Friday, April 8, 2022

The Lord’s Prayer for Writers (Part 2)

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

It is the depth of their connection to God, not the depth of their words, that measures the life of a Christian writer. And we build that relationship in sincere, continual moments of conversational prayer. Yet, we often allow the tasks of our writing to take priority over the One who’s called us to that career. 

In The Lord’s Prayer for Writers (Part 1), we explored the first stanza of Christ’s model for prayer found in Matthew 6. We focused on how writers should approach God relationally as our Father, with reverence for His holiness, and resigned to His will. 

The evaluation of our heart when we come before God is not only vital to our writing careers, but to our life with Christ.

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

Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. 
(Matthew 6:11-12 NIV)

If the first stanza of the prayer represented how we approach God, this section represents our relationship with Him and others.


1. Pray to Receive your Needs. 

“Give us today our daily bread.…” 

God is deeply involved in every detail of the calling He’s given you, and He will provide everything you need to fulfill His purpose for your life. 

The problem is our inability to understand the difference between what we need and what we want. It’s important we ask God to show us the distinction, because the things we want will often impede what God intends to accomplish through our writing.

When Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread, He was making a direct reference to God’s provision for the Israelites as they left Egypt. Every day, God miraculously provided manna that was made into bread so they could make their journey to the Promised Land. But the Israelites rejected God’s provision and miracles, longing for the food they received in slavery.

As we pray for our writing, we must avoid saturating our prayers with so many earthly desires we miss the miraculous provisions God’s already offered in our writing and lives.

The term “daily bread” is a day-by-day trust in God’s ability and promise to give us what we need. Is that enough for us? Can we live in His daily provision and trust the outcome of our writing to Him? Finding that place of peace in prayer removes the anxiety from the uncertain life of a writing career.

Does that mean we can’t pray for that new writing software or an upcoming conference? Of course not. But we should focus on our needs over our desires with gratitude. For it is gratitude that unlocks the blessings of God.

2. Pray to Repent from Sin. 

“And forgive us our debts...” 

This phrase is more accurately translated, “forgive us our sin.” This is important because sin creates a barrier in our relationship with God. When that happens, we become self-focused in our writing, leaning on our own strength rather than God’s plan.

Like the Israelites, sin will lead us to say, “I don’t need or want Your provision, God. I’ll do this my way.” That’s when our writing stops honoring God and becomes an idol.

Sin in the life of a writer could be rooted in lust, gluttony, pride, or greed, just like anyone else. But we may find sin deeply entrenched in the very gift God has given us—our writing. Comparison with other writers, an unhealthy desire for success, and validation through accolades all stem from a sinful nature that distracts us from the work God wants to do in and through our writing.

This phrase in the prayer is not about salvation. For believers, Christ has fully and completely atoned for our sins. This is about our relationship with the Father and our willingness to repent from the ongoing sin that prevents us from hearing His direction in our writing and daily lives. 

Pray God will reveal your stumbling blocks and then pray for His strength to turn away from them.

3. Pray to Reflect His Grace. 

“… as we also have forgiven our debtors.” 

Your writing will never flow with Living Waters if you’ve filled your well with bitterness. It’s impossible to reflect the grace of God in our careers if we don’t extend that grace in our lives. 

Having gratitude for God’s provision and an understanding of His forgiveness in our own lives will lead to a heart of forgiveness toward others. But a lack of forgiveness for those who’ve harmed us drastically affects our relationship with Christ and our ability to represent Him in our writing.

A heart of unforgiveness will taint every word you write for God, because it directly violates His character. 

So, we pray for God to help us forgive those who have hurt us, even (and especially) when we think they don’t deserve it.

This is a difficult spiritual discipline that warrants its own article, but the first step to forgiveness is to decide you’re going to forgive, even if it seems impossible. When you can’t fathom how you’ll forgive that person, go to God and pray, “Father, You’ve told me to forgive. You’ve promised You would help me forgive, so I’m deciding right now that I will. I have no idea how to do that, but I trust You will show me. Amen.”

Gratitude for God’s provision, repentance from our sin, and a heart of forgiveness are the edits our souls need to be a more complete, impactful manuscripts for the Kingdom.

But the enemy will use disappointment and discouragement to derail the proofing God wants to do in your life. He may even whisper lies of discouragement to you as you read this column. But don’t believe him. We’ll address how to combat his lies in the next installment of this series.

Until then, believe God will do incredible things in your calling if you surrender your desires and refinement to Him.


Don't Miss the Rest of the Posts in This Series!

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, Joshua, for this series. It's so easy to get caught up in the desire for worldly success that we miss the essence of our calling. I'm grateful for your reminders to return to the source.

  2. "A heart of unforgiveness will taint every word you write for God, because it directly violates His character." So true, thanks for sharing, Joshua!

  3. The best reminder in the prayer is to ask daily, not once a week, or once a month. Each day we are to start fresh.