I remember shortly after I gave my life over to Jesus, I began journaling my prayers. I was just a teenager when I began this practice. I still have the journals today, many of them highlighted as answered.
So, why did I start this? I'm not sure I would have been able to give a full answer at the time, but today, especially in a very busy season of motherhood, there are several very beneficial reasons why I continue to journal my prayers.
Benefits to Keeping a Prayer Journal
Writing my prayers down helps me tremendously with focus. As a mother who is a production-driven, multi-tasker, this is truly a wonderful way for me to remain focused during my prayer time.
I'm not thinking about what to make for dinner, how much laundry there is, or how I'm going to fit it all in today. Writing helps me focus and it also helps me organize my thoughts better.
It's much more difficult for my mind to stray when I'm in the act of writing down my thoughts to God.
Did you ever keep a diary when you were a child or teenager. You know, you would actually write, "Dear Diary..." or "Dear Journal...", as if it had the ability to answer you back? I did...from about 10-12 years of age. Ok, maybe I was 15. But how crazy was I to write to "Diary"...essentially, emptiness. I mean, I was writing to nothingness!
When I journal my prayers, I'm literally writing to God. You know, He actually exists and knows what I write to Him, and knows my heart behind what I write to Him. What's more, is He even answers me.
Maybe this all seems elementary, but the next benefit pulls it together and helps to put some things into perspective.
A prayer journal is so much more than a journal that holds prayers. Even if it did stand alone as that, it would be a pretty magnificent testimony.
If you continue to thumb back through your prayer journals on a regular basis, you will be amazed at how God has worked in your life and life of those you prayed for.
I remember going through some old Bible studies about five years ago, and thumbing through one that had a section where you could write out a prayer after you finished the week's study material.
Well, I came across I prayer I wrote on June 14, 2001. The prayer read, "Lord, please use my body this day to bear a child for your kingdom~this I pray in Jesus’ name. ~Amen~"
My husband and I had decided to start our family, and so I had prayed God would make it so. Little did I know...until I found that prayer just how precisely He would answer it.
But friends, let me tell you this. On June 14, 2002, I gave birth to my first child. One year to the DAY I wrote those words, I literally bore that child into the world!
When I prayed “this day”, I wasn’t thinking God would literally use “that day”, June 14, to specifically answer my prayer; that I would literally bear a child. Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of getting pregnant that day.
Leave a Legacy
A prayer journal becomes a legacy. It becomes a written testimony of God's work in your life. And this incident reminded me how often I forget. I don't want to forget. And I want those coming up behind me to see God's hand at work through these written testimonies.