Writing devotions for church newsletters, periodicals, websites and books can become a full-time ministry. Devotionals are compact stories, (think of the parables of Jesus) focused on a single topic that conveys a specific spiritual lesson. Your goal, as writer, is to inspire readers to reflect upon their circumstances and take action. A well-crafted devotion will prompt the reader to change.
“When you write for God, and you really mean it… your work may never show up on the shelves at Lifeway. It may never find its way into bound print at all. But when you write for God, when you write with the heart of a servant…you may find that your words are only meant for the guy sitting next to you. If you can accept this…live with it…grasp it…then you can write for God as a ministry.” – Alton Gansky
Write From Your Wound to Their Pain
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” First comes the purpose; then the person. Your shape comes from the pressure placed upon you as God delivers you into the role of writer. We are happiest when we are doing what God created us to do. Living your dream is how you experience joy.
This is also your purpose.
You were wounded for a purpose—His purpose—so write to the wound. Your pain points to the power in your words, so look beneath the scars and remember the hurt. It is there you will find your inspiration.
Before you write pray. Seek God’s guidance. Think on Biblical principles. Review thoughts from your own quiet time. Allow the Holy Spirit to move within and guide you as you write.
You were made by God and for God to speak about God. This is your gift and His glory. If you feel called to write, then know He placed this dream in your heart, not you. If you write for yourself you will become weary. Writing is hard work and the pay paltry. But if you write to touch the wounds of others your words will have eternal value.
Before you begin ask yourself these questions:
- What has God revealed to me through my pain?
- What wisdom can I glen from the lives of Biblical characters?
- Are there lessons in my daily journal God placed upon my heart? (You do keep a prayer journal, don’t you?)
- How has God shaped you for this devotion?
- Is now the time to write this devotion?
- Who needs my words? (Think of a specific individual. Imagine how your words might touch them.)
Your past doesn’t control your future so don’t focus on your inadequacies. Instead focus on the greed, resentment, loneliness, guilt, anger, fear, addiction or materialism you see in others and ask: “How has God worked through my wound to change me?”
This will become the theme of your devotion.
In our next article we will look at the structure of a devotion. For now, pray, watch and listen for His message to be placed upon your heart.
For tips on writing powerful devotions consider: Turning Personal Experiences into Parables: Writing Devotions for Impact
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