The following is an edited transcript of the online prayer meeting we led for Christian writers of all genres. You can download this entire transcript as a PDF eBook here: www.trainingauthors.com/breakthrough
Praying for Breakthrough in Your Writing
Hey everyone, CJ & Shelley Hitz here. Today, we’re here to have an online prayer meeting for Christian writers. We’ve never done anything like this before and we’ve actually never seen it done. We’re just so thrilled that you’re here and joining us today.
We’ve been coaching and mentoring writers for eight years. In the eight years that we’ve been working with writers, we have seen the obstacles that you face. Even after receiving lots of training, we’re still seeing people get stuck. So, we realized that there are deeper issues regarding mindset and spiritual battles.
Today, we want to help you overcome those issues and help you to breakthrough. If you’re ready to a breakthrough in your writing, stay with us. Our theme for today is a breakthrough. This is also the start of our breakthrough series, which we’ll be doing on our Kingdom Writers podcast.
15 Obstacles of Christian Writers
There are many obstacles that slow us down. We’re going to be talking about several of those. In fact, we’re going to identify 15 different obstacles that we believe Christian writers like ourselves have faced, are facing or will face. We’re going to pray through all 15 of those obstacles.
We’ve asked you; we’ve listened to you and we are ready to help you have a breakthrough. God speaks to me many times in pictures. Many of you are also visual in your learning or the way that God speaks to you.
Last night as we were praying, I really got a picture for today’s call for this prayer meeting. The picture that I got was of someone swimming in an ocean. Sometimes as a writer it feels like we’re in this big ocean, right? There’s all of this stuff to learn and things to do in order to publish my book.
But I saw some of you. I saw that you were swimming. But there were this ball and chain around your ankle. It was pulling you down & was causing you to sink. You felt like you were starting to drown and you weren’t making progress in your writing, publishing or finishing your books.
For some of you today, I saw Jesus coming with a key to unlock that ball and chain around your ankle. So you could swim back to the surface and start breathing again. For others, it’s time to come back alive. But I also saw another picture where some of you are on the surface. You’re in the boat with Jesus. You’re walking with him, you’re good.
There’s another step He’s calling you to take right now. I’m getting chills just saying this. For some of you, God is calling you to step out of the boat and walk on water in faith. I saw some of you last night and God just gave me that picture that some of you are going to start walking in faith in ways that you’ve never walked before with your books, your writing, and marketing. So, we’re really excited to walk alongside with you, equip and encourage you in this process.
Wherever you’re at. If you feel like you’re drowning or if you’re in the boat, you just need to take that next step of faith. We are here for you and in this with together. We’re both writers and published books. We have both faced all of these obstacles too.
It seems impossible to walk on water. But I know that the Lord is going to call each and every one of you out to things that you don’t think are possible. In fact, you’ve had a number of things come up in your mind that prevent you from believing. And we’re going to pray through all of those obstacles that prevent us from walking on water with Jesus and the things He’s calling us out to.
Are you ready?
I know I’m ready. I’m ready to see God do miracles. I’m ready to see the supernatural in my writing. We always pray that God would reach the right person at the right time with the right book. But I’m ready to hear more of those testimonies of my books making an impact.
Are you ready for that too?
We want to get right into the prayers. To know there is more for you. God has more for you in your writing. Let’s dive into the first topic.
Obstacle #1: Self-Doubt and Unworthiness
The first of the 15 areas that we’re going to look at is the area of self-doubt and unworthiness. If this particular area is something that you are in desperate need of prayer for, type out self-doubt. As we said, we’re preaching to ourselves here. All of these things we’ve dealt with in one way, shape or form.
How many know there are a real spiritual attack and assignment against everything you want to do that would glorify the name of Jesus?
Of course. It’s not going to just come easy. There is an attack and that’s why we want to have these prayer meetings. We’re doing this today because we know it’s spiritual. Many of you are going to experience these breakthroughs today in the area of self-doubt and unworthiness.
In other words, am I qualified?
Who am I?
I’m just a nobody. You remember Gideon when he was called to lead an army against the Midianites. He was basically like, “Who am I, Lord? I’m the least of my tribe and family.” And he had all these excuses. Moses also had self-doubt and unworthiness.
What do I have to share that people actually want to hear? What can I write in a book that people will actually read? There are a couple of scripture themes that we’re going to read here. And then we’re just going to get right into praying along the lines of those scriptures.
The first one is Psalm 94:16-19 and it says, “Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers?”
When we see David using the words ‘wicked’ or ‘evildoers’ or very real ‘enemies’, I want you to replace those things with the enemies that we face spiritually. It’s probably not a physical person, most likely that you have as an enemy. We’re talking about self-doubt and unworthiness in this case.
But it could be depression, anxiety or anything emotional or spiritual. I want you to replace ‘evildoers’ with self-doubt and unworthiness. These are weapons our spiritual enemies are throwing at us.
The Psalm goes on to say, “Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, ‘I’m slipping!’ But your unfailing love, Oh Lord supported me when doubts filled my mind. Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
That’s what the Lord wants to do with you today. He wants to renew that hope. When doubts fill our minds, the Lord is the only hope that we have.
The second scripture we want to look at is 2 Corinthians 4:7. Paul writes, “We now have this light shining in our hearts. But we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.”
I am so excited because there’s so much treasure in each one of you!
This makes it clear that our great power is from God. And that’s the key right there. It’s from God, not from ourselves.
We will pray the scriptures and pray different pictures that God has given us to pray over you.
“Lord, we come to you right now and we ask that you would vanquish these self-doubts and feelings of unworthiness. If there’s anyone listening or watching right now live, even those who are going to be watching the replay, we ask that you would speak into their situation.
We ask, Lord, that you would be our hope, our comfort. Renew our hope and our cheer as the Psalmist says.
Lord, we ask that you would flood that light into our hearts as Paul says in 2 Corinthians. Even though we’re fragile, Lord, we ask you to be our strength. We ask you to remove all self-doubt, unworthiness, any of these things that the enemy has thrown at us or we’ve allowed him to drag us through the mud with.
