Dr. Thomas Lane Butts: A Prayer for Writers


Invocational Prayer for the opening session of the 2013 Writer's Symposium, Monroeville, Alabama. 

Almighty God, Father and Mother of us all, from whom we come and to whom we will return when this trip is over, we invoke your blessings upon this occasion.

We give thanks for all the people who use the written word to touch hearts and minds with information, inspiration and entertainment. May the Muse be with them.

May those of us who write and speak respect the seriousness of the vocation of a wordsmith. May we remember that words are living things that constitute the foreground of reality and thus influence the lives of readers and writers. Teach us the art of using common words to say uncommon  things in such way that those who read and hear will not only hear what we say, but also what we whisper. May we never be free of the obsession to put a book in a page, a page in a sentence, and a sentence in a word. May we learn from one another, and from the exigencies of life, how to write about thoughts that breath with words that burn.

We pray that this time together will enlighten, inspire, and liberate us so that we can sing like nobody is listening, dance like nobody is watching, love like we have never been hurt by love, work like we don't need the money, and write like the whole world is breathlessly waiting to read what we have to say.

We give thanks for the food, drink and fellowship we share around the table, and pray that as we eat well we will never forget the poor, oppressed, marginalized, and hungry people in the world --- even those who live across the tracks in our own home towns.

We offer this prayer in the name and spirit of all that is good and holy, in heaven and on earth.