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 is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Biola University. Her husband Daniel gave up his job in mission finance to focus on their three kids and keep the household running smoothly so that Carmen can teach, speak, and write. Carmen and Daniel have been blazing new trails together since 1998, with twelve (er... make that thirteen!) address changes to prove it. They enjoy camping and playing pickleball as a family.

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