“When we write our prayers down, it is like bringing things from the spiritual realm into our visual presence where we can now see the physical hand of God moving in our life.”
~Gina Duke, Author of “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray”.
This week I would like to encourage you to start (or continue) a prayer journal. A prayer journal is just a journal where you write down your prayers to God (pretty self-explanatory huh?). There are lots of different ways to do this, from simply writing down a letter to God each day, to doing a very methodical organized approach. No matter how you go about doing it, there are many great reasons to keep a prayer journal.
Writing down your prayers helps you to articulate to yourself and to God what you are praying. Do you ever notice yourself saying the same thing over and over with just slight variations in your prayers? I have found that by writing it down, I am not just mindlessly asking for the same thing in ten different ways. By writing it down I find that I put more thought into what I am actually saying. This has given my prayers greater depth and scope.
Another reason that I know a lot of people like to keep a prayer journal is so that you can look back at your previous prayers and see what God was doing in your life last week, a year ago, or a decade ago. We often forget that we have prayed something and then do not notice when God answers that prayer. A prayer journal can become a kind of history book of your journey with God.
Some people (like me) can get stressed out about the idea of a prayer journal because if it is written down it is permanent. Some of us tend to mock our past selves whenever you go back and read something old. Here is an article that addresses that:
This one addresses that some also,
http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/02/putting-my-prayer-life-in-order/ (I REALLY like how she talks about intentionally including confession in our prayer, something I think most of us are a bit eager to not do all that often)
If you are the type of person who needs structure in your life here are some articles that have different ideas for different methods of prayer journaling:
http://mothersniche.com/a-mothers-best-friend/ (I like this one, but personally I would include a “praise” or “adoration” section)
http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/how-to-make-a-prayer-notebook/ (for the ultra-organized!)
An afterthought: At Intervarsity (the Christian group we were a part of in college) we would have worship nights, with many different types of worship including “worship through creating”. This was a station with lots paints, colored pencils, ect. Where you could sit and make art simply for God (to please him, to reflect of the beauty of his creation, ect.).