Lord, we ask that you would remove those things in Jesus’ name and we ask that you would replace all of the self-doubt and unworthiness with a sense of hope and worthiness in Christ.
I have been called upward, higher than I could lift myself. I’ve been lifted up by God Almighty to proclaim this message. Whatever message God has put on my heart. I pray for each one of these writers, Lord, that their messages would get out to as many people as possible. Any obstacle of unworthiness or self-doubt, we command you to leave in Jesus’ name. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I thank you that you are bigger than our doubts. You are bigger than the ungodly beliefs and the lies the enemy uses to hold us back.
The picture that you gave me is that each one of us is like a garden hose. And if we’re not connected to the water spigot nothing’s going to happen.
But when we’re connected to this spigot it’s like being connected with you, Father God. Then your Holy Spirit is like the water that flows through us. And the books we write in order to water, refresh and help many people.
It’s not about us. We are simply the vessel. We are simply the jar of clay. The treasure is you, Lord, the power comes from you.
It’s not about us and our worthiness. It is all about you and who you are. Allowing your holy spirit to flow through us.
We allow you right now, we give you permission, Holy Spirit, to flow through us fully. Turn on that spigot full blast in Jesus’ name. Allow you to flow through us to bless many people through our books. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”
All right. If that blessed you, please feel free to share with those that you feel would also benefit.
Make sure to download all 15 prayers as a PDF eBook for free here: www.trainingauthors.com/breakthrough
Obstacle #2: Comparison
The second area or the second obstacle that we want to break through is the obstacle of comparison. What we mean by this is that it’s already been done. How is what I’m writing any different than what’s already been written before?
Looking at best sellers and seeing their stuff as the standard that your book is supposed to be as well. It’s just this whole thing of comparison and looking at others. Of course, we even see this dynamic multiplied with our social media. Can we get an amen?
Have you guys read that book by Beth Moore “Praying God’s Word”? It is powerful. When we combine God’s word with prayer, it becomes like dynamite. And that’s what we’re doing today with these scriptures that CJ has come up with.
So, Lord, we’re coming to you with Galatians 6:4-5 which says, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. We are each responsible for our own conduct.”
Lord, we ask that this would be us as well, that we wouldn’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else. But we would always look to you like our standard and also to you as the giver of any content or anything that we write.
And as verse five says, for we are each responsible for our own conduct. So, Lord, I ask that each of us would truly be able to rest in the fact that we are responsible for our own conduct. Help us not to look to the left or to the right, at other people and try to copy or compare ourselves. Or even feel ourselves slinking backward because we just don’t measure up to this author or that bestseller.
Lord, I pray against the whole spirit of comparison. Even in the spirit of Hebrews 12:2, which is keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of our faith.
Lord, I ask that each of us would fix our eyes on Jesus to such a degree that we don’t even sense a need to compare. We just have our eyes fixed on you and we are coming to you for all of the inspiration that you want to give us in terms of what you want us to write.
Whatever it may be, we come to you as our source and we don’t look to human beings as our source. You alone. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Yes, we just take authority right now over that spirit of comparison. We break it off each person listening right now in Jesus’ name.
And I pray, God, you would flood each person right now with joy and excitement of what you have called them to specifically do in their writing.
The picture that God gave me is that we are each a different flower. We’re each a different plant. We are each a different color, a different variety. And there’s a quote that says, “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
I just saw each one of you, each one of us just blooming in the gifts, in the abilities, in what God is doing through us with his spirit, blooming in joy, having joy and enjoying the process.
Lord, we just thank you that we can bloom and that we don’t have to compete. There’s no competition in the Kingdom of God. It’s about collaboration. We’re all on the same team. We just pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you’ve ever struggled with this whole thing of comparison, you’re not alone.
Make sure to download all 15 prayers as a PDF eBook for free here: www.trainingauthors.com/breakthrough
Obstacle #3: Fear
The third obstacle that we’re going to pray through is this obstacle of fear. This is a biggie. But we’re focusing on just one area of fear. There are layers and layers, right?
So, the specific area of fear that we’re looking at today is the fear of sharing your story. This whole idea that I’m too scared to share the details or that my story doesn’t really matter. Maybe some of you think that your testimony isn’t that exciting?
Whatever it is regarding this whole fear factor, we’re going to pray in the spirit of 2 Timothy 1:7-8.
“Lord, your word says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Lord, we ask that you would remove all fear in Jesus’ name. The fears of sharing our story or the minimalizing that we do with our story and the idea that it’s not that important. Or that we’re just fearful to share it and get that out there. Lord, we come against that in Jesus’ name.
We pray that you would instill a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. As Paul goes on to say, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord and don’t be ashamed of me either. Even though I’m in prison for him and with the strength God gives you be ready to suffer with me.”
Lord, I ask that you would give each one of us the strength to stand in the face of an enemy that wants to beat us down with fear, wants to intimidate us, and wants to get us to shy away from sharing our story.
We come up against that in Jesus’ name and we ask for power. You have given us power and access to that through your Holy Spirit. And we ask you to download that power into each of us who have a story to share in written form or perhaps in spoken form, in talks, whatever it might be.
Lord, I pray that you give us a holy boldness to share the story that you have given us. Each of us has a story to share. I pray that you would use it to the maximum degree and that the enemy would be on the run constantly because of our story.
In the spirit of Revelation 12:11, which says, “And they have defeated him by the blood of the lamb and by their testimony. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”
Lord, we know that one of the ways we can overcome the enemy is sharing our testimony, our story and getting that out so that you might be glorified through what you’ve done in our lives. I ask that you would give people boldness to share their testimony. As we do that, we thank you Lord for the promise that we overcome.
The enemy knows he can’t overcome the blood of the lamb. That’s why he constantly works to ruin our testimony and to even drive fear into us. We speak against that in Jesus’ name. We thank you.
