Should You Ask God for Success for your Writing?

One week till my launch day for Sick & Tired. Next week I'll be posting on how to do a launch, and share the stuff I've done in preparation for this book to come out. Today, however, I went back to revisit an important post I wrote before my first book, Stolen Woman, was released. I self-published it, and was nervous, and of course I wanted it to do great, but I wondered if that was okay or if I was being selfish.
We writers who want to glorify God sometimes wonder about marketing and promotion. Is there a way to market our work without being self-promoting? Is it okay to want the book to do well?

Man Reaches Target Stock Photo

This post reminded me how to think rightly about this whole launch and success and how to approach thinking about my writing in general. I think it will help you too, so I'm sharing it with you today. At the end, I'll let you know what happened with that book...


Well, as the days count down for the book's publication date, I find myself wrestling with my prayers.  Should I pray that the book is successful?  Should I ask God to sell a certain number of copies?

As I've been thinking through it, I decided that yes, I should ask for success--but only if I recognize that true success may not mean what I tend to think.

My self wants to think of true success as a book that goes big, sells thousands of copies, makes a heap of money, and gets me set on the road to a great-selling sequel.

Business Lady Stock Photo

But God doesn't see things the way man (or woman) sees. God's definition of success might be far different.  God may know that the world's success would end up hurting my family, or a lot of money would end up with me relying on myself instead of God.  I think that God's definition of real success would mean that I obey Him, that my book honors Him, that it goes out and accomplishes whatever purpose He has for it (and that purpose may be big or small in my own eyes), and that it draws me and others closer to Him.

I want God to use this to help rescue trafficked women and children.  I want God to take my book and use it show missions to teens in a non-boring linear biographical-type way.  I want God to sell enough copies that we can make a huge house payment and support missionaries and help people--and go out for pizza once in awhile!

But more than all that...I want whatever God wants with it.  If an offering is a true offering, it is given without any stipulations on its use.  So, as difficult as it feels, I pray God takes this book and does whatever He wants with it.  If it would not be good for me to be successful by the world's definition, then I pray that He keeps me from success--and don't think I'm super-spiritual writing that.  It's my way of committing "out loud" that I want what God wants more than what I want (even though I admit my flesh wants to beg and plead and whine to get God to bless this!).

Why?  Because ultimately, God knows best.  There are factors I can't even imagine that go into His decisions, and as He sees the beginning from the end, He should be the one allowed to make the decisions.  All I have is now, and my perspective is very affected by what seems best to me at this very moment--not what would be best from a lifetime perspective, much less an eternal perspective.

So here it is, in writing, that my book is an offering to God, and He can sell ten copies or a thousand copies or a million copies, and I will praise Him.  I'll work hard on my end of things, and the rest is all up to Him.

Whew, that felt hard, but good.  Like walking an extra mile on the treadmill--except I won't wake up with sore muscles tomorrow because of it!


So did God give "success"? Here were the things I hoped for, and what has happened since that book's release in 2011:

I want God to use this to help rescue trafficked women and children. 
Because of the book, I've been able to start a speaking ministry. I train people about human trafficking--not just about the problem but how they can be part of the solution. Many people have become involved.

I want God to take my book and use it show missions to teens in a non-boring linear biographical-type way.  
I had a teenager write to me and say, "your book changed my life."

I want God to sell enough copies that we can make a huge house payment and support missionaries and help people--and go out for pizza once in awhile!
Over 6,000 books have been sold of the Stolen Series thus far, and they keep selling. We've made enough money from them to start putting our kids in Christian school, add to our missions giving, do improvements on our house, and yes, get pizza quite a few times!

However, the most important thing has been that God has used the books for His purpose. I've been amazed at what He has done. Now I pray He will bless the Sick & Tired series and give it His kind of success, whatever that means. I pray He will get His message of hope out to those who need it.

I love being part of God's work! It gives significance and purpose to what we do, and like the 5 loaves and 2 fish, no matter how small our work may seem, He can use it to feed multitudes!

Have you seen God do that with something you wrote? Add your story below:

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  1. "Offering" is such a great way to view our efforts.

  2. thanks kimberly- printed this out to read with my coffee after i finsh some time in the Word.

  3. Awesome post. I needed this today. My brother and his Sunday school class have a heart for ending human trafficking. I'll have to check out your book and pass the word along.

    1. Welcome, Jessie! I'm excited about your brother's Sunday School class. I have lots of info that might be helpful on my website under "causes." Let me know if I can be of any help!

  4. Honing my writing with both secular and Christian critique partners gives me different perspectives on book sales. I've been praying for God to use my memoir to encourage others, whether they have a vision disability or not. I see how you broke down your goals into a little more specific ones, and then looked for answers. So encouraging, Kim!

  5. Thank you for this! Yes, I've been praying about my writing, but I need to do more! Wonderful post!

  6. Let me clarify, I mean it's so good to be reminded that whatever I write, my goal should first be to bring glory to God. Second, it's so reassuring to remember that if I write my best and learn how to promote my work to the best of my ability, it's still up to God to open doors.

    1. Bravo! You could have posted those 2 sentences and readers could skip my whole long article. =) Thanks!

  7. Thank you all for the encouragement. Isn't it wonderful that we have such a high purpose for writing? I don't think it would nearly as delightful and meaningful to just write to entertain people, you know?

  8. So grateful you were faithful to do the thing God impressed you with re Stolen Women. That's all He asks. Then it is up to him to bless it. Praying the Sick and Tired series will do all your heart desires as well.

  9. Beautiful word for today! Thank you. :)

  10. Oh, you mean I'm not alone in those thoughts? Praise God for this timely post. As I stand at a crossroads attempting to determine which project will most glorify God, this piece helps with my directional signals. Keep on blessing us with your experience!

  11. I like the comment about such a high purpose for writing. Our purpose is not to make money, ( although that would be nice ) it is to glorify God, and be His hands and feet ( or in my case, mouth ) on earth.

  12. I am simply amazed. I was praying THIS very same thing just a few hours ago. Even more amazing, my husband reminded me of my original statement. If I reach just one person, am used to change one life for the better, allow one person to have a closer walk with God... then I have done all I have set out to do. The rest is all God.
    I feel you and am praying for you. Best of His grace to you. Sincerely l. g. craft

  13. Your article ministered to my heart. I have had the same thoughts. I wrote on book on grandparenting "Grandparenting with a Purpose" with an emphasis on prayer. I asked the Lord to sell 1000 books the first year and I did. But since then the sales have been very slow. But I have to remember that they are God's books. He is the martketeer. I have had many positive results. I praise God that although I am 75 years old I have the privilege of serving him with blogging and social media. Thanks again for your insightful article.

  14. Kimberly, This article was a confirmation from God. Yes I believe that you ask God help you with Success. We must put God first in everything that we do including in writing a book. I written an article for Yahoo Voices "Let God Guide The Pen When You Are Writing Your Story.
    Check it out when you get a chance. Thanks for sharing your article with us.

  15. This is a BEAUTIFUL article. I will hold on to it and share it with my author's group on Facebook at

    Please come join and share your books and expertise. KJackson