Happy Day my friends!
A couple of my buds asked me about my prayer journal so I thought I’d talk about journaling my prayers today! I’m guessing there are lots of people who do this and that everyone has their own unique way of expression, but in case you’re curious, here’s my process…
I’ve been journaling since I was a teenager. My first journals are written on legal pads. Not pretty, but effective! From the time I became a follower of Jesus, I’ve talked to Him. I hope that doesn’t sound strange to you, I don’t think of myself as an uber-religious person and my “prayer-life” has certainly had it’s ebbs and flows, but talking to the Father is something I’ve always done, so journaling my conversations with God came natural.
After I got weary of my stacks of yellow legal pads, I started getting hardback journals to pen my prayers. In years past, I’ve used 2 journals a year, these days I use only 1.
Starting a blank journal on January 1st is one of my favorite things…
And that first page is important to me. Like my obsession with reading the first line in a novel.
Anyhoo, I sometimes wait a couple of months before writing on the inside cover until I know for sure what I want to write. In years past, I’ve done everything from taping a sketch of flowers or a sweet Valentine from one of my babies to writing a quote that’s particularly important to me or even just writing my own ‘quote’.
Occasionally I doodle or sketch (I hate to even use the word sketch) in my journals. I don’t know why except that sometimes I would rather sketch than write my prayers.
In the mornings during my quiet time, I always have my prayer journal along with my Bible and whatever book I’m studying at the time. I don’t always write in my journal, but if a scripture pierces my heart…
“You are my refuge and my shield, I put my hope in your word..” (Psalm 119:114)
… or a quote from a book freezes time…
“How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?” (Ann VosKamp)
I write it down.
When I’m overwhelmed with burden for someone or feeling the weight of some situation in my life, I pour out my heart to the Father, on the pages of my journal.
“…a whirlwind of burden settles in the pit of my stomach. Save ( ) from himself, watch over him, protect him until the time your spirit can gently bring him back to you…”
When joy is bubbling up from deep inside I sing praises on my pages.
“…somehow in the night you bathed my exposed nerves…now upon waking, I’m awash in peace…how do you do that? My heart sings praise…
Some pages of my journal read like a letter:
“Good Morning Father, I sense ugly in me this rainy morning, here snuggled on the sofa with all the pups, I sense something ugly in me. Please forgive me …cleanse me.”
And there are always prayers about my one-word for the year…
“I’m learning to believe Father…help my unbelief.”
Some days when my ‘worry-list’ is long, I just put the list, line by line in that journal and humbly hand that list to the God who made me. What a faith builder to go back to the list months later and put a check mark by those worries that are no longer an issue.
The best thing about these journals is how they have helped my faith. Going back through the year month by month and seeing God’s hand at work in my small life. And when I really need a faith builder, I sit down with a stack of them and look back through the years…what was God up to in January 1996? January 2000? January 2004?
I start looking for a new journal at the close of every year. I found my 2012 journal in October!
If you’ve never kept a prayer journal, January would be a great time to start. Just be careful not to burden yourself with expectations. Write from your heart as little or as much as you want.
Anybody out there keep a prayer journal and care to share their process?
~Love to you my sweet friends~