The Power of a Four Letter Word: Guaranteeing Success at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference

God’s people from around the world, including my writing and prayer partner from Chile, are preparing for the upcoming Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Some are breathing sighs of relief because they made the deadline for pre-submissions. Others are talking themselves off the ledge because they missed the deadline.

A few are practicing pitches.

Others are smiling, nodding, and excusing themselves for an urgent call. “Okay, Google, what is a pitch?”

Friends who met online are excited about seeing each other face-to-face for the first time. Old friends are looking forward to reunions. And a few first timers are nervous, because they won’t know one single person when they step onto that beautiful campus.

Quiet ones will feel invisible or like they don’t belong, while gaggles of writers feel at home amongst their tribe.

Many, if not all, will be terrified of rejection.

But every single writer, agent, editor, volunteer, and Mount Hermon staff member will be leaving a life back home.

During our time at Mount Hermon kids will get sick, spouses will still be unemployed, prodigals will still be wandering and some may be on their way home.

Grief, discouragement, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain will still cause very real struggles.

Life-changing diagnoses will lurk in the shadows, waiting to be faced head on after some writers return from their mountain top experience.

A couple of writers will be wondering if they prepared enough meals for spouses who can’t cook. A bunch will feel guilty for not being around when kids need help with a project.

Some will be missing their new babies, missing celebrations or big announcements, and missing their comfortable beds.

Writers from all backgrounds, dealing with all kinds of situations, will all convene under the towering redwoods, inhaling the crisp air and knowing something is very different about this campus, this conference.

The Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference is as much a spiritual retreat as a business trip.

Every person attending the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, no matter what their role, will have been covered by prayers. Every single person.

So, we can approach these five to seven days with a mission to make a name for ourselves, focused only on what we can get out of the classes or what we can get out of the people we meet.

Or, we can relax and expect God to show up.

We can enjoy this incredible opportunity to grow as a writer and spiritually, take our writing to the next level, and confirm God’s calling on our lives.

We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us truly see the person sitting next to us in chapel, to listen attentively when someone’s sharing their heart, to pray for others, and notice those who look like they need a word of encouragement.


The most important thing we can do before and during the conference is P.R.A.Y. while we pray.

P: Pursue God more than publication

R: Remember our purpose is to use writing as a tool for ministry

A: Acknowledge and Appreciate God’s presence and the people around us

Y: Yield our agenda to God’s will and His leading


As we remain focused on God and others, we’ll be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we:

Pray for those attending and those staying home.

Pray for those preparing and those who feel utterly unprepared.

Pray for those celebrating new contracts, book launches, great reviews.

Pray for those finishing a manuscript and those receiving great feedback.

Pray for those who are discouraged enough to consider quitting.

Pray for the people we pass along the tree-lined walkways and the people God places directly on our path.

Pray for the people serving us and those we have the privilege to serve.


If we’re not attending the conference, we can pray for those who will have huge targets on their backs once the enemy figures out they’re serious about writing for God’s glory.

But if the Lord blesses us with the opportunity to attend the 2016 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, we can enjoy every moment and guarantee our success by committing to P.R.A.Y. while we pray.


Who will join me in discovering the peace that comes through this powerful four letter word? 

The Inspire Prayer Team will be praying for those attending the conference. Please add your prayer request in the comment section. Even if you can’t share details, God knows and cares and is listening to all our prayers.

About Xochitl E. Dixon 55 Articles
Xochitl (so-cheel) E. Dixon serves as a writer for Our Daily Bread Ministries. She encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ and others. She enjoys being a wife and mom, traveling, photography, and sharing God’s truth and love.


  1. Praying for Divine appointments, whatever those are.

    I would love to meet more Inspire members.

    • Penelope, I look forward to connecting at the conference. We will be taking a group photo and will try to have breakfast tables saved for Inspire members at least one morning. I’m not sure what the process is, this year. Several things have changed. I’m excited to see what God has in store for us all. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet amazing writers. I’m so glad you’ll be joining us, Sister.

      • Thanks, I met you last year but have not specifically sat or identify with Inspire. Couple of exceptions.

    • Love this Xochi!! So needed for this first-time attendee. Looking forward to seeing YOU this weekend. And I’ll take whatever hug I can get from you 🙂

      • Diane, I’m so excited you’re going to attend this year. I look forward to connecting under those towering redwoods, Sister. You will enjoy every moment. Just remember we’re all in this ministry together, on the same side, on the same team. We’re all working toward the same purpose —To draw nearer to the Lord as we give Him all the glory and all the praise, and as we honor Him with the words He gives us to write. Praying for you today. I’ll see you soon!

  2. Thanks for this! [Deep cleansing breath, deep cleansing breath.] Newbie here and trying to not completely freak out <—and maybe thats my prayer too. Jesus glorified, holy spirit leading, and less striving from me…and that the same God who calmed the stormy seas would calm our nerves. Hoping to see you there, I think we met at last years west coast writer conference 🙂

    • Amanda,you are not alone. I pray you will feel God’s loving presence infusing you with peace as you soak up His Word.

      I’m praying this for us: Lord, thank You for the opportunity to attend this conference. Give us a strong sensitivity to Your Holy Spirit as You help us know You more and hear You more clearly.

      Please use us to encourage others and help us be open to receiving the ways You’re ministering to us through Your people.

      Show us the next step You want us to take, Lord. And give us the courage to trust You and obey You, as You help us love You and others more and more each day.

      Thank You for being sovereign, good, faithful, mighty, and always in control.

      May we surrender completely, trusting You to give and take away, nudge us forward and make us sit still, as You prepare us for Your perfect plan and Your flawless timing.

      In Jesus’ name, Amen.

      We will have so much fun. Let’s make sure we connect for a meal. Praying for you, Sister! Hugs!

      • You just made my day, Amanda Dykes! My heart bursts with joy when I see other writers connecting, especially when they share their experiences in an effort to encourage one another. To God be the glory! Love you both!

  3. Absolutely beautiful, Xochi. And just what I needed to hear to anchor my heart in truth this week. Looking forward to seeing you!

    • Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Amanda. We won’t be disappointed when we’re prepared to acknowledge and appreciate His presence, as well as the wonderful fellowship opportunities He’s planned for us under those beautiful redwoods. I’m already feeling refreshed and inspired.

  4. Please pray for my critique partner, carpool partner and roommate at the conference – Karen Foster (a.k.a. KFox). She has been pretty sick but have-Kleenex-will-travel. Pray that in the next 24 hours she is able to do all her last minute preparations. And finally, give her the energy to be there for the crucial events that God has ordained for her to participant in this year.

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