Saturday, 2 February 2019

A writer's prayer by Lucy Rycroft

Over the last year, as I've pursued writing as a career/vocation/time-waster/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, I've been privileged to learn from an incredible amount of different writers.

I've observed other Christian writers compose fiction and non-fiction; self-publish or get published; write for this magazine and that website; produce online resources and build blogs and send mail-outs; grow their name, their fame, their reputation.

It hasn't gone unobserved that there are huge temptations in this field, either. While we all need to engage in a little self-promotion in order to get our books and other work out there, and some of us are trying to earn money from our writing too, I can't be the only one to let dreams and ambitions run away with me, imagining my name in lights and five figures in the bank account.

For some time, I've been wanting to write a kind of liturgical prayer to counteract these temptations - something I can say before I begin each writing task. Just in the last week, I've had some amazing 'God-moments' as a writer, humbling me before 'him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us' (Ephesians 3:20). Quite simply, when we allow God into our writing, some pretty awesome stuff starts to happen.

I know I need to make this a regular discipline, so here - for interest, hopefully - is my writer's prayer:

My Father -

You generously build the body of Christ with different gifts and ministries - some are more visible than others. As I work on developing my writing, a very visible ministry, please bring to mind someone with a less visible one, who I can encourage and affirm today. Appearances can be deceptive, but you see the heart.

You are the holder of the purse-strings, and love to provide for our needs - but too much money can pull us away from you. Please provide for my needs - but also cap my income at what you know I can steward responsibly. Money is a means, but you are the End.

You are my audience, the reader of everything I write. If my work today ends up with no new follows, likes or comments, let me remember that my worth is found in you. And if it goes viral, keep me abiding in you as the source of my true value. Popularity is fleeting, but your love is eternal.

You are the Word; you encapsulate what it means to perfectly express and articulate that which we see around us. Please save me from the temptation of self-importance, believing in my own new perspective, idea or story. It is not new. You dreamt it up first. 'There is nothing new under the sun', but you made the sun.

You are wise beyond understanding. Please allow that wisdom to flow out in the words you give me - and please would it help people to see you more clearly, not love me more. My wisdom is flawed and naive, but yours speaks truth into every situation.

You are great and glorious, and your fame is more important than mine. Please keep me from fame you know I won't be able to handle, but bring only that which lets more of the world see your glory. Human fame is short-lived and brings problems, but your fame lasts forever and heals wounds.

As I write, be with me -


Lucy Rycroft blogs about faith, family life and adoption at Desertmum and writes freelance for Home for Good and other organisations. Her first book is scheduled for release this Autumn. Lucy lives in York with her husband and four children


  1. That prayer is certainly an improvement on my version, which goes, 'Arrrggghhhh!'

  2. Love it, Lucy. Well done! I've been published since 1983, but I've always hated the self-promotion that seems to be necessary. And I've never been unduly interested in money. But there's still much in your prayer I can relate to. Lovely! Bless you.

  3. Oh I love this, I'm going to print it out and put it by my computer. Thank you.

  4. Great prayer, Lucy, may God continue to bless your writing.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry about the unintentional deleting. Posting got confused! What I said was that this is well said. I'm looking forward to your book when it comes out. Keep us up to speed with developments.