The Word of God is my favorite Book. Oh, how I love it. My Bible is a treasure to me. Its worn, marked up pages and loose binding are all precious, and I wouldn’t take a million dollars for it. I mean it.
Now, let me tell you about my second favorite book. It’s my prayer Journal. I began using this almost ten years ago. It has been to the “hospital” many times. I’ve had to make new pages and add paper reinforcers. I’ve had to remove pages to make room for more requests, more answers to prayer, and more notes from my morning Bible reading.
When I look at its pages and see the check marks, which reveal an answer to prayer, my heart leaps with gratitude and joy at my wonderful God. It’s a reminder to me that God answers prayer! It keeps me coming back day after day, moment by moment to cry out to the Lord for the burdens and needs in my life and the lives of others I know.
Corrie Ten Boom referred to prayer as our steering wheel. I’ve likened my prayer journal to a car. Without the car, the steering wheel wouldn’t have direction or a place to go! Of course you can pray without a journal, but in my experience, before I began a serious prayer journal, I prayed, but I really didn’t have a prayer life. A life is the period of existence, activity, or effectiveness of something inanimate, and without the direction of my journal, my prayer life really wasn’t that effective.
Using the imagery of a car, let me explain how a prayer journal can help your prayer life.
It’s great to have a glove box (pocket) at the front in order to hold verses of Scripture that you can pray.
The radio being on, (you singing a song of praise) is a great way to start your time alone with God.
Every car needs a clean windshield (heart), and it’s helpful to have windshield cleaning fluid (a time of confession of sin) ready to do the job necessary to have a clean heart..
It’s time to start the engine (petitioning) when you specifically ask God for the requests before you. Have a seat for everyone (a different page for each family member). List their needs for each day of the week.
What a blessing it is to look in your rear view mirror (at the past) and see how God has answered your prayers! Be sure to make a check mark beside that request and write how God took care of that request. It will increase your faith and cause you to pray more fervently in the future!
If you have a trunk (back pocket) in your binder, put your prayer bulletin there, missionary prayer cards, or other tools that will help you pray more specifically.
Park the car (sit still and alone) while you pray. Don’t let the engine idle (don’t have distractions around you). Be all there so you can pray and then listen to God.
Rosalind Goforth, missionary to China in the late 1800’s wrote a book, How I Know God Answers Prayer. She had to have a method of recording His answers in order to write a book like this. Could you write a whole book of how God has been at work while you’ve prayed? It will only happen as you record it, otherwise you will forget.
I challenge you to get a journal of some model (kind) started. See how it will change your prayer life!
Do you use a journal when you pray? What’s keeping you from starting one?