Wednesday, 16 November 2016

We are the Body ...


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Do you pray for our Christian writing industry here in Australasia? I don’t mean a prayer about your work, your project, your marketing, your sales, or your readership. I’m talking about prayer for the BODY – our faith-driven writing body.
If you aren’t praying for the Australasian Christian literary body, why not? You are a part of it. I am part of it. Writer, reader, editor, publisher, or seller—we are all part of this literary body of Christ.
I understand that some other Christian authors/writers/publishers may not be in line with your way of faith, or some of them may write in the same genre as your work, and therefore are your competition.
But God sees past all that. Ultimately, if we belong to Him, He expects us to work together, pray together, and seek His will … together.

 'Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.’ 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)

I won’t quote every piece of scripture that directs us to work together, pray for each other, and pray as a body. You know them. What I am asking is that you pray. Pray for this literary body God has brought together.
Because if we humble ourselves, work as a spiritual body, and uplift our body of work to the Lord, He can do amazing things. Things we could never imagine.

 'Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.’ Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

I know Christian writers in Australia and New Zealand already work together to support and uplift each other. We work together in so many ways, but what I am talking about is a spiritual shift. A spiritual decision to come together. A commitment to pray as a body in the spiritual sense.
For a while now I have been thinking about this, praying about this. The one thing that has come to me, apart from this appeal that you pray for the ‘body’ we all belong to, is the establishment of an email prayer chain that supports and uplifts this spiritual body in prayer.
I’m not talking about an extension of what has already been established. ACW and CWD are wonderful groups that cover all facets of our writing. I’m talking about a prayer chain that mobilizes in prayer for us all—both united and individual prayer petitions.
I don’t mean this sort of petition:  “Please pray that I sell lots of copies at my book launch.” but “Please pray that the Lord uses my work for His purpose, His glory.” Because if we are not praying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” than what’s the point of our work?
I would like to hear your thoughts on the establishment of an email prayer chain that uplifts our Australasian literary body. You can either comment below or contact me through FB message via these links:



One last confession in the interest of full disclosure: I have never set up a prayer chain before, nor have I been a part of one bigger than me, my Mum and my sister. I would absolutely take a ‘voted least likely to start a prayer chain’ badge. I’ve screwed my face toward the heavens several times, and asked the Lord, “Really? You want me to put this idea forward? Are you sure you have the right person?”
Certainly is a ‘Jonah’ moment for me. But today I got this:

‘ …  -as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.’ 1 Corinthians 3:5-8 (NIV)

So if there is interest in establishing a prayer chain, I am looking for an Apollos who can help me.
I look forward to your thoughts.

 
Rose was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her Resolution series.
Two of the three Resolution novels have won Australian CALEB awards. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel highlighting the pain of Australia’s past policy of forced adoption, as well as standalone novel, Ehvah After. Her most recent release is A Christmas Resolution, which is part of the novella box set, An Aussie Summer Christmas.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and her desire to produce stories that point readers to Jesus. Rose holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, and resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.
Visit Rose at: https://rosedee.com/



11 comments:

  1. Great reminder, Rose. Thank you. I needed it because am guilty of not praying enough for our "body" here down under.

    Love to join a prayer chain. We could probably just use one of the FB groups that already exists or if concerned about privacy (which is important) could create a new group: Writers Down Under Prayer Group. The beauty of the FB group is that it enables interaction and we're all familiar with it.

