By Carmen Joy Imes

A Prayer for Writers

Writing is not the calling of every academic or professional woman, but for those responding to the world’s needs with pen in hand, let this be your prayer.

Author and Word of Life, 

You have spoken with clarity, grace, and power. Your creative word set into motion the universe. You have moved upon men and women through the ages to announce your word to your people and pass it on to subsequent generations. 

And you have made me as* your image — to carry on your creative work, to bring order to ideas by noticing and naming what is true. You have equipped me to set words on paper and to share those words with others. Thank you for the joy of creative participation in this world you’ve made.

Help me articulate truth beautifully, precisely, and lovingly. May I not be so enamored with the sound of my words that I neglect sound content. Enable me to present these ideas in a winsome way that does justice to their importance.

In a world full of distractions, help me focus on the tasks to which you have called me.

Take these words that I have written and use them for your purposes.

May they shine light on truth, 

     clarify problems, 

             unmask misunderstanding, 

                     cultivate wisdom, 

                            embolden action, 

                                      increase faithfulness.

May my words point beyond me to what is worthy of lasting consideration. May they exalt you as the God of all wisdom.

Thank you for those who help me strengthen my work — editors, advisors, friends. Help us see weak areas so that I can make them stronger. Let me be teachable and receptive to appropriate critique while remaining rooted in your unconditional love for me.

Give me courage to release to the wider world what I have written. Remind me that my sense of worth does not depend on the value of my writing and that perfection belongs to you alone.

Keep me grounded, Lord, in the days ahead, as others read and respond to my work. Guard me from pride disguised as self-deprecation or from self-centeredness. May I not come to depend on accolades or bend to applause. Help me walk in humility and grace with those who find my writing helpful as well as with those who do not. 

Let me bear your name with honor and write for your glory alone. 


* I understand the concept of the image of God in functional terms. We function as God's image because he has appointed humans to exercise stewardship over creation. It's not that we look like God, but that we are appointed to a concrete role in the world he made.
About the Author

Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of Old Testament in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she is the author of Bearing YHWH's Name at Sinai, Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters, Being God's Image: Why Creation Still Matters, and the editor of Praying the Psalms with Augustine and Friends.

Imes has written for a variety of websites, including Christianity Today, The Well, and the Politics of Scripture blog. She is a fellow of Every Voice, a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. Imes and her husband, Daniel, have followed God's call around the globe together for over 25 years.

Read Carmen's article on being God's image as a woman in the academy and the church.

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