PRAYER JOURNALINGFrom The Heart
Publish date: 02/14/2010
All of us have things we need or want. All of us have some changes we would like to see in our lives. What do we do about it? Do we just think about them and wish things could be different? Do we share our problems with other people or even whine and complain about them? There’s little or nothing they can do for us! Or do we talk to Someone who cares and Someone who knows how to move mountains? The Father wants us to depend on Him: He wants us to trust in Him; He wants us to look to Him for everything; and Him alone. He wants us to take time to come to Him; to talk to Him. There are many things in our hearts that are so personal they cannot be shared with others, but the Father already knows what’s in our hearts, so we can be transparent with Him. In fact, He wants us to be open and honest with Him; He wants us to tell Him what we need and He wants to be the one to meet that need. Father God is not bothered when you come to talk to Him, He is delighted. He created us to have intimate fellowship with Him.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matthew 6:6-8 NKJV
God is not moved by many words or repetitive words; He is not moved by begging or crying; He is moved by faith. People don’t like being nagged—the Lord doesn’t either. He just wants us to be straight and real with Him and ask Him for what we want. The Lord knows what is in our heart more than we do, but we still need to tell Him what that is. Purposefully asking God is a demonstration of our faith and trust in Him and His Word. A very helpful tool in your prayer life, on the road to purposeful and answered prayer, is a prayer journal—so that you can focus, write down and keep track of your prayer requests.
Ten reasons why journaling is a good idea:
• It enables you to collect and articulate your thoughts more clearly and specifically before you pray.
• It provides a record of answered prayer to encourage you and remind of what God has done for you.
• It helps you look back on your own spiritual journey.
• It can prevent you mind from wandering while you pray.
• It helps you to dig deeper into your heart, to bring out your real dreams, desires and needs.
• It helps you sort through competing thoughts.
• It helps you realize and remember how blessed you are and gives you more reasons to thank and praise the Lord.
• It provides a measuring rod for your own consistency.
• It helps you to apply the Word of God to your everyday life.
• It promotes self-discipline.
One way to journal is to divide your page into two columns, one for your request and one for the answer. Fill in the date above each column of when you prayed and when it was answered. You can come back later and fill in the answer column when your prayer is answered. Underneath these columns, add space for a paragraph where you can praise God for something that the Lord did for you the day before. You could also use a “prayer card”, writing the prayer on one side and the answer on the other. You can have a special box to keep all your answered prayers.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.” Psalms 91:14-16 NKJV