Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Prayer for ACFW Attendees

I've got my worship music blaring as I'm sweeping my kitchen floor and I'm praying for those attending ACFW, but I wanted to put it in words. You might be reading this and have no clue what ACFW is. It's the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and the largest Christian writers conference out there. I won't be going this year and will miss it terribly. But I want to pray for those of you who are. 

For First-Time Attenders:
I pray for each one you. God, I ask that you will give them peace as they travel. As they go over their proposals, pitches and samples chapters for the 9 millionth time and wrestle with if it's good enough, if their writing is good enough. If they are good enough. Help them to trust you and the calling you've placed on their lives. Help them go in and feel not self-confidence, but the confidence that comes in knowing to whom they belong. To you, Jesus. I pray that they'll make new friends--not for connection sakes--but for their soul's sakes. Friendships that will last throughout a lifetime. Iron sharpening iron. I do pray for divine appointments and industry connections. And I pray when those connections open doors, that they will never forget it is by your hand alone that has brought it to pass. I pray that you would relax them and put them at ease in the company of others. No fear. Only faith. That the only overwhelming feeling they have is the overwhelming emotion of feeling your Presence in a tangible way. I pray they'll walk away knowing that you have ordained this weekend. Maybe not at all to secure an agent or a contract, but to establish a friendship or two, a mentor, a critique partner or group. To be refreshed. To feel confirmation that the road ahead may be long but not in vain. I pray they remember if their appointments don't garner a yes, that HOPE doesn't disappointment. They were successful because they were obedient. They were brave. They were courageous. And a few no's doesn't mean they'll never hear a YES. Let a holy YES reverberate in their souls. And bring your sweet comfort.

For Regular Attenders:
I pray for each one you. Thank you, Lord, for their excitement and passion to see friends they've made throughout the years past. Thank you for relationships and godly friendships and mentorships. I pray that they continue to strengthen those bonds at conference, but let each one remember that not everyone there has those connections. Some are lonely. Alone. Afraid. Anxious. I pray that all the hoopla and laughing with good friends doesn't blind them to see the possibility of new relationships. New mentorships. I ask for peace in pitches. It's never easy. Never a piece of cake and God help us if it is. Humble us. Lord, I pray for refreshing for parched souls. Weary souls. Regular attendance means regular rejections. Remind each one of their destiny and calling. Strengthen them. Use them to pour into others. I pray the restless will find rest. The confused will find clarity. The broken will be mended. The dry will be watered. The depressed will be filled with joy. The unsure will find certainty. And the hopeless will redisover hope. 

For Agents and Editors:
Lord, let each one remember how nervous these writers are. Show them grace so they can extend grace. Lavish them with love so they can show kindness. Even in rejections, especially in rejections. Lord, maybe the work isn't good enough. Maybe that writer isn't ready for publication, but there is life and there is death in the tongue. May each agent and editor remember that and use words that will breathe life and renewed determination into each writer's spirit. May new friendships develop, even if contracts do not. Give them strength and stamina to endure every pitch whether scheduled or in the elevator or hallway (Lord Jesus, not the bathroom!). Refresh their souls. Give them rest even when things are chaotic. Lead them to the right writers. Help them to discern. Aid them in their decisions by pouring your wisdom liberally upon them. May your Spirit guide them. 

For Staff:
Lord, thank you for raising up staff and volunteers--those what seek to present fiction filled with the message of the gospel, messages of hope. Of Christ. May they work in unity--even when they're tired, frustrated or a glitch happens. Praying glitches don't happen, but if they do...God you are in control. Aid presenters, remove jitters. Give them an ear attuned to you and if the presentation takes a turn, it just does. Keep them strong and energetic. Fill them with your passion and remind them that all they do, they do for your glory. Strike down pride and cultivate hearts of humility. Use them to pour knowledge and wisdom into writers who are seeking to learn. If their room isn't packed, don't let them stew or feel like they're unpopular or a failure. The right people will be there. Period. Praying Lord, for a smooth schedule. Everyone to be well and healthy and able. Bless the worship team, to come in humility with anointing more than anything else, with bowed hearts and prepared minds, full of the Spirit. For the speakers and keynote speaker. Anointing. Power. Passion. Strength. Wisdom. Discernment. Guidance. Let their words be your words. 

For everyone:
God, there are going to be so many opportunities available to be your hands and feet...and heart. Let them not be so busy or self-absorbed that they miss the chance to show your love to hotel staff, cafe staff, and even other guests at the hotel. Divine appointments wait. Discouraged souls abound. Lost souls wander. Let your people plant and water seeds sown through love and may you give the increase! Give everyone safe travels, and calm anxious travelers--those who fear flying or traveling alone. Let them feel your Presence until they nearly lose their breath! You go with them. You are for them. You have good plans and a hope for a future. Give them all open hearts and minds, as you may change their course on a dime. Man plans his way in his heart, but you O Lord, direct their steps.  

In Jesus's mighty name and for his glory alone,

So be it, amen.

If you have a specific prayer request, leave it in the comments and I promise to pray for you! Enjoy your time. God go with you. See you next year, Lord willing! Love ya'll,


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