A while ago, wonderful friend of mine who tends to remain spiritually grounded no matter what storms rage around her, mentioned she keeps a prayer journal. The conversation instantly meandered away from the topic, but her words struck a chord me.
I started mine shortly after and WOW! It felt like God lifted the weight of the world from my shoulders after my first entry. He took away the burden of so many things I unwittingly tried to carry by myself – things that truly belonged to him all along.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There’s something powerful about the mandatory focus and physical act of putting the pen to paper. When I pray aloud or in my head, I often circle around the pressing issue and revisit it over and over in later prayers. Not with the prayer journal.
For me, writing makes the prayer feel more concrete – like I’m actually releasing my cares to God, and I know release is something we all need during these crazy, uncertain times! Once I write the worry or request, there’s a finality and officialness to it, like it’s genuinely not mine to fret over anymore because God got my (literal) memo and now it’s in his control.
1 Peter 5:7 NIV – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Writing also helps us process life through a different lens. The words I scrawl often surprise me! I learn about subconscious worries and unearth hidden patterns. I also notice God’s faithfulness in new ways, and realize where I need perspective change or an attitude overhaul. It also shines a spotlight on the hidden, ugly areas of my life and gives me a new tool to confess and ask for help.
Better yet, prayer journaling allows us to thank God in writing. This shifts our mindsets and gives us tangible proof that God is constantly at work in every area of our lives. We can also refer back to the gratitude portions later, when we’re feeling down, or read through our previous requests or concerns to witness God’s faithfulness through his answered prayers.
Penning prayers ignites a healing process.
Journaling also helps us process the prayers that the Lord answers in ways we don’t want to hear. It’s okay to discuss that with him. He knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows what’s best for us. He has a plan and he is trustworthy (Jeremiah 29:11). Penning our prayers gives us an opportunity to build our trust in him and process these moments together, with God. Because everything is better with him. Everything.
Ready to try it yourself?
I find journal prompts really help, so over coming weeks, I’ll include a prompt with each post. I pray your journaling journey helps you find peace, focus, and hope!
Day 1 prompt:
What is the biggest worry you’re holding onto right now?
- Lay it all out for God, and thank him for resolving it for you in the way he knows is best.
- Ask him to help you develop your trust in him and his ways.
Write three things you’re grateful for.
- Note: You’ll write three things you’re grateful for with every entry. No repeats allowed! You’ll need brand new and different ones every day, so acknowledge the obvious, but pay close attention to the little blessings. Often, the tiniest details add the most beauty to our lives, but we’re too distracted to notice.
- Don’t worry about grammatical perfection. God doesn’t care about your verbal prowess. Just get your pen moving and let your prayers flow!
- Shoot for one page per entry. You can write more if you like/need to, but a one page minimum will give you time to process and have a-ha moments. We all love a-ha moments!
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Would you like to (re)invite Jesus into your heart? If so, congratulations, sister! This post is for you.