Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Grown-Up Girl’s Diary ~ Five Benefits to Writing Out Prayers

What if you had a record from ten years ago or five years ago or even just a year ago…of your prayer life?

A while back, a friend shared with our church ladies group that she had been writing out her prayers for years. That one statement grabbed my mind and heart and wouldn't let go. Within a couple of weeks, I snagged a spiral notebook from our school supply stash and began writing out my prayers. I was deliberate that it was not a prayer list, but whole sentences that I spoke, or rather wrote, to God.

What a blessing it has been, a time spent with the Lord each morning that energizes me for the day ahead!


I dare you to try it for seventy days, one page each day of a standard size spiral notebook J, and see if you don’t notice these benefits ~

Minimize distractions by focusing on the paper in front of you. Some days my quiet time is in the midst of starting school. The children have quickly learned, though, that when mom is writing in her notebook, they should be quiet and leave her alone. For those minutes, it’s just me and God, barring blood or fire. J

See your prayers for what they truly are. I've noticed that my prayers tend to be a laundry list of needs. Not entirely and not always, but it's shown me two things. First, the good: I believe God can provide, and I take everything to Him. Second, the not so good: I ask for a lot.

Keep a record of your prayers. When I go back a few weeks and read over those journal entries, I see some answered prayers. That’s encouraging and spurs me on to further trust the Lord.

Open your heart to God without grading. God isn't going to grade my grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure. What a catharsis it can be to pour myself out on the paper without concern for proper penmanship. J I have scribbled out words, used dashes where I probably ought not, and even used all capitals.

Leave encouragement for future generations. My only dilemma here is that I don’t want this to cause me to be superficial in my prayers, trying to look good for those adult children or grandchildren who might read my prayers after I’m gone. I admonish myself to be real, be genuine, praying that they will be blessed by reading about my struggles.

So grab a notebook, make it fancy if you’d like, and give it a go. You will be blessed! J









Is a prayer journal appealing to you? 
Do you keep one already? 
What benefits do you see?


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22 comments:

  1. What a great idea!
    For quite awhile now, I have kept a small notebook that I use to take notes, write thoughts, or special verses during church. It has been neat to look back though those notes and thoughts, or to re-visit a verse that caught my attentions for some reason.
    I think I may try this. I think it would be wonderful to look back through and to see how many prayers truly do get answered, eve if not in the way we hoped for. And to see how we change when we have this precious time with God.

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    1. Amber, I love your idea of writing down special verses. Would be great to pray the Scriptures! Thanks for the suggestions. :-)

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  2. I already have a prayer journal, It is such a blessing to me!

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  3. I love writing my prayers and you are absolutely right, when you write them down you can really see if your prayers are true heartfelt, prayers of praise, worship, and gratitude; or just a wishlist.. :)

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    1. You're sparking an idea here, Ren. Maybe require so many lines or sentences of praise, worship, gratitude first? Practice makes perfect. Thanks for visiting! :-)

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  4. Several years ago I did a praise journal that used each letter of the alphabet to describe an attribute of God. (Example: "A" would be almighty or awesome.) It took about a month to complete it and it was amazing because I had to focus more on the "praise" part of prayer instead of the "laundry list of needs". Don't get me wrong, that list of needs is important but sometimes we get too caught up in our needs and wants and we forget to praise and thanks. Anyway, it was an amazing journey and I still look over that book from time to time whenever I feel like I have nothing to be thankful for.

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    1. I adore that idea! Did you make it personal and describe how you had seen that attribute at work in your life? I'm definitely doing that. Thanks so much for the suggestion! :-)

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    2. I've kept a prayer journal before, too. Great way to talk to God! Would be neat to write out a scripture to go back to and meditate on throughout the day with the prayer :)

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  5. I love having a diary of my prayers, it helps me to really see just how much prayer changes lives. It's one thing to say it does, it's another to see prayers answered, even if it's not what I expected.

    Marissa
    http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, Marissa, a visual so we can literally see how our prayers were answered. As we look back, we can see that the unexpected way God answered turned out to be the best way. Thanks! :-)

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  6. I have kept a prayer journal for about two years! It is always encouraging to go back and see answered prayers and remember those unexpected blessings! One thing that I do is put a few scripture references at the end of each entry that relate to what I am writing about that day. This provides encouragement and also helps with memorizing verses!

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    1. Great, Ashley! Writing out those Scriptures also helps us remember them. :-)

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  7. Great post! I have been keeping a journal since childhood, and a prayer journal since becoming a Christian...it seemed to be a natural transformation of my journal habit! Currently I am hosting Beth Moore's Whispers of Hope 70 Day Prayer journey at my blog with a small group of women. It is a blessing to gather each SUnday (at my blog for a check in) and recount God's presence and faithfulness as well as encourage one another along the journey of intimacy with Him. I love the pic of your Bible and prayer journal. I also love the Mary Engelbreit book I see on the table - is that a planner or blank book? Sharing your post!

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    1. Thank you so much, Dawn, for sharing! The Engelbreit book is a blank book. I have used it to keep a prayer list, but now it's just reference since I'm keeping more of a prayer journal. Love your blog small group idea. I'm going to head over and check it out. :-)

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  8. I journal my devotions and Bible reading everyday, but I don't always write down prayers. I will start doing that now because it would help me to be more persistent in prayer, too! It's so easy to get distracted when praying and this will definitely help.

    Amy @ http://livinglifetruth.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm glad this was helpful, Amy. Many blessings to you! :-)

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  9. I used to do a lot, but have gotten away from it. I agree with all your reasons for why it's such a great thing to do. I really should start again! Thanks for sharing this today.

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  10. I love this. I started one up in August but then I quickly stopped. To be honest I just kept forgetting. Well we have since moved and about a week ago or so I found my prayer journal and read it. I found a prayer that has since been answered in ways I definitely didn't expect.
    I think I will start this up again this week. Thank you for reminding me how valuable this is.
    I hopped over from Angie's and Kris's link to say HI!

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    1. Praise God for that answer to prayer, Sherri! When I think of my to-do list and am tempted to skip my prayer journal for the day, I remind myself that all the rest of the list is useless without the prayer first. So glad you stopped in! :-)

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  11. Thank you for this--I had a thought to do this and it was wonderful to know that others had also been prompted. Thanks for your suggestions on how to make this work.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)