Prayer is a crucial discipline that is connected to a Christian’s fruitfulness. Prayer is to the soul what air is to life. Sadly , it is one of the forfeited spiritual disciplines. I once read that the devil worries less about preaching and teaching as compared to prayer. He is well aware of the power of prayer when most Christians aren’t. We will always find reasons not to pray which is why we have to prioritize it. Prayer is a requirement, a command and it is God’s way of interacting with us even as Tim Keller states “Prayer is conversation and encounter with God.”
“Prayer is communion with God so there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours.” Arthur W Pink
“It is better to let work go by default than to let prayer go by neglect” E.M. Bounds.
“God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.”E.M. Bounds.
“The Prayer closet is the arena that produces the overcomer” Paul E Billheimer
Prayer is such a privilege; it is a line of communication that grants access to the throne room. One thing that has been keeping me humble, comforted and rejoicing in prayer is the truth that every time I pray, I have God’s audience. The Father is listening.Psalms 116:2 “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath”
Don’t let prayer be the “Cinderella” of your life…be excited for it.
While we should never have prepared scripts when we go before God, I believe that having a prayer journal helps us pray strategically and specifically. Prayer journaling provides a means of organizing our prayers. I should add that it is by no means a replacement and neither is it a separate entity from your set aside prayer time. If anything, it compliments it and guides you as you pray. I have kept a prayer journal for 3 years now and my prayer life changed and keeps changing for the better.
Prayer journaling has been said to be for those who struggle with prayer and while it may offer a good starting point, I am of the belief that it is essential for every believer. The discipline of prayer journaling can help improve your prayer life and deepen your relationship with the Lord.
A prayer journal is a notebook where you write down the things you are praying for. Before I head on to share how or what is contained in a prayer journal, let me share some of the benefits of keeping a prayer journal.
Starts you off
Writing is one way in which we let loose, it eases the pressure and gets you started especially if you are just beginning a relationship with Jesus when the concept of praying is still “scary” or you just don’t know how. It allows you to picture God as a recipient of a letter . Some days when I am too overwhelmed to even utter verbally I write and pour my soul in paper rather than not praying at all. I invite Jesus into the heaviness of my heart and cry out and slowly by slowly I am ushered into the presence of God and I can pray.
Concentration is made easier.
Like any form of journaling, your mind and heart is invited into a moment of sitting still and it slows you down. In this manner you are able to focus and not wander. Sometimes we start to pray and are immediately reminded of the text messages we were to reply or the emails we were to send. Having a prayer journal allows you to experience silent soul bearing as you focus and allow the Holy Spirit to quiet you with His presence. Additionally, you are able to go through your prayer list and pray over it intentionally.
Catalog. (Prayer and Praises tracker.)
Prayer journaling provides a means in which you are able to track your prayers starting from recording them to ensure you don’t have missing prayers(those prayers you pray over once and forget about) More importantly, you are able to be aware of God’s faithfulness when you fill in your praise reports. People doubt the power of prayer because they never know when they receive their answers. Mark Batterson, in his book The Circle Maker states how many of us never know when or if our prayers were answered because we never noted them and then by default accord the praise to coincidence yet it was God’s doing.
When we document , it stirs faith and we become encouraged and more grounded in seeking God. Prayers are expressions of worship to God that grounds our level of dependence on Him no matter the answer we get and prayer journaling provides that.
Helps you to remember to pray (for others)
Believers are often inclined to say “I’ll pray for you”. It is something that’s second nature because we are aware of the great power of prayer and we know we ought to pray for others. Most times ,even though we are moved by the plight of others and we willingly want to pray for them, we end up forgetting and we only remember when we see the person and the guilt rises up in us. Have you ever been thanked for praying for someone when you didn’t ? Friend, I tell you it hits different especially if they come bearing a testimony. I do not want to be the person who says “I’ll pray for you” and never keeps their word. I want to continuously be faithful in intercession and prayer journaling has offered me that.
Praying through the Bible Verses in depth
Effective prayer is based on the word of God and failure to incorporate this into our prayer life is a gap in our souls. Journaling helps us focus on verses, break them down and look at what they really mean and this enriches your Bible Reading. I have been going through a lot of Psalms lately and there is some specificity in prayers that we might miss out on if we just read through. Note these prayers and pray over them. Additionally, when you linger on verses in prayer, you are able to praise God as you see Him in His word and acknowledge His hand upon your life because some verses you read have already born fruit in your life!
Here’s the thing, we are so busy; and without a lengthy cultivated discipline in spiritual disciplines like prayer, we will fail if we leave it to chance. The reason many Christians are Sunday Christians is because our Bibles are shelved and pulled out when needed. Having a journal is like a physical reminder. My journal is always on top of my desk and even as I flip through to read my Bible, I am reminded to go through the prayers. Even throughout my day, I still go back to my journal. In fact, whenever I have a big handbag, I carry my journal everywhere. It offers the possibility of truly living a life of praying without ceasing! In those waiting halls,in a matatu, in the park, everywhere.. go through it. We can say it works in similar dynamics as to when I look at my cup and I instantly want tea lol .
Journaling , the general kind, entails the unburdening of your soul just to release but when it comes to prayer journaling specifically, it offers healing. It is like offering up your darkness and receiving the light. Here is a testimony from someone who shared this truth“….this type of journaling is completely new as compared to what I am used to. I have to dig deeper than I do because with my journaling experiences, I was used to harnessing my emotions and not giving myself a way to heal…..”
You develop a habit of sitting still and hearing God
What do you do when God speaks to you? Just nod? Just let it go? When you journal and note God’s convictions in your heart, you cultivate an ear that listens and God’s voice is clearer. Prayer journaling also helps you learn how to recognize when God is speaking. How? You begin to understand the way God speaks to you, personally.
The benefits are endless but a guaranteed truth is that there is richness that will abound in your prayer life. I am a testimony.
Check the next post that explains how to organize your prayer journal, what to write and how to write. Here
Stay anchored. Keep His light shining through