The words Prayer Journal used to intimidate me. One more thing to do, one more discipline to incorporate into my already full life. A supposed to. But over the years, I’ve settled on a freeing truth: keeping a journal is for me. And God. And that’s it. No one else will read it. No one else probably wants to read it. There will be no grade, no review, no counter-arguments to debate.
I don’t write everyday. I don’t always use complete sentences. I don’t worry about grammar or misspelled words or messy handwriting.
I DO embrace freestyle and let emotion lead. I do, at times–for that which is private and/or has the potential of hurting someone else–use short hand, a code of sorts, only to be discerned by me. I do write out prayers, whether they’re two words or two hundred words. And I do record answers. My journal contains a lot of “no’s”—answers I may not have chosen but an answer nonetheless—and a few “yes’s”. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to flip back through the years and see how God has lead, worked, and fit things together. Yes, there are prayers unanswered, but there are also are prayers that have resulted in ways I could never have imagined. And most heartening of all, I do (hooray!) see changes in me.
Sometimes I start and fail to finish:
September 4th of last year will remain a mystery.
I often lay out simple frustrations/prayer requests like this:
And sometimes they are more complex :
And a whole lot of this:
But don’t let what I do define your prayer journal. I’ve found, when it comes to keeping a journal, it’s all about freedom. (And using pink and purple pens every now and then 🙂