Friday, March 11, 2022

The Lord’s Prayer for Writers (Part 1)

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

The Christian writer should live in continual prayer. That may feel overwhelming, but Jesus said, “…when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6 NIV).

God not only wants us to pray with sincerity about our lives and writing, but He’s excited to reward us for it. In last month’s column, we explored 5 Things Replacing God’s Direction in Your Writing. It’s a sobering list, but the antidote to all those distractions is spending quality time with God in prayer.

Easier said than done, right?

Christ knew we’d struggle with how to pray. So, He gave us a model of how to approach our Creator—a roadmap to grow our prayer lives. We call it the Lord’s Prayer, but it wasn’t really a prayer Christ offered the Father, nor was it a prayer He wanted us to repeat as our own. It was a tutorial for us and the disciples to better understand what we should focus on in prayer.

This month, we’ll look at the first stanza of the outline Jesus gave us:

This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
(Matthew 6:9-10 NIV)

This opening posture is all about approaching God with an understanding of His character. Many of us jump into the wants and requests of our prayers before we really acknowledge God. 

But if you read the Psalms, you’ll see prayers of great need or sorrow always begin by worshipping the One who already has the solution and the One who’s still holy even if He doesn’t. 

This is more than a courteous greeting at the beginning of a letter. It’s a submission to the nature of God.

Here are Three Things to Remember as We Approach God About Our Writing:

1. Approach God Relationally 
“Our Father in heaven…” 

That would have been a shocking statement for the disciples to hear Jesus utter and even more foreign for them to consider praying for themselves. The Jewish Scriptures of the Old Testament certainly referred to God as a heavenly father, but for most, it wasn’t a personal relationship. This was a new and intimate way to approach God. 

And that’s exactly how God wants us to meet Him—in relationship, as a child comes to a loving father. There’s still a sense of authority in the title, but the relationship makes our time with God an invitation to warmth, closeness, and affection. 

Is that how you feel when you talk to God about your writing? The thought of praying for their careers intimidates many authors, but it was your heavenly Father that planted this calling in your heart to begin with. It was His creative nature you inherited, and it was His Spirit that crafted your gifts. Doesn’t a father want to hear about his child’s life—the ups and down, the successes and sorrows?

God is inviting you into a relationship of honesty and intimacy with Him in prayer. Remember that as you come before Him about your writing.

But that stanza goes beyond just calling Him our father. It specifically notes He’s our Father in heaven because God is still sovereign, which leads us to the second way we should approach God.

2. Approach God with Reverence 
“Hallowed be your name.” 

Another way to translate that phrase might be, “May Your name be lifted up as holy.” God’s not only the lord of your writing career, He’s the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He is set apart (which is what the word holy means).

Prince William, the future king of England, often speaks about the deep love and respect he has for his grandmother, Elizabeth II. They share a close, intimate relationship. But do you know what William does when he walks into a room with his beloved grandmother? He bows. And he never turns his back toward her. Why? Because Elizabeth isn’t just his grandmother; she’s his queen.

God does want us to approach Him like a child does his father, but He’s still the creator of the universe. We can’t simply ask God for the car keys and then ignore Him like a spoiled teenager. 

That applies to our writing as well. 

Many of us pray for things like this:
“Help me win this award.” 
“Give me time to meet this deadline.”
“Please let Steve Laube like my book proposal.” 

I’ve prayed for all those things. But before we reflect on what we want from God, we’d do well to reflect on His sovereignty. 

That means submitting our writing and in our lives to His will.

3. Approach God with Resignation 
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

That’s a nice sentiment when you contemplate Christ’s final throne of power in eternity. It can seem somewhat less appealing if you want to control your writing career and get God onboard with your plan instead of the other way around.

Soren Kierkegaard famously said, “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” 

The purpose of prayer is to align ourselves with God’s kingdom and His will as we grow in a deeper relationship with Him.

Are you willing to come before God with resignation, acknowledgement, and submission to His plan for your writing? Are you willing to do that regardless of the outcome? That’s the arduous work of spiritual growth: fully releasing our desires for His. Christ’s command for us to pray isn’t so we can ask Him to build us a kingdom, but to beseech our sovereign God to reveal our role in His.

Does that mean we never ask God for anything in our writing careers? Of course not. He wants to be deeply involved in every detail of the calling He’s given you. We’ll address that next month. 

But in the meantime, let’s practice praying to our heavenly Father in relationship, with reverence, and with resignation, knowing the One who called us to write for His glory wants us to be there with Him.


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Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author, and speaker with a heart for encouraging others. His book on prayer, AMERICAN PSALMS, was a Serious Writer’s Book of the Decade finalist. He’s been featured on CBN Television, HIS Radio, the Light Radio Network, and worked in the film industry as a member of SAG-AFTRA performer. He is a regular teacher and speaker for large groups. A self-proclaimed sci-fi and comic book geek, Josh loves film, pop culture and is known in some circles as THE BAT PASTOR. Joshua was raised in the White Mountains of New England and now serves as a pastor in South Carolina where he lives with his wife, Gina, and their miniature poodle, FRANKLIN THE PUP, who is the subject of his latest book. Josh would love to connect with you on his website, JOSHUAJMASTERS.COM


  1. Thank you for inspiring all of us with where God must fit into our personal and writing lives.

  2. Joshua, what an awesome post! It made me reflect on this prayer we repeat in church and what it truly means to have a heavenly father. I was blessed to have a good earthly father, one who loved me and wanted the best for me. And today, I remembered when he fought for me. That memory strengthens my praise that my Father God fights for me as well, and He is more powerful. Thank you for this inspiring post.

  3. As always, your writing is such a blessing. I needed to hear this today. Thank you! JoAnne

  4. I love the challenge presented for my writing prayer life.