Encouragement for Faith Bloggers: Filling the Jars

As a blogger, I need regular encouragement. I wanted to share my own experience with the prayer exercise I published just yesterday because it blesses me on a number of different levels. You can find the link at the end of this post. The gist of it was an imaginative participation in the story of the widow who asks Elisha for help. He tells her to borrow as many pots and jars as possible and fill them up with her little jar of oil.

I sat this morning in prayer and as always my blog is on my mind. My numbers go up and down, and I encouragementstruggle with equating success and failure with blog growth. The truth is that after six months of blogging, I am gradually getting the hang of things and if God is calling me to this, who am I to quibble over numbers?

But the road is hazy and sometimes I get lost.

For me, imaginative prayer is really interaction with Jesus. If I wait and listen, I discover things about myself and Jesus that I did not know. So I started with an empty blog pot. I had my little jar of oil just like the widow. But the pot wasn’t really that big. I wanted a bigger one. Don’t we all? So I summoned up from memory a pot I remember seeing at a pottery store. It was about six feet tall, in the style of a classical urn, curving outward, then inward, then out again to a graceful flute.

It was taller than me. So then the Lord said, “Is that really big enough?” ”

“I don’t know,” I replied, “How big should it be?”  One thing I have learned about God is that He never asks pointless questions. Suddenly I’m looking at an urn that is much higher. Maybe fifteen or twenty feet. There is no way I can possibly reach it to try to fill it with my little jar of blog oil.

I wait for a moment. I find that explanations present themselves if I am patient. I look around in my imagination and find that the floor is covered with much smaller jars. They look like little fat cookie jars without lids. I think it would take about five or six of the jars the size of the one I hold in my hand to fill one of these cookie jars.I can’t fill the big urn, but I can start with one of the smaller urns.

I begin to fill it, and what do you know? It fills quickly. Not super quick but fast enough that my prayer time isn’t going to take all day. I pick it up. What exactly I’m supposed to do with it, I am not sure. So again, I wait. As I wait, the cookie jar sized vessel is taken out of my hands and poured into the giant urn in front of me. The Lord Himself pours it out. And then He waits for me to fill another.

And I get it. You see, I can’t fill the giant urn because it isn’t mine to fill.

It is His to fill. That giant vessel is God’s purpose for me, for my writing, for my blog. And it belongs to Him. The little pots are my responsibility. I fill one each time I write another post. And then I give it to Him, and He pours it into His purpose for my life. What encouragement that is!


My encouragement to all of you bloggers out there that courageously express your faith, your lives, and your vulnerabilities is that each blog you write is a deposit into God’s overarching plan for your life. Even if only a couple people read it, it is another step towards filling the vessel that is your life in Him. Eventually, it will overflow.

But the filling of a life’s purpose takes a lifetime.

And we pour more than just our writing into that purpose.

And how great is it that our Heavenly Father gives us each our little jar of oil and then multiplies it a little. And then multiplies it a lot. Let that be an encouragement to you.

So keep pouring yourself into your blogs. Yes, you have to do the things, the groups, the promotions, the endless social media chores that leave you with a sore neck and sore thumbs. But in the end, your blog, like your life, belongs to God. And your blog, like your life, is bigger than you.

Who knows who your life and your writing will touch and to what end?

So let us give each other encouragement. Let us like each other’s posts even without reciprocation. Let us promote one another, for in so doing, we promote God’s purposes in each other’s lives.

Keep filling your pots with oil, keep filling yourselves with the presence of God, and keep filling the hearts of your readers with compassion, truth, and fellowship.

For those of you who want to take your prayer life one hundred times deeper, I suggest this book on imaginative prayer by Gregory Boyd. You will never be the same.

How to Stop Being Needy in Four Steps


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11 Replies to “Encouragement for Faith Bloggers: Filling the Jars”

  1. I needed this today and I didn’t even realize it. Tomorrow will be three weeks since I launched my blog so I’m still so new but I know that God has pressed upon my heart to write. This is the opportunity to reach more people than I do in other avenues of my daily life. But I know that I find myself looking at numbers, followers, shares, repins, etc. But my blog is His and I start each day before the computer gets turned on reading His word and praying that my words will glorify Him and touch whoever needs it in the moment. Just like your post did me! I so love reading your posts! Thank you!

  2. Alice,
    Once again you’ve written a beautiful word picture for me to ponder every time I prepare to write. What God does in me doesn’t end with me. It must be poured out so that the flow continues and stays fresh and alive. Hoarding gifts, or praise, or talents works against the generous, loving nature of our Good God. Thank you for your gift of writing and specifically writing this article.

  3. susanhomeschooling says: Reply

    Wow, what a fun way to apply your previous post to blogging! I saw each of the smaller pots as a blog post, and soon you will have a huge reservoir of oil in the gigantic pot because all those posts will be seen some day by way more people than are reading them today. And that’s okay.

  4. This is a wonderful post, good for any woman who is pursuing any God-given calling. We are responsible for daily obedience. God is responsible for results. I love your visual of Him filling the large pot with all that you put into the smaller pots. Beautiful. And I think I’ll give this visual prayer a try. 🙂

  5. This is so encouraging! I am new to blogging, and when I look at all the behind-the-scenes work, it feels very daunting. But I know it’s what God is calling me to do. Your visual of each post as a pot that God pours into the big urn is such a good reminder that it’s not my job to make all my big visions and dreams happen. It’s my job to obey the call God has placed on my life and to faithfully follow each step.

  6. “It is His to fill. That giant vessel is God’s purpose for me, for my writing, for my blog. And it belongs to Him. The little pots are my responsibility. I fill one each time I write another post. And then I give it to Him, and He pours it into His purpose for my life.” I love this – it is His to fill! and the little pots are our responsibility. Delightful!

  7. So, so good. It can be exhausting to do the work. Sometimes I feel like Joseph, managing a hidden little prison with the stewardship of a king, and being seen by no one. I talk to God like Joseph, saying “God, I’m doing what you asked. Why am I still hidden away in this is (low web traffic) prison?” It sounds silly, but it really is true. When you know you’ve been asked to do something and yet the path looks like it’s not working, it’s hard to stay the course. But these things take time, as you have said, and they are worthwhile because the story He is telling through our lives is worthwhile. Thank you Alice.

  8. What a precious perspective on a topic so dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing with us a fresh reminder of the “why” behind our words

  9. I’ve blogged before but in a more secular, yet family friendly, setting. I approached this differently: if it changes just one life, than who cares about the numbers. Don’t get me wrong: I want to reach the masses because that “one” could be out there still. But I can’t focus on the numbers or it will discourage me from writing what God has directed.

  10. Beautiful post! The ups and downs of any calling make us refocus on God. He will use our obedience to His calling for His greater good. We might not always see it now or later but it will make the impact He designs it to make!

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