Lord, I pray for fiction writers, for nonfiction writers, for children’s book authors right now. Whatever their story is, whether it’s a testimony, a fiction story, children’s book or young adult, we pray right now that you would run swiftly. Lord, through these writers, help them have the courage to share their written stories, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
The picture that I had was that each of you as a writer, you’re right now on a battlefield. And you’re on the edge to where you’re not really on the front lines. But you know you’re being asked to go to the front lines and you’re scared.
But I see God as being your shield. He’s like this big shield and you’re just walking behind that shield one step at a time. Going up to the front lines and you’re not having to worry because the shield is so big. It covers you completely.
God is your shield. He is your refuge; Your safe place and He will protect you as you step out to the front lines. As you say yes to God and say, yes, I will publish my story. I will publish this fiction novel. I will publish this children’s book.
He is the one that’s protecting you. The one that is your refuge. Allow Him to be your shield and to deflect any arrows that the enemy may send your way. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Make sure to download all 15 prayers as a PDF eBook for free here: www.trainingauthors.com/breakthrough
Obstacle #4: People Pleasing
The fourth area that we’re looking at is this whole area of people-pleasing.
Has this area ever been a struggle for you?
It’s a big one for me.
Specifically, what we mean by this is the fear of what others will think. We’re afraid of criticism and of being judged. We sort of, keep it on the low. Don’t ruffle too many feathers and try to stand out in any way. Even if the truth is at stake, we just want to please everyone.
I’m going to pray along the lines of Galatians 1:10. Paul says, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
“Lord, right now we come against this whole spirit of people-pleasing. Which if we admit, is absolutely impossible. We cannot please everyone. We’re always going to fall short. If the son of God could not please everyone, then who are we to think we can. So, we come against that.”
I picture people being enslaved. It’s like a noose around our necks and we’re being dragged around by this enemy of people-pleasing. It’s just jerking us left and right.
We even have neck problems because we’re constantly jerked based on pleasing others. We come against that as Paul did, as he said, ‘obviously I am not trying to win the approval people but of God.
Lord, we ask that we would go after your approval alone and we do thank you that in Christ we are approved of.
Yes, we thank you for that promise. We desire to be your children who want to please daddy, to hop up on your lap and to do cartwheels for you. To run around the playground and say, “Look at me, Daddy! Look at what I just did.”
And Lord, I just ask that we would find our approval alone in you and know that our Father God is looking at us. And He’s pleased and loves our creativity. He has birthed something new in each and every one of us to share.
I pray that each and every one of us would have God as our only audience. Even though our books are going to go out to perhaps masses.
For some of those that are on this prayer meeting, some of your books will go all the way around the world and they will bless so many people groups. Your books would be translated into multiple languages. They’re going to have large audiences.
But Lord, may you be the only audience that we truly write for. Then we watch you encourage others through our work. Thank you in Jesus’ name.
Lord, I just sense that today is a turning point for some of these writers listening right now, either live or the replay.
I have a sense that today is going to be a stake in the ground type of day. Like something changed in some today. ‘Something’ is your Spirit working through them in prayer. We just declare breakthrough right now in Jesus’ name for writers and for each person listening.
The picture I got of people-pleasing is like being in a classroom and being graded on your work. Whether it’s a test or an assignment. And the only person’s opinion that counts is the teacher’s.
No other students can give you a grade. They can criticize you; make fun of you; even say things. But the only thing that matters, in the end, is what the teacher puts on that grade card at the end.
And, that’s in a way, the same way it is with us. The only person that matters right now is the approval of God and pleasing Him. He’s the one that matters.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. We are only responsible for what God is calling us to do. And we’re not responsible for how other people think about us, how they judge us, what they say about us or the reviews they give us.
Our responsibility Lord is doing what you’ve called us to do. I pray that there would be a joy welling up now knowing that you are pleased with us, Lord. I feel like you want each person listening right now to know that you are pleased with them.
They are your son; they are your daughter and you are pleased with them. And they are accepted. 100% accepted, 100% approved, 100% loved, 100% validated by you, their Father. We thank you, God, for that love, approval, validation, and acceptance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I even thought of a Colossians 3:23 which many of you are familiar with and it says, “in everything you do, work at it with all your heart as if you’re working for God and not man.” So, ultimately, that’s all it matters. God is our employer and we’re working for Him, we’re pleasing Him. We’re doing everything to lift his name up on high. And after that, it’ll all take care of itself as we do that for the Lord.
Obstacle #5: Insecurity
The fifth area that we’re looking at is the area of insecurity.
Is my writing good enough? Do I have what it takes? Do I have the skills that I need to be a writer?
We’re going to pray along the lines of 1 John 4:18, “Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we’re afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
Lord, I ask that we would jump into your swimming pool of perfect love. That we’d be surrounded in every aspect by your perfect love, driving out any insecurity. Drive out any fear. Lord, may our security be found in you alone.
And I think of John 13:23, which says, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom, one of his disciples whom Jesus loved.” And six times I’m reminded, Lord, that John wrote those words, ‘the disciple that Jesus loved.’ He was known as the beloved disciple.
I pray that each one of us would find our security in those words. I am the disciple that Jesus loves. May our security be found completely in that love. And you would drive out all insecurity right now.
For each writer, if insecurity has been their issue, I pray that you just drive it out. Dissolve it in Jesus’ name, that they would find their full security and worth found in Christ alone. We thank you, Lord, for what you’re going to do in terms of our identity. How we are identified as the disciples that Jesus loves. Then to move out from that identity, we thank you, Lord.
And the picture that God gave me is that many of you have written many words and perhaps you’ve crumpled them up. Put them in a trash can or deleted them. Maybe they’re still unfinished on your hard drive somewhere. But you never published them. You discarded them and you feel like it’s not good enough.
I saw a picture of God and it’s going to make me cry. But He went into the trash can. He started retrieving every crumpled paper and began to make a scrapbook from your writing.
