Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prayer Journal: Using a Prayer Notebook

PROBLEM: It may take a few days to get the hang of writing your prayers in a journal. There will likely be trial and error, but don't get discouraged. There is no right way to keep a journal. And thankfully, there is no wrong way either. In fact, I don't even call my a prayer journal. I keep a 'prayer notebook.' I don't make entries every day, but it is surprising how quickly a pad of paper can be filled with your communications with God.

PLAN: Continue to write one page each day, but experiment with some other things on your page as well. Some things that can help your prayer life immensely include:

  • Make note of Scripture passages that you may be reading or studying.

  • Maintain a list of prayer concerns. You can get these from family members, small group members and fellow church attenders. By making note of them and keeping track, eventually you will have a record of God's work on your behalf.

  • Use your prayer notebook to keep Bible study notes, sermon notes or other biblical or spiritual insights.

  • Keep a record of devotional books that you are reading and what insights you are gaining from them.

PRESCRIPTION: For today's writing try using some of the following methods

  • Write a letter to God. In it tell him about your current spiritual state. Confess sins. Tell God how great you think he is. Tell him how much you love him. After you have written a couple of paragraphs, ask God to meet your needs.

  • Write a poem to God. A large portion of the Bible is essentially poetic prayer to God. You probably will not write anything comparable to the Psalms, but you can pour out your heart in your own way.

  • Re-write some of the Psalms. Many of the Psalms speak to people at different times in life. Find one that is meaningful and then re-write it as a prayer in your own words.

  • Write an alphabet prayer. Each line will begin with a letter of the alphabet. For example, the first line could be, “Almighty God, Creator of all,” and the second line could be, “Begin a new work in my life.” Continue until you complete all 26 letters.

POINTERS: The ultimate goal for this prayer notebook is to get into a routine or regular, daily prayer. You will get into a habit of prayer. However, until that habit is established, and even after it is, there is nothing wrong with praying in different ways. Use variety to keep this activity fresh and exciting until it becomes a discipline.

PRAYER: Dear God,

I love you more than I can say, more than can be expressed. You have given me life, cared for me, supported me, and protected me. Thank you so much. Thank you for all that you have done, and all that I know you will do. Now, O God, I pray that you would minister to me, meet my needs and help me to grow in faithfulness to you. Amen.

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