearted prayers—know that you have the perfect intercessor in Christ, who is always interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25).

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