Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Dipping The Quill Deeper—Words and Writings Part II


by Eva Marie Everson

In my last blog post, I took a look at the writing of William Barclay, in particular his work titled Prayers for the Christian Year, which includes a heart-stirring poem/prayer thanking God for “words and writings” and those who speak and write them.

In that blog, we took individual lines from the first part of the prayer and broke them apart, delving deeper into what those words reflected. Now I’d like to do the same with a small portion from the second part of the prayer.

Grant, O God, that we may never listen to any 
teaching which would encourage us to think
sin less serious, vice more attractive,
or virtue less important.

I recently spent about a week on what I call “the COVID couch.” Meaning, with what truly was a light case of Omicron that left me quite fatigued than much else, I found myself on the sofa watching more television than usual. Much more. I also discovered—or rediscovered—why I don’t watch a lot of the current shows. They’re just awful! So, I scanned apps like Pluto and Amazon Prime for “Classic TV,” so that my sensibilities wouldn’t be tested but also so that if I fell asleep . . . well, I kinda know what happened next. 

But even here, where the shows when they aired in the 1950s and 1960s featured advertisements for dishwashing liquid or toothpaste, I found myself slapped nearly senseless with commercials that advertised sin. Not my definition of sin—God’s definition of sin.

Somehow, someway, we’ve become a world not too far from the “days of Noah” (Luke 17: 26-27). After quite enough of this, I declared to my husband that I wouldn’t even want to think about trying to rear children in today’s society. Have we forgotten the mandates that God set for relationships—with Him and with others? What about for marriage? And now we teach them to our children, our innocent precious gifts from God Himself whom Jesus warned us fervently against hurting (Matthew 18:6).

We have begun to think sin less serious, vice more attractive, and virtue less important.

But perhaps we can counter that with our prayers. We can place the names of our children, our grandchildren, our neighbor’s children, our nieces and nephews, our nation, our world and surely ourselves within the context of the prayer.

Grant, O God, that [my child, my grandchild, I …] may never listen to any 
teaching which would encourage [him/her/me] to think
sin less serious, vice more attractive,
or virtue less important.

What might happen, I wonder if we were to speak those words, pray those words to be more specific, to a God who is greater than anything the world can throw at us. 

At them.

What might happen if we, as writers, take up our pens with a new mission, one that counteracts what the world is saying? What if, after we sit down at our desks or kitchen tables or in our favorite chairs, we were to pray a new prayer.

Grant, O God, that [I] may never [write] any 
teaching which would encourage [others] to think
sin less serious, vice more attractive,
or virtue less important.

How might our words—both spoken and written—begin to change things?

We know that the “days of Noah” will return. We know that things must go from bad to worse and then to worst before we see our Messiah, our Savior, return for us. But what if we can change nothing more than the lives of the world around us? Our families. Our neighborhoods. The lives of our readers. 

And what, if NASA could show our “light,” which is reflective of His light, might that look like from the International Space Station?

I wonder . . .

[To be continued. . .]

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Eva Marie Everson is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of 40 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher. Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by one persnickety cat.

6 comments:

  1. Boy, this prayer is so desperately needed these days, Eva! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Eva, Your post speaks right to the heart of the need we all have to be in conversation with the Holy in our here and now. This week I conclude a series on God Reflection about Talking with God that makes your thoughts come alive even more for me. Keep inspiring us to keep trusting.
    Gary J. Sorrells

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  3. Such truth! Part of me is so sad at the state of our world. The other part is hopeful because I know that the worse it gets the closer is the day our Lord returns for us. Until then, we pray for everyone He is still waiting to turn to Him.

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  4. Eva,
    Thank you for this. I've worried lately that my blog posts hit too close to home for some. But I'm either called to write for the Kingdom, or I"m not. I simply can't compromise what is laid upon my heart. Your words gave me a sense of Peace about what I write. I may offend a few, but I hope I reach the hearts of many, many more with my words. This prayer is perfect. I'm praying it over my own family right now. Thank you!

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