It’s not so much what you write. It’s that you write, that you’re creating with God. You’re writing, that you’re using your gifts.
I saw God wants you to know that He’s validating you. He is so proud of you. And he is retrieving those crumbled pieces of paper.
Yes, it’s a learning process. We grow as a writer. But He sees you and He loves you. And He’s just so proud of you. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
I sometimes picture God walking around heaven with a big wallet and He’s got your picture in there. He’s also got a huge refrigerator with your picture on this refrigerator. God thinks of you every second of every day, and it blows our minds. We can’t conceive of that. But it’s true. He loves you. You’re always on his thoughts and you are secure in Christ.
Obstacle #6: Procrastination
The next obstacle we want to break through is procrastination.
CJ: I raise my hand on this one. I have been a procrastinator much of my life. It’s been something I’ve struggled with.
I still remember in college when I had 20-page papers due for my sociology major. I remember starting some of those papers the night before. But somehow, I always finished them in time.
I actually had a friend (bless her heart) who would type up my papers after I wrote them out. It didn’t matter if she had to start at four in the morning or three, she would do it. Bless Monica’s heart. I pay her a little bit for that help. But procrastination is something I can relate to.
What we mean by this specifically concerning writers, ‘I need to learn more before I can start’ or ‘I’m not quite ready yet.’
We could go years by rephrasing those things over and over again. I’m still not ready. I need to learn a little bit more. I need to take two more courses and then finally I’ll be ready.
So, we just keep procrastinating on what God has called us to do and get started on. We’re going to pray along the lines of Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.”
Lord, we come with that scripture and we pray that for ourselves. For all of those watching and listening, we ask, Lord, that our trust would be in you alone. Not our own abilities, our own hang-ups with procrastination or delaying what probably should have been started already.
Lord, I pray that we would just continue to seek you with all of our hearts. Then watch as you guide, watch as you lead us.
And I actually got a picture of some of you. You might recall the Indiana Jones movies and there was one particular scene where Indiana Jones had to cross a large chasm. There was a bridge that he couldn’t see. But one of the things he had to do was take that first step in faith and just step out.
As he did and he put his full weight into that step, all of a sudden there was this bridge that appeared. It was almost like an illusion. You could see that it blended in with the landscape. But he took that first step as was directed by the little map that he had. And I picture a lot of us need to take that first step. As we do that in faith, the Lord is going to come through in ways you never expected.
We thank you, Lord. Many of us could look back and say there was no way certain things could’ve gotten finished unless the Lord met us where we took that first step.
And Lord, we ask that you would drive away from our procrastination. Or anything that’s delaying the message that you want to speak through us in order to bless the world with.
We thank you, Lord, that in you we can achieve your will. To see your face above all else. And we ask this in Jesus’ name.
Lord, we pray right now that you would punch procrastination in the face. We ask that you would overcome it right now.
Breakthrough whatever it is, whatever the deeper thing is. Typically, with procrastination, there’s something deeper. There’s a deeper reason that you’re procrastinating.
Ask the Lord what it is. Why am I procrastinating? What is it? Is it fear? Or is it something else? Could it be the need for more skills? What is the root?
The picture that God gave me is you’re driving along in a car and that car is your writing, your writing of books. All of a sudden, something like fear or doubt comes up and you’re pulling the emergency brake. It causes you to stop moving forward.
Lord, we pray right now that you would help each of us to take off that emergency brake.
I just want to give just a moment of silence for you to ask God.
Ask him what is at the root, what is it that triggers my procrastination?
Take a moment to ask God, what is the root? What is the trigger for me? We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Obstacle #7: Perfectionism
This next one, the seventh area that can be an obstacle that we want a breakthrough can be connected to procrastination. And that is perfectionism. This can actually can be a root of procrastination.
What we mean is that my first draft needs to be perfect. We have paralysis of analysis. Keep looking over the details and it’s just not quite right. Or we want perfection instead of a working piece that continues to be refined.
That’s really what those first drafts are all about. You just write it out, get that stuff out of your heart, and your mind. Get it on paper, on your computer, whatever method you use. Then after that, we can go back. Nobody’s first draft is very pretty. Even the Stephen Kings of the world need to refine that first draft.
We want to pray along the lines of Ecclesiastes 11:4. “Farmers who wait for perfect weather, never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
Lord, we don’t want to be farmers or writers who are always waiting for the perfect conditions. We know that we live in an imperfect world and yet You somehow take our imperfections. You do wonders with those things that we would have never even imagined.
So, Lord, I want to pray against a spirit of perfectionism that sometimes paralyzes and prevents us from really moving forward. This idea that unless I can do something perfectly or I can’t go any further. I pray that we wouldn’t be afraid to throw our sloppiness out there and then allow the process of refining to take place.
I pray that even if people have to start dumping stuff on paper in all kinds of jumbled ways before going back and rearranging some of those thoughts. They’d be able to look at that paper as a glorious work of art in the process. Not as something that has to be perfect right now.
I’m praying this for myself, as many times that has been a connector to procrastination and wanting to be perfect. I pray that we people would be instruments in your hands. Even though we’re imperfect, we are perfected in Christ and in your hands.
We know you can do wonders in our lives. And things that we’d never be able to do on our own. So, we thank you for this in Jesus’ name.
The picture I got was of a transformer toy. I sense that many of you have a certain expectation of what your first draft should be. Or of what your final draft should be.
You have a perspective that your first draft needs to be perfect and God right now wants to transform that expectation into something completely different. Just like a transformer toy, maybe a car and then it’s a person. God wants to transform our mind and our expectations by changing the way we see things.
Lord, take the pressure off. There is no pressure in Jesus’ name.
This is a privilege to be able to write. It’s a privilege to be able to share what God has given us. To share our gifts with the world.
Lord, I pray right now that there would be clip after clip after clip after clip after clip of you transforming expectations and perspectives. So that whole lie of perfectionism just falls away. And it’s not even an issue anymore in Jesus’ name, amen.
