Prayers for Writers and Patron Saint of Writers


Copyright © Joan Y. Edwards 2015

Copyright © Joan Y. Edwards 2015

“Prayers for Writers and Patron Saint of Writers ” by Joan Y. Edwards

My friend, Linda Martin Andersen (author of many magazine articles and a fun blog for writers, A Writer’s Playground) and I were talking yesterdsay morning about the need for prayer before writing a memoir like hers about when her husband had a double lung transplant or a non-fiction book, like my Joan’s Elder Care Guide where you delve deeply into strong, tense, emotional memories.

I pray for perseverance, confidence, courage, clarity, creativity, and wisdom. I believe that most other writers pray for guidance, too. What about you?

I usually say the “Our Father” before I submit my work to a publisher. And I say the “Our Father” before I submit the my last revised chapter or whole manuscript to the editor of the publisher.

Sometimes my confidence gets down to less than one per cent. It seems to me I need more to keep me going and believing in me and my writing. Is there a patron Saint for Writers? Are there special prayers for writers? I went on a search to find answers to these questions to help Linda and me. I thought you might benefit from a meaningful prayer before you write, too.

I guessed that one of the four men who wrote the Gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John would be the patron Saint of writers. However, I was wrong. St. Francis de Salles is the patron Saint of Journalists and Writers. When people wouldn’t listen to his sermons and slammed the door in his face, he wrote his talks down on paper and slid them under the door.  He talked and treated the children well which made the parents more willing to listen to his words. St. Francis de Salles said that not only priests and nuns could have a dedicated life to God, but others in all walks of life could benefit from spiritual meditation.

I found four prayers for writers.

O Creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with the loving knowledge of you, that I may bring your light to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries which you have revealed.

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.

Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom and creativity from beyond my Self. Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.

But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth, so my fiction is more honest than actuality and reaches the depths of my reader’s soul.

Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance, and the strength to resist those who insist it can’t be done.

Amen.

Lord, inspire me to write stories that touch readers’ hearts.  Breathe your spirit into my characters so they come alive on the written page.  Help me develop intriguing plots full of twists and turns that capture the imagination and move the story to a satisfying resolution.  Keep me focused and on schedule, and take away any fear or sense of inadequacy that blocks my progress.  Give me courage to step out in faith, to stretch and grow and to be the writer you have called me to be.
Amen.

God Above All Things,
In these moments while the document loads and my fingers rest on the keyboard grant me first an emptiness.
Remove the to-do list that waits impatiently in the corner of my mind.

Quiet the voice saying, “You’re not ready, you’re not good enough, you don’t have anything to say.”

Shield me from the imagined judgmental gaze of my advisor.
Grant me first an emptiness, an openness, a mind unchained by anxiety.

Grant me then a fullness. Where insecurity lurks, pour out confidence and curiosity. Where there is fatigue, fill me with generosity and energy. Where there is fear, fill me with courage.

Shelter me in your strength and quiet the world around me.
For these few hours grant me peace and solitude in my thoughts.

Bless this mind you’ve given and help me use it fully. Help me seek and push the limits of my abilities. Remind me that I have read enough, I have enough, I am enough, and with time this paper will come to a place where it, too, is enough (at least for now).

In Your name I pray,
Amen.

Please share with me in the comment area, your prayers and ways you center and ground yourself before you write or before you submit a manuscript for critique or publication.

Good luck with your publications. Believe in you and your writing.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

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20 Responses

  1. Joan,
    I appreciate the resources here. You know I was searching for help! You’re a dear friend. It’s great that you took our experience and made it one to benefit many others. Thank you!

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      Thank you for asking me if I had any special prayers to say before I write. It started me thinking. It was my pleasure to search and share what I found with you and other writers.

      Thanks for being my friend.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  2. Thanks Joan for an uplifting post (as if yours aren’t always uplifting!). These prayers started my day today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gretchen,
      Thanks for writing. You’re welcome for this post. I’m glad it lifted you up this morning and started your day just right.

      Thanks for being my friend.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  3. What a great post Joan! I’m in the process of wiritng a memoir. It’s been a challenge to reach in the past and write with the proper emotion. These prayers will be an inspration and a much needed boost to move forward. Thanks sweet girl!

    Like

  4. Dear Susan,
    Thanks for writing. I’m glad that these prayers will help lift you up and lead you forward with your memoir! Go Susan Hornbach, go.

