Sunday, September 24, 2023

Thoughts on Being a Submissive Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7 NIV).

As writers, we’re constantly being called to submit, even if we don’t realize it. Of course there’s the obvious connection, when we submit our writing for possible publication. But there are other ways as well.
  • We submit to God’s call when we put our words in tangible form—either handwritten or in a digital document.
  • We submit to others when we share our words for critique.
  • We submit when we invest our time and energy in organizations, classes, and conferences.

These acts of submission are part of the path we must follow to become a working writer. This process is sometimes painful, but growth and obedience always are.

Submission is also an act that can bring on spiritual warfare. 

When we turn from the ourselves and the world, taking that first step to follow God in obedience, we invite attack from the enemy. We can expect him to come after us.
  • He tries to fill our days with busyness—often camouflaging it with good works to tempt us away from God’s best. 
  • He will use others to bring us down with negative words.
  • He whispers into our minds, saying we inadequate and bad.
  • He tries to make us doubt what God has shown us.

But James says that submission empowers us. When we refuse to be drawn off God’s path, Satan will flee. Maybe he won’t disappear forever, but by submitting we have a powerful weapon to combat him.

A Prayer As I Learn to Submit

Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you (Job 22:21 NLT).

Dear Lord, I’m struggling in many aspects of my writing. Where once I looked forward to putting words on paper, now I can come up with hundreds of excuses instead of writing. I avoid my writers group, and when I attend I come away empty handed. And actually submitting something to a publishing professional is so far from my mind, I wonder if I ever will.

I love to write. What’s wrong with me? I know there’s got to be something else going on here. Truthfully, I suspect that I have a submission problem. Most of what I’m struggling with is an unwillingness to submit to Your call. 

There are other priorities in my life, but I’ve let my fear feed my disobedience, and I’ve neglected Your will when it comes to writing. Help me find the strength to sit in my chair, place my fingers on the keyboard and write. 

I want what I write to bring You joy. In striving for perfection, I’ve quit trying. I’ve let my wants and needs overshadow the obedience You ask of me. Help me let go of all the obstacles that stand between me and the path You have before me. Remake me into a submissive writer who writes in obedience and leaves the results to You. Amen.

Now it's your turn, how do you find ways to be a submissive writer? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation!


Devotion and prayer are reprinted with permission from Soul Care for Writers, Bold Vision Books, Inc.

by Edie Melson
Our lives are busier each day, and the margin we have available for recovery and peace is shrinking. Edie Melson helps you find Soul Care solutions using devotions and prayers and opportunities for creative expression. She has learned that sensory involvement deepens our relationship with the Father and gives rest to our weary souls. She will teach you to tap into your creativity. Reconnect with God using your tactile creativity.Warning! This book may become dog-eared and stained. Draw in it. Experiment with your creative passions. Learn the healing power of play. Allow God’s power to flow through creativity. Soul Care for Writers will become your heart treasure.

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Featured Image: Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash


  1. I pray before I write. I submit myself to His will and ask God to give me the words He wants to share. Thank you for this inspirational message. :-)

  2. Ty Edie for this sweet prayer. When I submit to God’s call, it is always difficult. He presses me out of my comfortable, coasting life. Satan whispers, “you’re too old, you aren’t capable for this task, you’ll be horribly rejected, others will do it much better, you’re not needed.” I’ve learned these internal dialogs are never from the Holy Spirit who guides my path. When I submit, I am always glad. Ty Edie for your commitment to encourage the weary wrier.

  3. Edie, nice connections to the full impact of "submit." Maybe one other to add is submitting to the Holy Spirit first to receive instruction before we write :).