A Prayer for When You're Out of Good Ideas

We all have our different roles and responsibilities, but no matter the job chances are high that it requires we have some good ideas.

And so this is the time of year when we are over-planning, reaching for solutions, and making a list again.

Today, the motivation is there but the inspiration is not. This might be the most frustrating part.

We want to work. We want to create and form and move into places where we’ve not yet been. But the mind feels foggy and the schedule won’t allow it and every good idea has come and gone.

Is our best work behind us? Are our most innovative ideas now in the past?

This terrifies us, if we are honest.

No matter the art – be it painting, dancing, mothering, writing, counseling, teaching, or design – we struggle when it seems we’ve lost our rhythm.

We grieve when we can’t seem to find our voice.

Joy and discouragement live too close in our hearts and we can’t reconcile our desire with our constant disappointment.

We believe we heard right way back then.

You said plant.

And so we planted.

You said water.

And so we water.

But we’re having a hard time believing that You’ll make the seed grow because today the results feel foggy and unsettling.

We confess we’ve started digging in the dirt to see if that seed is making progress.

Where would You have us go from here?

We ask for good ideas, but that feels small and insecure. Maybe we’re asking the wrong question.

Remind us the truth, that creativity works best within boundaries. And sometimes those boundary lines show up in the form of overwhelm, frustration, and disappointment.

Sometimes our limits are boring and trite, like a full family schedule on a Tuesday afternoon.

And so we confess all the ways we hold on to the wrong things and we admit that the wrong things are holding on to us.

We are obsessed with results. And we think we need good ideas to make them happen.

Forgive us for our addiction to the high of innovation.

Forgive us for forgetting that we don’t just make art, but we are art. And You the true Artist.

As we wait, teach us how to embrace the space between ideas.

Rearrange us.

Redirect us.

Remind us that You haven’t given up.

You are a finisher and You always carry out your work until it is complete. Especially the work you begin in us, the invisible kind.

While we may feel stuck, stalled out, and clogged up, You invite us into a different kind of work, the kind that isn’t heavy or ill-fitting.

Show us what it means to keep company with You.

You are in us and we are in You and this is where our life comes from.

We choose to reject a results-driven, performance-based acceptance of ourselves and instead choose to believe that in Christ we have everything we need.


emily p. freemanI’m Emily, and I’m glad you’re here. If you like what you see, sign up here for my monthly notes from the bench, where I’ll share books I’m reading, favorite things, and encouragement for your soul you won’t find anywhere else.