Prayer Before Prose
Biblical Christians believe that the writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they put pen to paper. The Holy Spirit did not dictate each word, but channeled the message through diverse people. Men recorded divine truth as they were led by the Holy Spirit.
The English word “inspired” comes from a Greek term, theopneustos, meaning “God-breathed.” The source of all Scripture is God. The claim of inspiration is made by the Scriptures themselves with authenticating phases like “Thus saith the Lord,” “God said,” “The Word of the Lord came unto…” which are used from Genesis to Revelation.
As Christian writers, is our writing inspired in the same way? Some may think I’m splitting theological hairs here, but I think “inspiration” as it is used in reference to the creation of the Word of God ended when the canon of Scripture closed. As writers today, we are not inspired in the same way as the Bible writers.
The reality is, God is not going to tell us what to write. We must make up our minds about that ourselves. So rather than being inspired, we are illuminated. We write out of the reflected glory of God and His Word. It’s important that we stop and ask the Lord to “illuminate our understanding” before we begin to write.
Music producer T-Bone Burnett, a Christian, expressed this idea of creative illumination this way: “You can sing about the Light, or you can sing about what you see because of the Light. I prefer the latter.”
There can be no Christian writing without prayer. Prayer always comes before prose.