Obstacle #8: Lack of Boundaries
The next obstacle we want to break through is the whole idea of lack of boundaries and specifically, things like “I just don’t have time.”
How many of you have ever said, “I don’t have time to figure out all the details of publishing my book.” That’s something I think we could all say we’ve said at one time or another.
We’re going to pray specifically in the spirit of, of Matthew 6:33 which says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.”
“Lord we are asking that we would have our hearts completely devoted to you, seeking you above all else. As we do that, we even see that our time is arranged differently. We even see that we do have more boundaries. We have times of just sitting with you and your word, meditating, praying, uninterrupted time with our Father.
I ask, Lord, that each one of us would have a desire implanted in us just as David was a man after God’s heart. I pray that each of us would be men and women writers after your own heart. And as we seek your heart above all else, you’re going to guide us. Bless us with things that are inspired by your heart.
Then we’re also praying in the spirit of Ephesians 5:15-17. “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
I believe the New King James talks about redeeming the time.
Lord, we know that the enemy wants to kill our time. We know there’s a real enemy that wants us to waste time on fruitless endeavors. Many times, some of our social media habits can be wasted time or maybe looking at others and their achievements while wallowing in some self-pity.
Lord, I want to pray that you would redeem the time in us. Anything that the locusts have eaten in the lives of these writers and our lives. I pray, Lord, you restore just as your word says. And we pray that as we look at our schedules, as we arrange our time, that we truly would seek after you. With every ounce of our energy and that as we do, priorities are going to rise to the surface. We’re going to have healthy boundaries of what to do, what not to do, how to arrange our schedules.
I pray that you would squeeze out the most important things. I even think of juicing a piece of fruit when you’re trying to get the most juice out of that lemon or lime. Lord, I pray you to squeeze the juice, the sweetness out of us that would bless the world. That we would make the most of the days that we have here on this planet, we ask this in Jesus’ name.
And as I was praying about this, I just felt like the Lord really just said that many of you are just overcommitted. The picture that I got was of you standing there and you have this backpack on that’s pretty heavy. Then you pick up a bag and you put it over your left shoulder.
You pick up another bag, put it over your right shoulder. Then, you pick up a bag and hook it to your elbow. You take another bag and you hook it into your other elbow and grab several things.
Have you ever tried to bring all your groceries in on one trip with several bags in your left hand and several bags in your right hand?
You’re standing there and I come up to you and I ask you if you can roll this big suitcase, which is your writing. You literally look at me and you’re like, no, of course, I can’t.
You have no free hands and are committed to so many things. I saw that you began to look more closely at every single bag, every single thing that you’re carrying. And you begin to actually give some of those bags to people and allowed them to carry them.
You begin to consolidate some bags and to take some things out of bags so they aren’t as heavy. Then you were able to get it to where everything was just on your backpack and one arm was freed to now pull the suitcase. Which represents your writing, publishing, marketing, and you’re able to have that time.
Lord, we pray right now that you would give each person, CJ and I included, wisdom to have proper boundaries. What it is that we need to actually let go of? The need to give to someone else? And to do less of or consolidate? Lord, I pray that right now you would give each person insight through the Holy Spirit.
We’re going to give you a few seconds of silence to ask God, what is it that you could do even today to free up some of your time.
Lord, we thank you that you are the author of time. We thank you that you can do more in one moment than we can achieve an entire lifetime of struggling and trying. And as we also think about our time, we thank you that there is such a thing as supernatural productivity. That there is such a thing as your favor and your Spirit doing things through us that we could never even imagine accomplishing in our own strength. We thank you for that. And we pray in Jesus name, amen.
Obstacle #9: Writer’s Block
The ninth area that we’re looking at has been an obstacle for many of us. We want to breakthrough in the whole area of writer’s block. This has been something every writer has faced.
I’m stuck and nothing seems to be flowing. We sit there staring. I recently saw a blog post where the person mentioned one of the worst things to do when you have writer’s block is just stare at a blank screen. That blinking cursor.
If you have writer’s block, a practical thing to do is go for a walk. Get out and just spend some time with the Lord. Maybe an activity you really enjoy outside of writing.
This isn’t a practical session that we’re giving you a whole bunch of practical tips, but those are coming, those are coming in the next six weeks. We’re going to have 12 podcasts and live videos.
So, if you’re enjoying this, make sure you are either subscribed to our podcast for writers, Kingdom Writers, or to our Facebook page, Christian Book Academy. Because there is lots of goodness. We’re going to give lots of practical tips but today is mostly about prayer. So, stay tuned if you’re excited about that.
Psalm 45:1 is one of the Scriptures I’ve been reading along the lines of this obstacle. The NIV says, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme. As I recite my verses for the king.” And I love this part, “My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”
“Lord we ask that our tongues, our thoughts, our pen would all be that of a skillful writer. Speak through us and capture the minds of each one of these writers. Lord, I pray that you would bring that flow, that when we do find ourselves stuck, we would be able to get unstuck with your help, Lord.
You would allow that dam to be open so to speak so that the river can just flow. And I even pray that it would flow at flood stage, that each one of us would overflow into the lives of other communities. Not in a destructive way, but that all of the goodness that you want to bring about through our lives. All of the inspiration would flood not only our own communities but others around the world. We are praying that our tongue is the pen of a skillful writer and that there would be flow.
I’m even reminded that Jesus said there would be rivers of living water that would flow out of us, referring to the Holy Spirit being in us and overflowing. But we’re asking Lord that as we set our minds on you that you would allow us to flow. Then we’ll look back and say, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you.” You are the one that gets people unstuck and we ask this in Jesus’ name.
If you’re able to right now, just raise both of your hands and just receive the flow of the Holy Spirit for your writing. Just receive it in Jesus’ name. Come, Holy Spirit, come. In Jesus’ name may today be a turning point where things would be different. And we thank you Lord for that.