    Celebrate you.
    Never Give Up
    Joan

    Like

  5. Joan,
    I love these prayes. I would like to post at least one of them on my face book page with your permission. Thank you for coming into my life and opening my eyes and my mind

    Like

  6. Dear June,
    Thank you for writing. I am honored that you want to put one of the prayers on your website. Be sure and put the name of the person who wrote them and their copyright and the link to it that I have on my blog. Then you’ll be covered.

    Never Give Up
    Joan

    Like

    • Thank you Joan. I don’t have a blog or website at the moment. All I have is my Facebook timeline,but I will have both. I’m determined.
      Thank you again,
      June

      Like

      • Dear June,
        Sorry. I misread what you wrote. Please forgive me.
        A Facebook page is awesome. Communicating with others is a fun thing to do.

        Celebrate you.
        Never Give Up
        Joan

        Like

        • Hi Joan,
          I wanted to thank you for putting the “bug” in my ear. Today I started
          working on my first blog post. So, there was no need for you to be sorry
          for misreading my comment.
          When will you book be released? I can’t wait to review it.[?]

          I’m working on a romance. I’m six chapters in and enjoying every moment of it. I’ve got a couple ,more going through my head,one of which is the sequel to my first book *No
          Regrets. *I haven’t forgotten about my children books either. Oh and before, I forget. I love those affirmations you wrote. I’ve printed them and read them every morning.

          Joan there is no such thing as you can’t! not in my vocabulary anyway.

          Love,
          June

          Like

          • Dear June,
            I’m proud of you for doing your own blog. Hurray for you! Keep on writing. I am proud of you. We are all waiting to read your stories. Go for it.
            I’ll let you know when my book is released. Thanks for believing in me.

            Love, Joan

            Like

  7. Dear Joan, I don’t know where your email on prayer was, but I missed it, until now. Thank you, for researching and writing it. I always pray, -lots- before, during and after writing. But I never thought about what others might be doing and it was good to realize there are many we-s not just a me, who depend on help from God in writing. One remark that spoke to me was -the writer knowing truth herself, in order to be honest in writing fiction. That is also a statement for non-fiction. My prayer is that I will always be truthful and honest in writing, but I ask the Lord to help me write in such a way that the reader will want to read it.
    Thanks, Joan, for your post. It helped me.
    Blessings, Barbara

    Like

    • Dear Barbara,
      Thanks for writing. Thank you for subscribing to my blog. Glad you found the email telling you about my blog post about prayer. You’re welcome for my researching and writing it. You are right. It is good to realize that others do as we do, feel as we feel, desire as we desire. Honesty is good because it let’s your readers know they can depend on you. It adds the dimension of trust, which is necessary for credibility and loyalty.

      May God surround you with the fruition of your writing dreams
      Never Give up
      Joan

      Like

  8. What a beautiful post, Joan! Thank you for sharing about the Patron Saint of Writers and Journalists, St. Francis de Salles. I love the prayers you shared, too!

    Like

    • Dear Becky,
      Thank you for writing. I’m honored that you thought the post was beautiful. You’re welcome for the information about the Patron Saint of Writers and Journalists, St. Francis de Salles and the prayers. They spoke to my heart and hoped they would help you, too.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  9. Joan, I love this post. I will be printing out these prayers. They are so inspiring. I love the last line in Debbie’s prayer–“Give me courage to step out in faith, to stretch and grow and to be the writer you have called me to be”. St. Francis de Salles feast day is actually on my birthday 🙂 I say his prayer about writing every night, before I work on a draft, and especially when I sent out The Last Cherry Blossom. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Kathleen,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you love this post and have printed out the prayers. Neat that you were born on St. Francis de Salles feast day and you say a prayer to him consistently. I’m sure he helped you with The Last Cherry Blossom.

      Do something fun today.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much for this post. It is exactly what I was praying for! God is so good and it’s nice to read and learn what other writers are doing. I love learning about St Francis de Salles. His words about not hurrying and not worry and doing what he can do each night ar words I will carry with me. I also enjoyed reading the four tips: write with someone in mind. I’m writing about a very difficult subject, domestic violence, and the person or persons came to mind almost immediately. It makes my writing more real when I think about that person or persons. What would I have liked to said to her so she knows her true value. Again thank you for this post, it’s been a lifesaver, in the sea of turmoil I can get into when I begin writing.

    Like

    • Dear Mary,
      Thank you. I am very thankful that my post about St. Francis de Salles helped you. It is great that you have figured out a way to help you visualize your characters and put them down on paper.

      I hope you subscribe to my blog! There may be other articles to help you keep on writing those great stories. The world is waiting for your story.

      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

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