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    1. Thanks, Ian.
      Not everyone is called to be a 'prayer warrior'. I know I'm certainly not. But we are all called to pray, and I figured that if you want to belong to something (in this case, the body of Christian authors), then you must contribute. Spiritually, as well as practically.
      An FB group was exactly my first thought - and using one we already have set up would be perfect ... except. In prayer I got a resounding 'NO' for any FB idea. (There's a bigger story in my receiving the 'NO', but I won't go into it). Since the resounding 'NO' I've discovered there could be some problems with an FB prayer group.
      1. It can get confused. We already use FB for promo, writing tips etc. This is different - it's specific prayer points.
      2. Some are shy in asking for prayer. An FB group is not attractive for those who might have prayer requests, but don't want to be 'out there'.
      3. FB own everything you do on it. God needs to own a prayer group.
      4. I don't know about you, but I'm far more likely to pour my heart out over an email to a friend than on an FB post.
      There are probably others, but an email prayer chain overcomes all of these. I can see why I got that resounding 'NO', even if at first I didn't understand it, (and pouted just a little bit ;-))

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    2. Rose, I'm a great believer in such situations that we follow the initiator. The Lord has sought you to lead such an initiative and to do it His way. So if you're hearing a firm No to FB then best we follow that.

      Be good for all of us interested to seek the Lord's wisdom in how He desires we do it. Email in my mind is a little awkward - it's not really designed as a group collaboration tool. Would an app like WhatsApp work?

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  2. Great post, Rose. As you say prayer is vital - and not just for sales etc, but for the bigger picture, for each other - and when I saw you title, the thought hit me that we should also be praying for our readers or readers-to-be.

    I think I like Ian's suggestion of a FB group for prayer - I had a small group praying while I was organising the Book Fair which was great to have & Tony & I have a closed prayer group for our ministry with Power to Change. It would be flexible too - with members being able to add a prayer request or admins perhaps having a pinned post at the top for monthly prayer focus. The main issue with a FB group is that people need to have 'notifications' on or check the group.

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    1. My first thought was setting up a FB group too, Jeanette. It made perfect sense to me. But I got a resounding 'NO' to my FB idea. (See reply to Ian for more details)

      It's been revealed that email is still the best form of reaching readers. Stands to reason that it could be the best form of outreach for our Christian Literary Body.

      But, you are right - it's like anything. FB or Email. There has to be a personal and collective commitment to it. And especially because this is really important. I actually think this is VITAL. Right now the Lord is doing amazing things with Australasian authors. He's inspiring redemptive stories, and there's great purpose there. BUT there are so many obstacles to these stories being read. We have to get together and pray together, because the Lord will open those doors for our work when we do.

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    2. I think some of the problems you mention could be overcome - depending on how the group is structured but either way - great to have a dedicated and committed prayer group because I agree that prayer is vital in the midst of the spiritual battle :).

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    3. It sure is. And I just said on a FB post - it doesn't have to be about day long prayers and fasting. It can just be about petitioning in one accord.
      I hear you about overcoming FB issues. I agree completely - those issues can be overcome - all but one for me, and that one is that the Lord has given me that big, firm, resounding NO. I don't know exactly why, but it's there. His ways are not our ways. But my ways have to be in line with his direction. So email prayer chain it will be. At the moment I have 5 solid commitmited people - including you? :-)

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  3. Wow, Rose. Thanks for the reminder/encouragement/exhortation. I guess I'm not alone in often forgetting to pray at all, let alone for the Australasian Christian Writers' network. I'd be happy to be included when needs arise that could use united prayer. Bless you in responding to God's prompting.

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    1. Well, we've had some big changes in our Christian writer's group lately and I can see that we are facing some big obstacles. If we face them together in prayer they don't seem so big.
      Thank you for putting your name down. At the moment it's a small list, but got to start somewhere. :-)

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  4. Hi Rose, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Prayer is so powerful. In encouraging each other and lifting up each other in prayer we also grow in our faith and trust as well as growing together as people of God. It would be a privilege to pray for other writers.
    I am a part of a prayer e-mail chain. It's pretty simple. One person is the coordinator and if anyone has any prayer requests we send them to the coordinator and then she forwards it on to the rest of the group. I'm not sure if that's the type of e-mail chain you are talking about but that's one way of doing it.

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    1. Hi Linsey, That is exactly what I was thinking. I don't want it to be a high pressure thing, but still a decision and commitment to come together in prayer for each other and our industry. So happy to add your name to the list. Thank you.

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