My good friend, Paul Miller says, “People say, ‘All I have left is prayer,’ as a euphemism for ‘There’s nothing I can do.’ “ But that is like saying, “All I have left is a nuclear bomb.”
In fact, because of long experience of trying to do things by my own strength and failing, and also experiencing the power of prayer I rather like getting to the point at which I can honestly say, “All I have left is prayer.”
It’s then that I feel excited, hopeful. As long as what I am praying about is in God’s will (i.e. I am not hoping to compete in the Decathlon in the 2012 Olympics, or win the New York Marathon) I feel that once I say, “Done what I can, out of energy, out of inspiration, out of talent. Over to you, God, Please help,” then things are going to get really interesting.
And that’s when I can really relax. Because I believe that if what I am praying is in God’s will, He is, sooner or later, going to hand over the plutonium for a nuclear bomb. Or the bomb itself.
I have numerous examples—my biggest business breakthroughs, elegant and simple but geometrically lucrative ideas came after desperate prayer (which, sadly, followed plodding, exhausting, arithmetical effort).
The idea of breaking my long writers’ block (causing by 4-5 years in business) by blogging came from God too.
One thing I like about blogging is that, well, I need to do it by prayer so much.
Writing is one thing. Getting a finite piece as finished, as perfect as I can.
But blogging is about a whole lot more than writing well. And none of these are my strengths. There is the physical appearance of the piece, for one.
Initially, one needs to network to find readers—which has never been a particular strength of mine. I don’t even like the word: networking. And the way you get known and read in the blogosphere, as advocated by blogging gurus—by leaving comments on other blogs to alert them to your existence, well, I just don’t have the time and energy to do much of that. And then those other building blocks of a successful blog— being blog-rolled, linked to, the appearance of social proof–well, they are given to you by other people. There is nothing you can do to get them.
And so, when stats stall, and my blog does not excite or interest me deeply, leave alone anyone else, well then, it’s time for the nuclear option. To pray for blessing, breakthroughs, wisdom, inspiration, ideas. Insight on how I can do what I do better, more quickly. Ways for my blog to be more of a blessing. I ask that God may bring me readers whom my blog might be a blessing to. And I even pray for some of the specific ingredients of a successful blog—and am surprised at how quickly those prayers are answered, in a small way.
So I suppose the secret is to pray continually as Paul advocated, not just when my stats stall.