Resources for Christians

If you’re a communicator for Christ, as I am, you can find Writing Resources with Christian poets, writers, and pastors in mind on my website.

In addition, I hope you’ll follow these blogs, which I maintain as often as family, church, and book-writing commitments allow:

Bible Prayers
Bible Reviewer
Christian Healing Arts
Mary Sayler (in lieu of this site)
Poetry Editor & Poetry
Praise Poems (many of which have been compiled in the book PRAISE!)
What the Bible Says About Love

May God bless you and your good work in Christ.

Mary Harwell Sayler, (c) 2017

 

Faith, Fiction, Friends: Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Christian Writer’s Guide”

Review by Glynn Young

Source: Faith, Fiction, Friends: Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Christian Writer’s Guide”

Did Jesus read poems, quote poetry, and pray printed prayers?

Jesus prayed spontaneously as shown in the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father and in the High Priestly Prayer in Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John. However, as a regular worshipper in the synagogue and one who often stood up to read aloud “as was His custom” (Luke 4:16), Jesus undoubtedly read the printed prayers and poems scrolled into the book of Psalms.

Then and now, Jesus and other Jewish people drew from Psalms for many reasons. Then and now, Christians rely on Psalms, too, as shown in Acts 1:20, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16 and many other Bible verses. Why? Christians and Jews love the book of Psalms as:

Written prayers

Songbook

Anthology of poetry

Source of godly wisdom

Examples of heartfelt prayer

Outlet for genuine emotion

Devotion and meditation

Inspired writings

Prophetic word

Apparently Jesus also memorized at least some of the psalms because, from the cross, He quoted Psalm 22 not only to express the agony He felt but to encourage His followers who knew, as Jesus did, how the psalm ends. In addition, this fulfilled the word of prophecy recorded in that poem and printed prayer.

What does this have to do with us today as Christian writers, editors, and poets? Hopefully, a lot! For example:

Written prayers are preserved prayers, private prayers, public prayers, proven prayers, and prayers that immediately connect us with one another and with God. Whenever and wherever you pray a psalm or other Bible prayer, countless prayer partners stand with you in all times and places.

Psalms provide long-loved examples of beautifully written songs, poems, instructional teachings, and wisdom writings. Studying and reading aloud each psalm can help us to attune our ear and improve the poetic quality of our writing in all genres.

Psalms give us insight into the spiritual life and also the life of faith realistically lived and written in all genres.

Psalms draw us closer to God, not only with praise and thanksgiving but, more often, with laments! Thankfully, those laments typically end on an encouraging word of faith, helping us to cry out with true feelings and draw on faith that has been tested as we, too, write prayers, poems, and writings in all genres.

Psalms remind us of the ongoing timeliness of the Bible and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of God’s Word, written into our lives as Christian poets, editors, and writers in all genres, all places, and all times.

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If you would like to discover prayers in the Bible that enliven your faith and guide your prayers and writings today, follow the Bible Prayers blog. May blessings abound on all who enter that space.

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© 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.
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Blogs need focus, focus

With new blogs appearing daily on the Internet, your blog can stand out and draw readers if you focus on a specific topic and a specific readership.

For instance, you probably noticed that this blog addresses steps traditionally involved in researching, writing, revising, and marketing manuscripts primarily written for a Christian audience and/ or from a Christian perspective. Therefore, the specific readers to whom I speak are Christian writers, Christian poets, and Christian editors.

For Christian readers in general, the Bible Prayers blog focuses on almost all of the prayers in Holy Scripture, while The Poetry Editor blog hopefully speaks to poets, poetry editors, poetry students, and poetry lovers who want to discuss the poetic techniques, forms, and characteristics of well-written free verse and traditional poetry too.

Before deciding on those particular topics, however, I asked myself some questions that might also help you to fine-tune your focus:

What topics have interested me most of my life and continue to interest me enough to want to keep spending time with them and investigating them, perhaps for a long time?

Which topics have I studied or researched reasonably well?

Which of these topics might readers also want to think about, learn about, or discuss?

Do I have relevant experiences that could benefit potential readers?

Am I willing to double-check the facts and information I relay, even though I think I know?

Realistically, how often can I research, write, and post new articles? Once a day? Once a week? Twice a week? Twice a month?

Do I treat blog readers the way I want to be treated?

Am I willing to focus on their needs even when I promote my blog(s) through the major social networks, so the very people I hope to draw will not feel spammed, disrespected, or overwhelmed?

Will my readers be so glad they discovered my blog that they will just naturally pass on the good news?

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© 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.

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