Ever feel like your prayer life lacks power? Or like it’s more cursory than robust? How would our prayers—and our writing life—change if we understood how to hear God’s Spirit, and knew how to stand firm in our authority as God’s children? Guest Brandilyn Collins shares a powerful, game-changing model of transformational prayer.
About Brandilyn Collins
Best-selling novelist Brandilyn Collins is known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense. Her harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e . . .” She also writes insightful contemporary novels with rich characters. Her awards include the ACFW Book of the Year (three times), Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive, deep-level teaching of the craft of fiction and for her nonfiction book Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn from Actors. (Affiliate link)
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Erin: Welcome, listeners. We’re excited to have you back. Hopefully you’ve heard part one of our interview with Brandilyn Collins. We’ve been having a great conversation, and today we’re bringing you part two, the rest of our conversation. We were just so blessed by Brandilyn, and I know you will be, too. So here we go.
Brandilyn: When Christ offers salvation, the gift of salvation, just because he offers it doesn’t mean everyone is saved, right? You have to accept it. In the same way, once we are saved, he holds out his gifts of authority and his gifts, many, many gifts to us. The gift of peace, many gifts to us. The gift of walking in no fear, but we must accept those things. We must walk in them.
Karen: When we think about that as a believer, I tell people, I don’t have some great conversion story. I came out of the womb saved, because my mom and dad were so steeped in faith and steeped in the Lord. And yes, there came a point when I embraced faith for myself, and it became mine instead of my parents’ faith.
So, I’ve heard these kinds of terms that you’re talking about and these kinds of things, and I’m sure many of our listeners have heard them as well, most of their lives, or through most of their walk with Christ. And yet we just kind of blip over those things. For me, the miracle of all of this is that it’s moved me to go deeper into understanding what all this means. Understanding who I really am as a child of God, who I really am as a coheir with Christ, who I really am in what I do every day, whether it’s writing, or whether it’s working in my garden, and praying, whatever it is.
I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to be afraid of demons. I don’t have to be afraid of what’s happening in the world because God is in control. Almighty God has it all in his hands, and I don’t have to freak out.
My mother-in-law went into the hospital earlier this week and just this morning had a pacemaker put in. My husband flew out to Illinois to be with her and with his siblings because they weren’t sure what was happening. But unlike other times when I’ve prayed for people, I’m learning because of you and your ministry, Brandilyn, I’m learning to go to the Lord and to say, “In your power, Jesus, you already have dominion over all of this and over her body, your will be done.”
The most powerful prayer for me is to seek God’s will for whoever is involved in this, and to seek God’s will in whatever I do in my writing, in my standing, whatever, and to not walk bowed down, but to walk in the sure knowledge that my Father’s got this. It’s just an amazing thing to me.
Brandilyn: Isn’t it? It is the most freeing thing because the biggest tool, one of the biggest weapons that Satan uses against us is fear. No fear is of God. If we start walking in fear, we can know that that’s not of God. That’s a good check for us. Because again, if we sit in the authority of the heavenly places right next to Jesus, what in the world—in any world, in any spirit level world—would we have to fear if we understand we are coming from that place and we have authority?
This helps me every day to renounce fear and to walk with God, listening to his Spirit.
I am also learning, boy is this a big lesson to me, our words have great, great power. This is why the Bible says there’s the power of life and death in the tongue. What we speak is what we are aligning ourselves with. Do you understand? If we start speaking in fear and allowing ourselves to walk in fear, we are not aligning ourselves with God’s Spirit.
So, I’m learning to be very careful in what I speak. This does not mean that some emotion of fear or trepidation or something won’t enter my head, but you know, that’s why Paul says to take every thought captive. Immediately, when the emotion comes into my head, I can see it for what it is. I can take the emotion before the Lord, but I never ever turned the emotion into fact.
Brandilyn: I can say, “Lord, this scares me, but I understand I should not be scared in you.” I will speak loud and I will say, “Oh God, I will not give into fear. I do stand on my authority that you have told me in Ephesians and Colossians, and I speak against any entity which would cause fear in my life, and I stand in the authority you have given me, and I stand in your peace, and I totally trust you. Oh God, I totally trust you.”
Those words spoken aloud out of my mouth gets me back on that path, straight and narrow. It’s not denying emotions that might hit me at the time. It’s simply teaching me to walk in victory above any emotion that hits me in time. Aren’t you glad that the truth of God is not dependent on our ephemeral emotions?
Erin: Brandilyn, you just gave us a really great sample prayer for dealing with fear. I love that. I’m a practical person here. I’m thinking, like for that writer who’s going to sit down and start writing, but before they write, they want to seek God’s Spirit and be in touch and in tune with their place in the heavenly realm. What kind of sample prayer—I’m not meaning that this needs to be some routine or something—but what kind of prayer would you do if you were right about to start your novel?
Brandilyn: I would say something like this, and actually this goes with any task that the Lord gives us. It certainly covers writing, and it covers any other tasks that you might be given, whether it’s to speak to someone about God or, you know, any task before you. It’s what I do when I sit down to pray each day.
I say, “Lord God, good morning, here I am. Thank you for being with me for another day. I am now coming before you in the calling that you have given me. Lord, align me right now with your Spirit. Open my ears to your Spirit, and yours alone. I don’t want to be led by my desires, or any other spirits’ whisperings to me. I want to align only with your Spirit. Teach me, lead me, guide my words. Thank you for this task. I know that you have called me to it. I know that you are giving me every bit of power that I need to complete the task, for you would never call me to this without giving me the power and the victory over it, to complete it, according to your will. And so I align myself with your will and hey, God, let’s go for the day.”