The picture that God gave me is that some of you are in a dark room and a dark room can be kind of scary. It can lead to these negative feelings or emotions and you feel alone, uncertain, all of these things that come up. But God steps into that room and He is flipping on the light switch. He’s flipping it on in Jesus’ name.
Holy Spirit is there with you. Holy Spirit is going to give you what you need like the words, inspiration, God ideas, book ideas and the things that you need right now. And Holy Spirit is going to be the wind in your sails right now. Some of you are like a ship, just stuck. You’re not going anywhere. It feels like there hasn’t been any wind. There’s no motor. And you’re just sitting there. The Holy Spirit’s coming in right now, breathing fresh life into your writing, breathing fresh life into your life. And he is the wind in your sails and he is now propelling you forward. We thank you for this Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Obstacle #10: Regret
The tenth area that we want to look at and see a breakthrough in is that whole area of regret. In other words, I missed my chance. I feel behind.
What’s the use?
CJ: I have to admit and I’ll share my own testimony that this has been me. I hadn’t published a book since 2016 which was my book Smoothies for Runners 2.0. Went through a period where I got really busy with a running coach business and I was also putting lots of time into my own training as a competitive runner.
I enjoyed it. It was a great season. But I kept feeling like there’s something else that I know God wants to write through me.
Yet when I set about to begin on the next book on prayer (which is about ready to be published) I sat there and I said to Shelley, “You know what? I think I missed my chance. There was a window there that I probably let pass. I’m probably not going to write anything very significant.”
It was almost like I was putting myself out to pasture. And I’m only 46 but thinking I’m done. I have nothing more to give. Nothing more to contribute.
Yeah. Kind of crazy. But now I’m feeling like the Lord has opened up more flow in my life. And also helped me dismiss this regret of wasted time that I could have been practicing the writing process.
There are no regrets in Christ. Philippians 3:13 says, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” And also 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Lord, I pray for anyone out there dealing with this whole thing of regret. They’ve been in the quicksand of regret, they just can’t move. Stuck and they find themselves sinking deeper. Lord, I pray that they would reach up and grab your hand and allow you to pull them up out of that regret.
I even picture a city. You’re going through the city of regret. Don’t stay there. Keep moving forward. You don’t want to stay in that city too long because it’s just a paralyzing city.
Lord, I pray that you would allow people to walk in freedom to rest in the truth that we can forget the past and we can actually move forward in the calling that you have for our lives. And that again, as we’ve said previously, you can redeem the time. You can restore what the locusts have eaten.
Lord, I pray regarding the previous one, the writer’s block. I connect it to First John. If there’s anything that’s between us, Lord, if there’s anything we need to confess, if there’s anything that’s just not allowing a smooth flow of your Holy Spirit between us and you, that connection. If there’s a disconnect in any way, I pray that you’d reveal it to each of us and that we would be able to confess it, get it out, but then move on in the cleansing that we have in Christ.
I pray for each and every one of these writers that have been in that city of regret. I pray that you’d allow them to move out of there and move into their calling and the excitement that brings. And we ask this in Jesus’ name.
The picture that I got is for some people who are listening. They received an envelope and they know there’s a coupon inside. But it’s been years and years and years. They are 100% sure that the coupon has expired. It’s done. They can’t use it anymore. So, they don’t even open the envelope to see.
But what they don’t know is there is no expiration date on the coupon. It is time to use that coupon. It’s never too late. Now is the time and there is no expiration date on what God has for you. He can do more in one moment than we can do in a lifetime. God took Joseph from the prison to the palace in one day. And He can do more in one day than you can ever imagine.
Just because it may have been months or years that have passed and you haven’t been marketing your book or writing your book or doing anything, there is something there still for you. Take that envelope right now and open it and claim that coupon. Claim what God has for you and move forward today in Jesus’ name, amen.
Obstacle #11: Shame
So, we’re moving down the home stretch and as we mentioned, we’ve got 15 obstacles to pray through. Thank you for hanging in here with us.
We’re now on the eleventh obstacle where we want a breakthrough in the area of shame. What we mean by that is if my book doesn’t become a bestseller, I’m a failure. We start saying I am a failure in our writing.
Again, another city you don’t want to visit very long is that city of shame. Romans 8:1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Lord, we ask that you would free us from the bondage of shame. We come against shame in Jesus’ name. And we proclaim the truth that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We have been set free, footloose and fancy-free, and we don’t have shame that we’re chained to like a dog chained up in the backyard.
Lord, I pray that you bring freedom. Let freedom ring in the lives of every single Christian writer proclaiming your message and glorifying you.
And we also pray in the spirit of Proverbs 24:16 which says, “The Godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”
Lord, we claim the truth that we are part of the godly in Christ Jesus. We are those people who can rise up over and over again with your help, with your strength as you’re reaching your hand down, saying, ‘come on son, come on daughter, get back in the race. We’re not finished yet.’
And I pray that shame would just fall off of each and every one of us who endeavor to write. That we wouldn’t wallow in any kind of failure or any sense of shame. We thank you, Lord, that we are no longer condemned and we stand clean as blood-bought citizens of heaven. We thank you, Lord, for that truth.
I feel like some of you have been breathing in toxic air and it’s time to get out into the woods, into nature and start breathing in that fresh air again. God is the one who gives you your identity. He gives us freedom from shame.
I also got this picture that you if my book doesn’t become a bestseller, I’m a failure. God calls us to is obedience. Success is obedience. I also got this picture of when I was a physical therapist, I worked in that career for 12 years before we started our own business full time in 2011. I still got paid if I showed up for work even no patients came.
If it’s a retail store and you come to work and nobody shows up, you still get paid because you showed up. If it’s a restaurant, you may not get as many tips, but you still get your pay. And God was just showing me the issue right now is that we show up and leave the results to God.
