Lydia E. Harris encourages NCWA writers to form a prayer team.
We can write words, but only God can touch hearts through them. That’s why we need prayer support as we write. Several years ago I realized this need and asked others to pray for me. If you want to plug in this incredible power tool and enlist prayer support, take these steps.
Pray First, Then List Names
Who could pray for you? Ask God for discernment. Consider relatives, friends, church members, and fellow writers. By e-mail, you can contact people around the world. List individuals who are mature in the faith, keep their commitments, and take an interest in your writing.
God provided a dozen faithful prayer warriors for me. They rejoice in my successes and encourage me during setbacks. But mainly, they pray. And that’s where the power lies—connecting with God Almighty in prayer.
Contact Potential Prayer Partners
After you’ve made a list, graciously ask these people to consider joining your prayer team. Also tell them what their commitment would involve and what yours would be. But give them freedom to say no. I asked my prayer team to pray for me once a week for one year. In return, I promised to use my writing time wisely and send regular updates.
Send Writing Updates
Your updates could be weekly, monthly, or as needed. I started with monthly e-mails, but prayer needs came up more often. Now I aim for weekly contact.
In your updates, start with answered prayers. I call this section “Give thanks” and list ways God helped me and blessed my writing. Sharing answers gives God glory and motivates my team to keep praying. Also, God values a grateful heart.
There are numerous ways to record God’s answers, so choose one that works for you. I look back at previous requests and include answers in future updates.
After my “Give thanks” section, the “Please pray” portion follows with five or six requests. I list specific writing, speaking, and teaching needs and may include requests for editors, publishers, and readers.
Besides thanking God for your prayer team, it’s also important to thank them for praying. I often begin updates with, “Thank you for praying,” and end with, “I couldn’t do this without your prayer support.”
Occasionally I send thank-you notes or small gifts by regular mail. If your team supports you while writing a book, list their names in the acknowledgments page and offer them a free copy.
Also, don’t assume the prayer warriors will pray forever. Ask them each year if they wish to continue.
Return the Favor
Pray for your prayer team and other writers. If another writer asks you for prayer support, say yes if possible. And as you send updates to your team, sometimes include a written prayer for them.
Prayer is a high calling. Right now “Christ Jesus . . . is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34 NIV). What a privilege to follow his example and pray for others.
Reap the Benefits
I’m grateful God nudged me to form a prayer team. They have prayed for me through joy and tears, rejections and acceptances, and writing a lengthy Bible study for grandparents. Now they uphold me as I promote my book. Their support not only motivates me to write and persevere, but it also gives me courage to tackle God-sized projects. Their prayers have truly blessed me in countless ways.
If you don’t already have a prayer team, follow these steps and tap into this divine source of power. Then watch God work through prayer!
Lydia Harris has published hundreds of articles, devotionals, book reviews, columns, stories, and recipes. She is also the author of Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting. For more information: www.PreparingMyHeart.net.