Rising Action: Writing as Worship
I’m a young writer in my first year of college at Asbury University. As with most college level courses, the classes I’m taking are very writing intensive. Between my regular classes, my creative writing fiction class, writing for antler, and occasionally writing for my college newspaper, I’m writing a story, sketch, article, or essay of 500 words or more pretty much every other day.
I love to write—I’m absolutely passionate about it. But because I have so many prescribed and predetermined pieces, I often forget the real reason that I should write: to glorify God.
Usually I write with the following goals in mind: to get the assignment completed as quickly as possible, to earn a good grade, or to intrigue or help others. These are not necessarily ignoble ambitions—they have their time and place. However, this should not be the outcome of all of my writing each day.
Everyone has natural talents, passions, and abilities with which they have been entrusted in order to further the Kingdom of Heaven. Writing is what I enjoy; therefore, it makes sense that I should be using that passion to glorify God in some way.
Recently, I realized that most of the writing I do centers around academics or myself. These things are all right in their respective places, but I needed to find a way to use my writing to honor my Creator.
I found a practice that allows me to worship God through my gifting. I recently began writing down prayers and praises. By no means is this a new practice that I came up with on my own; it is, however, new to me.
To be perfectly honest, I have a very hard time praying. So often I don’t think to pray until I am on the verge of falling asleep. It’s then that I mutter my “bless-so-and-so” and “thank-you-for-today” and “help-me-as-I..” fall asleep. My head feels heavy against the pillow and my thoughts drift back and forth between dreams and unfinished prayers.
Whenever I do actually think to pray at times when I’m alert, my prayers are often half-hearted or insincere. Otherwise my mind finds room for distraction amid the quiet.
In order to reconcile this issue, I began writing out my prayers.
I write letters to God. This keeps me focused and helps me to actually form a complete thought instead of beginning a prayer and ending up in a daydream.
When I pray in the form of ink on paper, I have more incentive to actually make sense and find out what exactly I need to pray about.
Because I have a passion for writing, I feel more passionately about prayer when I write my prayers out. Instead of feeling like I’m only making requests of God or talking at Him, I feel like I actually have something to offer him. I feel like I’m tangibly offering Him praises and glorifying his name in the process.
I’m giving something back to the God who has given me more than I could ever deserve. My gift may be small, but it’s what I have. And I lay it at his feet.
Sarah Choate is currently a student of journalism and creative writing at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. She has moved around quite a bit in her life, but Louisville, Kentucky is where she calls home. Sarah is transitioning into adulthood and she’s learning what it means to be both a Christian and a writer in this beautiful and strange world. She hopes to spend her life traveling—potentially as a missionary—and writing in any capacity. She doesn’t know what God has in store for her yet, but she’s eagerly along for the ride.