Prayer and writing may spring from the same spiritual impulse. They are certainly related, both being “leaps in the dark” – prayer may be met with ongoing silence and writing can be met with – ongoing silence, too. Both are certainly acts of faith, and say as much about ourselves as believers and writers as they do to God or the readers we are directing ourselves to.
Ed Cyzewski’s Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together recognizes the relationship of prayer and writing for those of us who are Christians and writers. What he has created here is a kind of expanded devotional for writers, a work deliberately designed to stop us in our frenzied lives of cramming writing (and prayer) into every spare moment, of which there are few.
The book is divided into seven chapters: “Creating Space to Pray and Write;” “Learning to be Present;” “Do You Want to be Made Well;” “Breaking Through with Self-Awareness;” “Discernment Through Prayer and Writing;” “We Pray and Write by Faith;” and “Getting Started,” quick resource guides for both prayer and writing.
It is a simple work. What strikes me even more than its simplicity is its gentleness. Cyzewski is gentle with his readers, which suggests we should be gentle with ourselves. It is not a daily Bible study, but rather a discussion we need to have with ourselves if we intend to grow in both our prayer time and our writing.
Cyzewski has written several works in the area of faith, including Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus; Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting God in Everyday Life; A Christian Survival Guide; The Good News of Revelation (co-author with Larry Helyer); Unfollowers: Unlikely Lessons on Faith from Those Who Doubted Jesus; Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity; Divided We Unite; Why We Run from God’s Love; and A Path to Publishing: What I Learned from Publishing a Nonfiction Book. He blogs at Ed Cyzewski: Freelance Writer.
Pray, Write, Grow is full of helpful counsel for Christian writers. And Cyzewski has the order exactly right: first we pray, then we write, and then we grow. And we grow in both.
Top photograph by Claudia Wehrli via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.