We are to release the need for a certain result. We’re obedient to do the work that he’s called us to do and to leave the results to him. And so, I pray this over each person listening in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Obstacle #12: Feeling Overwhelmed
The twelfth obstacle we’re overcoming and seeing a breakthrough in is the whole area of feeling overwhelmed. In other words, I feel overwhelmed with what it takes to self-publish my book. We start seeing this big monster. It’s just too big and I can’t face it or handle it. I’m overwhelmed.
We’re going to pray in the spirit of Isaiah 41:10 which says, “Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
“Lord, when I picture your right hand, I see Jesus right there and we are in Christ who call ourselves Christians. We have access to your strength. So, Lord, I pray against the spirit of overwhelm that sometimes causes us to be intimidated and we start making excuses like, I can’t do this or it’s just not going to work out or it’s just too much.
I pray against that and I pray that you would give us the right perspective. And I pray that we would even see through your eyes. I think of the story of Elisha and his servant that was actually looking out an enemy army. This servant is overwhelmed. He’s thinking there are just so many. Elisha then prayed, ‘Lord, show him what’s really out there, open his eyes.’ And as he did, there were angel armies surrounding that earthly army and they were ready to destroy the earthly army.
Lord, I come against any principalities or any earthly type of overwhelm that seeks to intimidate us. I pray that you give us that perspective, that in Christ we’re able to accomplish anything. There is nothing too big that we can’t handle. And I pray that we’d stay connected to you and that as we do so we have the perspective of looking out and seeing you defending us, seeing you go before us, seeing you strengthen us.
And Lord, would you do that with each and every one of us? Would you just remove that spirit of overwhelm and replace it with holy confidence in our God who is easily big enough to handle any obstacle? Thank you, Lord.
The picture God gave me is like you’re a jar. You have all this water in it. But there’s this mud and when you shake it up, it’s like the overwhelm. The jar gets all muddy and you can’t see through the water. We get stirred up and right now I feel like the Lord wants to allow that to settle. Lord, we ask that you bring your peace over this in Jesus’ name.
Open your hands and say out loud, “I receive your peace.”
Take a deep breath. Picture yourself breathing out the overwhelm. You don’t need it.
Part of our story is putting our trust in you, Lord. And what I saw is that as you receive this peace, you set down the jar and then you’re not shaking it. But the mud settles back down to the bottom and clarity comes again. That clarity then gives you the ability to see what your very next step is.
Not your next 100 steps but what is your very next step? It could be a five-minute task; it could be a one-hour task. What is your very next step? It removes all the things clouding our view. And we see what the very next thing is. We then have that peace to hear from God, to hear his voice. I pray right now that you would receive that clarity.
We’re going to give you just a few seconds to ask God, “What is my very next step?” In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
I’m reminded of that Chinese proverb that we’re all familiar with, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” And that’s what we’re about. One step at a time. We’re going to be able to look back at this journey and see how God led us to step by step to accomplish the work that he put on all of our hearts.
Obstacle #13: Scarcity Mindset
The thirteenth obstacle that we are desiring breakthrough for is the obstacle of scarcity or having a scarcity mindset. In other words, I don’t have the money to invest in writing and publishing a book. We take on a scarcity mentality instead of the abundance mentality.
Psalm 50:10-11 says, “For all the animals of the forest is mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine.”
“Lord, we pray this scripture for our own lives. We believe that you are bigger than any need that we have. You’re able to accomplish anything that we need. Able to provide. You are Jehovah Jireh. Our Provider.
And so, Lord, I ask that each of us would have the confidence to know that it’s you alone. You’re our sustenance. Our source. May we begin to take our eyes off ourselves and our situation and to put them on you.
Keep our gaze fixed upon you and what you’re doing through us. Because we know that impossible things are going to happen through us with your help. But in and of our own strength, we’re essentially going to accomplish things that might be good for a little while without much eternal value.
Lord, we each want to have an eternal mindset in the things that we write. That’s why we call ourselves Christian writers or Kingdom writers of all kinds including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short stories, essays, etc. We want to glorify your name with our writing.
Lord, would you remove this scarcity mentality that says, I’m limited by my own resources or by what I can do? Lord, would you expand our vision to realize there is nothing you can’t do.
The God who created the universe and every galaxy, every planet and put every star in place. That same God is certainly big enough to handle what it takes for me to invest in my writing and invest what it takes to self-publish my book.
So, Lord, would you give us a bigger perspective? Would you just blow our minds and allow us to have that view of where you are and how you see things? And to know that, hey, my Dad is certainly big enough.
Lord, would you beat up every scarcity bully that the enemy tries to send our way. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The picture that I got when I was asking the Lord about this topic is that many of you are standing in a room, but you have these really big blinders on that limit your view. You don’t have any peripheral view and you just see what’s on the table right in front of you. And there are a few coins, just a few, not much. You begin to freak out because you don’t see it in that very limited view.
But then I saw God coming and taking off those blinders. Right now, he’s taking off those blinders and all of a sudden you see, and you realize you’re actually standing in a room of treasures.
I almost think of that movie like the Goonies or some of those pirate movies where there’s this big room of jewelry and gold and diamonds. You’re surrounded by treasures that are yours and they’ve been there the whole time. You’re standing in this room and you’re finally able to see and realize the abundance that’s available to you in Christ.
We just pray right now that you would take off those blinders of scarcity and trust God. If he’s called you to it, he will provide. Do you believe that? I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Obstacle #14: Distraction
Moving on to the fourteenth obstacle that we want a breakthrough in is a distraction. In other words, I have so many ideas. It’s hard to focus or know where to start first.
Anyone else has like 1,000,002 ideas? By the way, write those ideas down where you’re going to see them and maybe the Lord will revisit those. I have found, and I know Shelley’s found, that we do our best work when we focus on one thing at a time.
I’ve learned there’s really no such thing as doing something really well when you’re trying to multitask. It really takes focus. There’s even research on that.
But Isaiah 30:21 is how we’re going to pray. “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you, a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
“Lord, we ask that we would hear your spirit leading us and giving us that laser beam focus, knowing which direction to take one step at a time. I pray that more than anything we would be focusing on you and allowing you to lead and guide our writing ministry.
