Of all the suggestions I’ve gotten on how to be a prayer warrior, starting a prayer journal has been my favorite! God created me to love writing. It is my expression of self and of Him. I started journaling when I was 12 years old and received a little horse journal for my birthday. I faithfully kept one up until life got too busy and crazy around 25 years of age. Before I accepted God into my life, my journal was a place I went to vent, complain, and get out all the anger, bitterness, resentment I had pent up inside me. Very little was there anything good on those pages. I didn’t know it, but that was only furthering my spiral down into depression.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”COLOSSI ANS 4:2
Once I gave myself over to God I jumped right into prayer, trying to be faithful in it and keep a constant line of communication open with my new and wonderful God, but I found it difficult. I tried praying to myself in my head before bed, but often times I would forget or get so tired while doing it I would fall asleep. I tried praying out loud, but found I still had the same problem. I tried praying first thing in the morning, but found my mind was too cluttered with the start of the day and everything I had to do. My mind would drift from prayers to my to-do list. I told myself I didn’t need a set prayer time and that I would just do it throughout my day, but then of course the day got in the way and disappeared too quickly without a prayer to be said. I needed something different! I honestly can’t remember who suggested it, but I’m pretty sure it was at a women’s encounter retreat with one of our local churches that someone laid out all the same issues I was having in prayer and said the only thing they found to slow their mind was writing their prayers out in a journal. It was brilliant! Why hadn’t I thought of that? I had let the world try to fit me in their little religion box of how things should be done that I forgot God gave gifts and I should use them in His name, including prayer journaling!
HOW A PRAYER JOURNAL IS DIFFERENT: With normal journaling, one usually writes down the events of the day and adds in their feelings and opinions on what happened. This usually leads to a lot of complaining with the occasional “woohoo” thrown in there. Somehow, it also becomes a private place for us to revel in our sins where we think no one can see them. A prayer journal is almost the exact opposite and it brings so much contentment, happiness, and a closer relationship with God who reads every single word we write. I write in my prayer journal every single morning now and it is a great way to kick off my day with a positive and refreshed mind set (meeting with God has that effect on a gal!) I start off by praising Him. This is where you tell Him how wonderful He is, all He has done for you and how much you love and appreciate Him. Get creative in pouring your love out to God like a Psalm from the Bible. Next, I ask for forgiveness for my sins. A lot of days I do this on the spot when I recognize them, but I know there must be some I don’t recognize, and even though I don’t know what they are or can’t remember what I did exactly, I still want God to know I’m sorry and I want to live His way and not my own and I thank Him for another day to try again. After, I’ll thank Him for the things that come to mind that I’m thankful for that day. This is a great place to be positive and realize just how blessed your life is because God is gracious enough to give when we don’t deserve. From there, I go into my prayers for others. I pray for all friends and family unsaved, my daughter, my boyfriend, my parents, all places of importance in my life and the people involved, the government and military, specific friends and family members (church and blood) who have things come up they need prayer for. Lastly, I ask for blessing for myself and help in areas where I need it. I ask for a filling of the Holy Spirit, guidance, protection, deliverance, strength, courage, encouragement, motivation, inspiration, and above all boldness to speak out about the Lord, our wonderful God (because I DO actually struggle with the speaking part of it. Writing, no problem. Speaking, I’m a shy bug.)
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
DON’T WE HAVE TO PRAY ALOUD? Yes, it is still good to have one-on-one time with God and speak to Him with your voice, but don’t for one minute think God can’t hear your prayers if you think them in your head or write them out. He hears every single word of those prayers too as if you shouted them out to Him. He doesn’t miss a thing. He is everywhere, sees everything, and reads our hearts to know us better than we know ourselves. He hears you no matter how you choose to pray and worship Him.
So, if you’re like me and have trouble staying awake, keeping your mind from wondering, or remembering to pray then try out a prayer journal. It’s easy to get started. You don’t need anything fancy to do it. Find yourself a blank lined journal and a pen and start praising and praying!