Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Not All up to You

I discovered a surprising phenomenon many years ago when our family traveled and sang in churches: the amount of benefit a person derives from a song is not entirely up to the performers.


Some audiences were so openhearted, they pulled the music from us. Ministering to them was as easy as eating raspberry truffles. Other crowds sat stony-faced, daring us to help them grow. Singing to them was slow torture.

So I began praying that the Lord would send exactly whom He wanted to our concerts-not one person more or less than those who needed to hear our message of grace, and would receive it. It worked.

I’ve employed the same method in my speaking. If I pray for exactly the right audience, the crowd is eager to learn and grow, and the message flows from my heart like warm honey.

Now, I believe the Lord is calling me apply this principle to my writing. I will ask that He lead the ones He wants to hear my words, to my columns, articles, blog, and eventually my books. I will pray that their hearts be open to the message I present to them, and that God will use my words to enrich, even change their lives.

What a privilege to work for the Master! How humbling that He would use me to speak His grace to hope-starved hearts. But I must do more than write His messages. I must pray for my audiences to receive them.

If you are a writer, an artist, a speaker, a dancer, or a singer, do you pray for your audiences?

20 comments:

  1. I've been praying something similar. If it's my season to encourage, let me encourage well...

    ~ Wendy

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  2. I need to do it more. Thank you for the good reminder. :O)

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  3. Jen, again, you've stirred my heart to what is truth. So many times I focus on what I can do, what I can be, when I should be praying on whom our God wants to bless through my talents. Thanks!

    cb
    http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

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  4. Oh, I love to do that, Jeanette! Almost every week, I pray that the Lord will take the column to the one(s) who needs it. Often, I'll get very specific: "Take it to the invalid, Lord. Take it to the tired mama..." and so on. I pray, even, for the blog and that He will bring the ones who need a word of encouragement.

    Great post, J, and I love the line "daring us to help them grow." That's inspired!

    Love you oodles,

    R.

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  5. Is the picture of the singer you? Lovely post, and one I need to take to heart and apply. Prayers been difficult lately. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. Such a great reminder for me today, Jeanette! I do pray for my readers - that they would be encouraged and uplifted by the stories I write.

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  7. YES! I do! And I pray that if the Lord wants my words published so more can read great, but it's SO NEAT to see Him used unpublished words in ministering to people I KNOW. MY unsaved Aunt is reading my latest book and whether it's bad or good writing doesn't matter. She's DEVOURING it AND the message woven through it. So that EXCITES ME!

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  8. Lynn: NO, that's not me in the photo. I'm a redheaded Scotch-Irish-German girl.

    Jaime: All right! You go, God!!!

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  9. I do, Jeanette, but not near enough. You've reminded me to do so more obediently. Thank you!

    I'ved missed your wonderful messages. Hope to keep up my blog visits more regularly now!

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  10. Yes, I pray! I love this post because I sing with the worship team at church and we pray a lot about being open to what the Holy Spirit has for the church each Sunday, but we also talk about the church being open to the music. No matter how amazing it is or how well those who attend can relate to the songs, they can only get from it what they're open to.

    I honestly didn't think how well this relates to our writing, too. Thanks for this post :)

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  11. This is certainly a great way to get the most out of all that you do. It's a great idea. Yes, I pray for my readers when I write, but sometimes I forget. My blog friends are special and they get on a regular list.

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  12. When I speak, I always pray for those who will be in the audience. the side benefit - it helps relieve my nerves by keeping my focus on those who are my listeners. I love your thought to apply it to my writing as well. I plan to make it my practice. Thanks so much!
    Blessings,
    Susan

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  13. You are probably a treasure to listen to! I hope someday I can:)

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  14. Jen, that's a great thought. Say, why don't you put a video on your blog of you singing?

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  15. What wise and wonderful words. :) I ask the Lord to make me a blessing to those I come in contact with. He has done so much for us, it is but a small thing we can do for Him.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  16. Hi Jen -

    I do this not only with my writing, but also with the Sign Language Team. A lot of prayer goes into the song choice, the practices, and the worship. We pray the Lord will minister to the congregation as we do the special.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  17. Jen:
    I pray for those who read my blog. In our church Drama Ministry, we always pray that we have a message from God the people can take with them

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  18. Terri: How sweet! I hope to hear you, too.

    Karen: I can do an audio, but unfortunately I don't have a video. I plan to record a message I'm giving on April 30th, which will include a song or two.

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  19. Definitely!
    I love what "quietspirit" said about praying for those who read our blogs. Words are words, written or spoken, and they are containers of power for change.

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