Lord, anything that would serve as a distraction, I pray you would remove those things and help us to prioritize and focus on one thing at a time. What do you want right now from me, Lord?
Lord, we ask for not only that focus but also ears to hear and eyes to see where you’re leading us. May we be a people that would follow you, that we wouldn’t just follow every little shiny object. I almost think of a dog who is running loose, running wild and their nose is just taking them from one tree or bush to the next. One smell to the next. And they’re having a great time but they’re all over the place.
We want to be focused and we also want to enjoy the journey. We want to be about that, but we want to focus on the things that are most important in terms of what God wants to accomplish through us. I pray that we would be able to overcome any spirit of distraction in our lives. And we ask this in Jesus’ name.
Lord, as a creative person, as a person who is creating, many times our superpower is having a vision and having ideas. We don’t want those ideas to stop. We don’t want that vision to stop. That is actually part of the gift and the strength that you have given to us as creators, as creatives, as writers. Continue to pour out your ideas, but we pray for wisdom and discernment right now in Jesus’ name of which are for now, which are for later or which are just to discard.
I just got this picture of each of us. It’s like we’re shopping with God in a jewelry store and we’re walking by each of the display cases and discussing each of the options. This ring, this watch, these earrings, this necklace, etc.
God eventually stops and he points to the one that you will get today. And it’s going to be different for every single one of you. It’s going to be different. But you excitedly put it on and you can’t wait to show everyone because you know you have a piece that God has given it to you.
This is the idea to go forward with. The book to write at this time and where to market right now. You have this peace because you can come back to the same store for the next item later.
The store will still be there. It’s not going anywhere. You have that peace that passes all understanding as you start to just work on that one thing that God has shown you for today. We thank you for this Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Obstacle #15: Physical Pain
And now to the very last obstacle. The fifteenth obstacle we want a breakthrough in is physical pain. When we’re talking about physical pain, we’re talking about health issues.
We might say, I can’t concentrate on my book because I’m in pain. And if any of you do have a health issue or pain, we want to join you in praying for healing.
Paul had what he called a ‘thorn in the flesh’ and it says in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Lord, we give you all of our physical issues. We give you anything that we’re dealing with that’s been painful. And Lord, I ask that if there’s anyone out there who is feeling physical debilitation and you desire to heal them, please bring healing in Jesus’ name.
But Lord, there are others of us who might be dealing with an issue we have prayed about for years and you specifically told them ‘no son, no daughter, I am going to use this for my glory. I am going to use this out of your weakness. There are going to be glorious things that I bring about in order to reach a lost and dying world that can identify with that pain, that can identify with that struggle.
Lord, we give you all of these physical ailments. I give you mental issues or emotional types of distress. Lord, we ask that you would bring healing if you will be more glorified in that.
But Lord, if you will be more glorified in any of these weaknesses just as with Paul, then I pray we would accept that with grace and peace. May we be able to operate in such a way that we rise above the pain in order to accomplish what you desire to do through us.
Lord, would you do supernatural things in spite of any of these physical ailments or obstacles that have come our way? Would you be glorified through any healing right now that someone is dealing with and has dealt with for a long time? And we speak that healing in Jesus’ name. We thank you.
You are the great physician but we do thank you for men and women who are doctors as well. And yet we also know, Lord, that you can bring about supernatural healing if that’s what you desireWe lift your name on high in spite of anything that we might be dealing with, we ask this in Jesus’ name.
I just got a picture as I was praying and it was like each of you are in a race. Those of you that do have some physical pain. It’s like you got injured in the midst of that race and you’re thinking, I can’t finish.
I can’t finish what I started. I can’t do all the things that God’s calling me to do now. I’m done. All of a sudden, I saw Jesus come up and he started carrying you and he carried you across the finish line.
His power is carrying you right now. Whatever you need, wherever you’re at, He is there for you. And so, we thank you Lord that you are our healer. You are the one that gives us what we need to cross that finish line. Wherever we’re at today, we pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
These are just fifteen obstacles that we’ve sensed in our own lives that can be hindrances to what God wants to do through our writing. He wants to bring a breakthrough in one way, shape, or form. It’s the most common things that we hear from you.
We’ve had Author Audience Academy now for over four years and are moving into Christian Book Academy. I’ve been mentoring writers in some capacity for over eight years. So, we’ve heard these same things from you over and over again.
If any of you felt that you got a breakthrough in a certain area, we would love to hear about it. Share a testimony of anything that you felt like was an Aha moment. Maybe it was a picture that was shared or scripture that was shared.
What kind of breakthrough did God give you as a result of these prayers?
We are truly believing that the Holy Spirit is going to work. He’s going to flow through this prayer meeting to bring a breakthrough for each of you in a certain area.
And for some of you, this is going to be a turning point moment for you. This is going to be living forever on our Facebook page and on our podcast so you can listen to it over and over and over. And I will put timestamps on it so that you can go back to that specific prayer for that specific thing.
If one day you’re feeling self-doubt, you can go specifically to where it is in the prayer meeting. This is a resource that you can come back to over and over again. Please share this with others.
Tell the Christian writers you know about the Breakthrough series so they can also get a needed breakthrough. Thank you for being here.
One of our love languages is quality time. And so, to be here live with you and then to interact with you on an ongoing basis as you watch the replay on Facebook is so fun. It’s really been a joy to be here with you today.
I just want to reiterate that the reason we started off with this prayer meeting is we really believe prayer is the key that will unlock those stubborn doors that need to come open. Doors the Lord wants us to walk through in terms of our writing.
Every one of us has dealt with these obstacles that we listed, but we want to encourage all of you to keep praying, keep coming to the Lord, keep lifting up your prayer requests. We’re a team, all on Team Jesus. We want to fight for one another because we’re comrades in battle. Nothing can overtake us in Christ.
God bless you guys. We’re excited for what’s ahead!
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