That’s what I do.
Karen: I love that.
Erin: I love that, too. The next thing I was going to ask you was if you had any tips on how we can be better listeners to God, and you answered that in part just now, because that prayer was about listening. It was about asking God to help us hear God’s Spirit.
Do you have any other thoughts or tips for us? Because I know a lot of writers are trying to find God’s will and they struggle to hear God. Do you have thoughts on how to do that better?
Karen: Before you do that, let me just tell you something that happens to me when I pray that kind of thing that Brandilyn was praying, or when I hear her pray this, I get chills.
Karen: Chills that travel from my head all the way down to my toes. It’s like my body suddenly wakes up to God’s power. There is nothing like that sensation. There is nothing like it. I don’t even have to say, “Lord, is this from you?” Because it’s so clear that it is. I love that about God. I love that when we open ourselves to him, he comes in and he does his part. He does his thing, and he uses us for his purposes. Okay, your tips.
Brandilyn: Yes, absolutely. That’s getting in the glory, Karen. That when he’s releasing some of his glory on you and you feel his Spirit. I know what you’re talking about.
One thing I do when I pray, and I pray a lot for other people, and with some, and I ask God, well, let me just say this. When I first start to play, my first words are “Lord, how do you want me to pray for so and so?”
I’m immediately aligning myself to him. Then I stop and I listen. And he begins to tell me how to pray. He will speak to me. Sometimes, you know, it’s an odd thing. They may come to me and say, “I need you to pray for XYZ in my life.” And God says, “Pray for ABC.”
I mean, it’s something totally different that I didn’t know was going on in their lives. He will tell me something totally different because I’m aligning myself with his Spirit.
I will say, and I’m learning this, that it is a lifelong process to hear God’s voice and become very attuned to his voice. This is something that I have really embarked on in the last year. I pray every day, “Lord, you know I want to hear your Spirit. You know I want to hear your voice even more, even better, even on a higher level than I currently am. Teach me to hear your voice in all the different ways you may speak to me.”
Oh boy, that’s a prayer God loves to answer. He knows what we need. When we start out trying to listen to his voice and it’s hard for us to discern, he may speak to us a little louder. You know, he may hit us over the head with it so we go, “Oh, okay. I know that’s you God.”
Then as we attune to his Spirit every day and say, “Lord, help me to understand, even hear your whispers. I’m learning now to hear the different ways you speak to me.”
You know, it’s not uncommon, it’s very common, you hear it as those who are mothers who learned the different cries of their baby. Even in a nursery with twenty babies and they hear a cry and know it’s their child. This is a tuning to a voice because you are listening, and you are experientially everyday growing in the knowledge of that voice and what the different things that voice and the tone of that voice may mean at any given time.
I’m constantly aligning myself with God’s Spirit in this way, saying, “God, lead my prayers.”
Then I sit and listen. When I’m actually praying with other people, I will warn them. I will say, “If I sit and I’m quiet, I’m listening. Don’t feel you have to fill that void with words or anything. I’m listening. God will speak to me. It may just take some time.”
So they’re understanding that part of praying is sitting and listening to what God has to tell us, right?
Brandilyn: So, it is a process. It’s not something any of us are going to learn right away. But if we sincerely seek his voice and say, “I want to be attuned to your voice and yours only,” and ask him to do that every day and then use that tool in our prayers every day, asking him to lead our prayers, he will do that.
Will we mess up sometimes? Yeah, sure. But we go to him with that and we say, “Oops, Lord, I messed up. But you know my spirit, you know what I want. I want to be closer to you, Jesus.” And he will help us in that. This is what Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to you.”
So seek first his voice to be closer to Jesus, to be closer to God’s Spirit, seek that first. And all the other things of completing your task of finishing your book, or whatever your writing is, or doing whatever other tasks you have to do, or having peace in your life, or whatever it is, those things will be added unto you.
Karen: Amazing. Brandilyn, thank you so much. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing the things that God is doing in you. Thank you for helping us to better understand again what we as believers leave on the table, and we need to take those things and embrace them and utilize them for his purposes and for his glory in our writing, in our lives, all of that. Do you have any final words of wisdom that you want to share?
Brandilyn: I would just like to pray over the listeners. May I do that?
Karen: You may indeed.
Brandilyn: Oh, dear Jesus, lead my prayers right now for the listeners. For God, you know who is out there and what they need to hear. Thank you, Lord. I see, actually I see tears out there right now. Oh, God, I feel their tears. Oh, thank you, Lord, for giving me the empathy. I feel the tears of those who are saying, “Oh, God, I haven’t been doing this.” Or “Lord, I don’t know how to do this.”
Jesus, you are such a compassionate, loving Savior, and I know that you love to wipe away such tears and say, “Let me lead you.”
I know that you will guide them. I know that you will open the listeners’ hearts to your Spirit and you will teach them their authority in you. You will teach them how to walk and speak in your authority. How to align their words only with words that are in line with your will, oh God.
Open their hearts to you, and then pour out your Spirit and your glory upon them, Lord. Thank you that they have come to hear this podcast today, oh God. We love you, Jesus. In all your majesty and glory, we glorify you and bless your holy name, oh God. Almighty King above all names, all power and glory due your name. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Karen: Amen.Guest @Brandilyn shares a powerful, game-changing model of transformational prayer for writers. #amwriting #christianwriter @karenball1 Click To Tweet
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