Monday, August 3, 2020

Psalm 19 for Writers by Emily Conrad

Clouds with yellow light

Christian writers have a lot of company in telling the world stories of grace and truth about God.
And I don’t mean that our company is other writers.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the sky displays his handiwork.
Its words carry to the distant horizon.
Psalm 19:1, and 4b NET

That’s right. We might work with critique partners, editors, agents, and others, but one of our coworkers when we set out to tell stories to magnify God’s holy name is the sky itself.

That's a humbling thought.
Clouds with pink sky

Most evenings this summer, my husband and I have taken our dog for a walk together, and time after time, I notice the clouds and the color and the light.

Time after time, the sky is just so beautiful.

This psalm reminds us that beauty has a purpose: to point us to God.

And what a wonderful job it does.

But the sky also doesn't work alone in pointing humanity toward God, because God has given us the Bible.

The psalmist (David, in this case), goes on:

The judgments given by the Lord are trustworthy
and absolutely just.
They are of greater value than gold,
than even a great amount of pure gold.
Psalm 19:9b-10a NET

When we set out to use words to point others to Christ, we’re in good company.

Acknowledging the beauty and reach of creation and the infallibility of Scripture, I’m humbled to the point of wondering why God might be interested in using my words at all.

Surely, He’s got His message covered.

And yet, as awesome as the sky is, people tend to fail to make the step from appreciating the view to appreciating the Creator. (For more on that, see Romans 1.)

And there are people who will pick up a novel who wouldn’t curl up with a Bible.

Christian writer, we have been called to a holy endeavor, and souls hang in the balance.

Penning words to complement the sky's message and pointing to the truth of the Bible is important work that isn’t to be taken lightly.

Sinful, I’m not up to the task.

It seems David wasn’t, either, because after all he had to say about the sky and God’s word, he finishes Psalm 19 with a prayer requesting God’s help.

Moon and clouds

Let’s take a closer look and consider how we might pray something similar as we set out to share words that would further the Kingdom.

Who can know all his errors?
Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.
Psalm 19:12, NET

As writers, we often have lots of eyes on a project before we publish it, but we can never catch every error.

Want a great, big, glaring example? My debut novel has two chapter 6’s.

I literally rested my forehead in my hand and shook my head after typing that confession.


It just goes to show you, we cannot catch all our errors.

Not in the small things, and, unfortunately, not necessarily in the big things. Things far more important than chapter headings.

But we can strive for excellence with God’s help and pray for Him to protect not only ourselves, but also our readers from the damage any of our errors might make.

Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins;
do not allow such sins to control me.
Then I will be blameless
and innocent of blatant rebellion.
Psalm 19:13, NET

This is where we thank God for editors and critique partners—and ask for His empowerment to listen to them when we ought!

I confess, there have been times when I’ve ignored the advice of a couple of critique partners only to have someone down the line point out the same issue in a way that finally makes me reconsider.

If only I’d listened sooner!

Sometimes, I don’t because of a simple misunderstanding. Sometimes, though, it’s pride.

So, let’s ask God to give us the humility and courage to seek and apply feedback. Let’s ask Him for the endurance and persistence to rewrite as many times as it takes to create the stories He wants us to create as He wants them written.

May my words and my thoughts
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my sheltering rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14, NET

This one needs no writerly translation, but it does contain an important reminder for us.

We’re not qualified on our own, but God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He is our rock and our redeemer, and He can redeem our words and use them to declare His glory and proclaim His handiwork.

Next time you look up at the sky, may the face of your coworker remind you what an honor and responsibility it is to share about Jesus with the world.

May the beauty you see in Creation and in the Gospel remind you to humbly ask for help from your Redeemer, the One who never fails, and who can use your stories for His glory.


Acknowledging the beauty of creation and the infallibility of Scripture, I’m humbled. Why would God use my words? Surely, He’s got His message covered. #christianfiction #amwriting #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad

May the beauty you see in Creation and in the Gospel remind you to humbly ask for help from your Redeemer, the One who never fails, and who can use your stories for His glory. #faithwriter #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad

Let’s take a closer look at Psalm 19 and consider how we might pray something similar as we set out to share words that would further the Kingdom. #christianwriter #seriouslywrite @emilyrconrad

Fueled by a desire to help women foster faith that flourishes even if and no matter what, Emily blogs and writes Christian romances. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and enjoys gardening, road trips to the mountains, and walks with her energetic coonhound rescue.

Emily is a member of ACFW and uses her customer service background to act as WebChat Coordinator for hope*writers. She loves to connect with other writers and nature lovers on Instagram. You can learn more about her work here.


The love of a lifetime, a quest for justice, and redemption that can only be found by faith.

Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it.

Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake.

If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both.

Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?


Photo credits
Clouds with pink
Clouds with yellow
Moon photo by