A current praise song by Will Reagan and the United Pursuit Band proclaims that “there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” I’ve been unable to get these words out of my mind of late. And I’m thankful for that! As a writer transitioning from producing secular children’s books to writing Bible studies and tackling weighty issues in the church, I’ve come to more fully appreciate this theological truth.
I share my experiences with fellow Christian writers, not to alarm or deter, but to inspire and encourage. There is tremendous power in the written word, especially in the written word that directs others to the Living Word.
Satan understands this fact. That’s why he so doggedly determined to dissuade me from publishing my latest book—Playing Second Fiddle: God’s Heart for Harmony Regarding Women and the Church. He knows empowering women to reach their full potential will have positive impact for the Kingdom of God, so he launched a counter attack.
While preparing my manuscript to enter Word Alive Press’ Annual Free Publishing Contest, I became unexplainably fatigued. I found myself dragging about and my spiritual life suffered. Fortunately, God had a few moves of His own.
I was enjoying shrimp and grits, and scones and jam at our Bible study’s spring brunch when an elderly woman from another church sat down on the empty chair beside me. Ida was in my ladies’ prayer group and we were meeting later that day.
“You’re being oppressed by Satan,” she informed me.
“Yeah… I think you’re right,” I said.
“Don’t you worry dear,” Ida assured me. “We’ll pray for you today.”
Later that Tuesday Ida claimed the power of the name of Jesus and His precious blood in order to release me from the debilitating grip of the evil one. I was a graduated cylinder with a plunger pushed to the bottom and as she prayed the plunger was lifted one gradient at a time. What a relief, to be free of this horrible oppression.
It was short-lived, however. Next came a season of mild depression, despite the fact I’d been short-listed in the non-fiction category of the contest. This was unusual for me, yet it too subsided, while taking part in an uplifting praise and worship service one summer night.
I finally made the decision to go to press. Hopefully, Playing Second Fiddle would be in print for the upcoming Christmas season.
Once again—WHAM! I was hit with a season of extreme busyness, busyness that I had no power to control. To top it off, my fifteen-month-old grandson’s daycare arrangements fell through and it befell me to take care of him. This was not good timing. I tended to his needs during the day and proofread and fact-checked late into the night. And God miraculously supplied me with what was needed to move the project forward (an amazing story in itself).
The book launch in early December was a festive event with fiddle-music, a fiddle-shaped cake and fiddle-shaped cookies. I even found a fiddle-shaped cheese board with pewter tuning pegs and scroll, and thin, bow-like breadsticks to accompany it. And internationally acclaimed artist Kelly Dodge came out, bringing along the original gouche painting featured on the cover of the book. As a former children’s author, I get a little crazy at such times, wanting to engage all the senses in order to make my book launches not only fun, but memorable. In all honesty, it was a relief to get to this point; Satan would surely be tired of fiddling with me and move on.
After Christmas (which for some reason I just couldn’t get excited about this year), the busyness subsided, but my mind continued to race, especially at night. No doubt residue from a busy fall, I figured, and the fact that middle-aged muddle was combining with my ADD, making focusing for any length of time a difficult task. Yet Satan, that oft-subtle snake, was slinking about, piggybacking on my natural weaknesses so I would not detect his involvement.
In mid-January, six weeks after the book had been officially released, our ladies’ prayer group huddled around a woman heavily involved in Christian ministry. She had felt oppressed and had requested prayer for Divine protection. I anointed her with oil and we all took turns praying, binding Satan with the mighty name of Jesus, declaring that he had no power over one of the beloved daughters of the King. Before we began, we sang a verse of that grand old hymn, “There is Power in the Blood.” While I prayed, my body experienced a variety of physical sensations. I thought the Holy Spirit in me was resonating with the work God was doing for her, but soon discovered this was not the case. A tremendous shift had occurred—but it was in my mind. Later that night, as I lay in bed, I felt fully at rest for the first time in months. I sensed God’s presence and peace in a powerful way. And I could readily imagine myself resting upon the bosom of Jesus, a habit of A. B. Simpson’s that I like to incorporate in my own prayer life from time to time. This had been difficult of late.
Since that January day a few months ago I’ve been able to focus more easily, accomplish much more and commune with my Creator the way I previously enjoyed, the way I wrote about in my book.
This experience has taught me that when we writers tackle a project in God’s name we need an army of intrepid warriors declaring the power of Jesus on our behalf and binding the power of the evil one. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain! There is power in the blood! There is also tremendous power in the printed page. I’ve experienced fruitful feedback from many readers of Playing Second Fiddle.
Martin Luther, a minister and publisher, once released a small booklet on Galatians which came across the path of John Bunyan, converting him to Christ. We writers know what transpired after that! I pray that all Christian authors experience amazing progress, not only in the writing life, but in our spiritual lives as well, for indeed, we are “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:35-39).
Judi Peers is an author, speaker, and engaging Bible study leader. She has written several children’s books as well as contributed personal experience stories to award winning anthologies. When Peers is not working with words, she can be found weeding her garden, travelling, or enjoying family and friends on the shore of the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario, where she currently resides with her husband, Dave.