I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Faith to Dream Big, Pray Big

By Paula Boire, writing as Sara L. Jameson

Batterson believes in setting “God-ordained, God-inspired” goals that are quantifiable, specific, and discerned through a season of prayer and fasting. He likens our goals and dreams to the Israelites encircling the walls of Jericho and urges us to circle God’s Scriptural promises prompted in us by the Holy Spirit; Scriptures that speak to those goals or challenges and to cover them in prayer until we have our answer from the Lord.  (Think Daniel and the angel Gabriel detained because of spiritual warfare.)

We writers have our own Jerichos, walls that must crumble to see our dreams and goals realized. Perhaps it’s the dream of winning a literary award, signing with an agent or favor with an acquisitions editor or the publishing committee or mastery of an elusive craft technique or meeting a deadline.

Like those of us who are Type-A personalities, Batterson wanted his dreams fulfilled swiftly: “I didn’t want it to be the slow climb of an unknown writer out of obscurity. I wanted to write a New York Times bestseller. . . . I am genuinely grateful it took a dozen years and a half dozen unfinished manuscripts to finally publish my first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. If I had written it at twenty-five instead of thirty-five it would have been all theory and no substance.” (p. 141 The Circle Maker)

Obviously God has His own timetable for each of us as authors. For some, doors open at twenty-five; for others, perhaps at fifty or sixty or seventy.

For Batterson the non-specific dream of becoming a published writer yielded no results; his goal is to write twenty-five books, an NYT bestseller, and a work of fiction. The fruit of these projects form part of his spiritual goals of leading people to Christ and living off 10% of his income and giving 90% of the money to the Lord’s work. What are the prayer-divined goals God has given you?

Batterson’s motto: “Work as though it depends on you, pray as though it depends on God” and his admonition of the Scripture, “we have not because we ask not,” can encourage us as writers. (p. 177, The Circle Maker)

Where are your dreams today? Do you have specific God-given goals as a writer? Or are you wandering in the wilderness of indecision, plodding along on a “sometimes” manuscript, or uncertain of God’s direction in building your career as a writer? If so, may we circle you with prayer for a breakthrough?  


  1. Great post, Paula. I do believe we need to make our request to God specific with praise and thanksgiving. Each morning, I thank God for the words he gave me yesterday and that He will enable me to write another 1,000 today. Every day that I pray that prayer, I write at least a 1000 words...and most days I write more than that.

  2. Great, Paula. I own & enjoy A lion in a pit... so will search out this one. I don't blog other than at MBT (glad for that) but keep in touch w/ lots of friends via email/FB. The time may come--not sure where I'd find more time just now w/ lots of grandchild involvement, too--but God is well able to shift things.

  3. You've convinced me I need to read that book, Paula!!

    I do have specific goals for my writing career--one of which I (er, God) just reached. Yay! So it's on to the next one.

    I think it's great to have small goals along the way, too. One of my small goals for this summer is completing the rough draft of my third book by July 31. Having a specific, measurable goal really helps me.

  4. Hi Pat,
    Wow, that's powerful! 1,000+ God-given words a day, or more. :-) Congrats once again on becoming agented.

  5. Hi Delores,
    I haven't read the lion one but a pastor friend said it's a good book. I may check our church library to see if they own a copy.

  6. Hi Melissa,
    YES!!!! Becoming agented is a HUGE milestone and we are rejoicing with you!!!!!! Praise God for that blessing!

  7. Paula,

    What an inspiring post. I'm hanging Batter's motto--"Work as though it depends on you, pray as though it depends on God"--in my office.

    I would love to be "circled with prayer for a breakthrough!"

    Pat, I love that you pray for and thank God for His words each day. I'm going to be more specific in praying for my writing.

  8. I've been eyeing that book for a while. I think you just convinced me to get it. And on my Kindle, so I can write notes! :-)

  9. That sounds like a fabulous book, Paula. I'm going to have to check it out.

    Before I was published, I wanted that contract so badly, but I'm glad God's plan was so much better than mine. His timing was perfect.

  10. Hi Roxanne,
    You and Peter ARE being circled in prayer. You were one of the first the Lord put on my heart to be circled. :-)

  11. Hi Jenness, When I read your prayer request this a.m., The Circle Maker immediately came to mind. You can watch Batterson's videos on the subject on Youtube. Not sure they mention all the key elements of doing this, however. But, they ARE an inspiration.

  12. You're so right about waiting for God's timing, Lisa. But without knowing about The Circle Maker book, God had me circling the publication situation starting a few years ago. :-)