My mom recently brought me some things that she found in my old room. Included were a couple of worn notebooks. Filled inside were the prayers of a young teenager. I read through several of the pages and almost burned them (I still might)!
The cries of my heart at that time were so juvenile. A desperate need to be loved. Whether it was this boy or that…I wanted a “relationship” with someone. A wanted to be told that I was special. My prayers for a boyfriend were often not answered in the way I had hoped. I had many boy friends, but very few that wanted to “go out” with me.
As embarrassing as those notebooks were, they were evidence of a love for journaling and record keeping that has been with me for years and years.
I had prayer journals in college where I prayed big prayers for my now husband. And in 2008 when I started my family blog, it became an online cry of my heart. Writing has been an outlet for me to share my faith, my hopes and dreams and even at times, my biggest frustrations.
A few years ago I heard about Mark Batterson’s 40 Day Prayer Challenge. He wrote about circling your prayers. Writing them down and circling them in prayer until you had an answer. I loved the idea and every morning I would get up early and listen to one of his devotionals and then spend time writing out the prayers I had for myself and my family.
I loved Priscilla’s story about her grandmother’s prayer journal. And the reason behind all of her recording was simple. “So I won’t forget.”
How often have I whispered a prayer, and then when it was answered, moved on…even forgotten how it was answered?
When I take the time to write out my prayer requests, and the answers, it helps me remember all the ways that God has been faithful to respond.
Even in those teenage cries, He heard and He answered. Thankfully He didn’t always answer in the way I hoped. What’s that old Garth Brooks song…“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs. That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”
You’re welcome by the way…that’s one of those that will be stuck in your head all day! 😉
But there is so much truth there.
Sometimes the prayers God doesn’t answer the way WE think best, are the greatest gift.
Life gets hectic, years run together and I start to forget.
I forget all the ways God has been faithful. In times of crisis I need to remember the last time I felt hopeless and out of control. I need to remember that He was there, remember the way He took my ashes and made them into something beautiful.
The enemy would like nothing more than to erase the miracles from our memory.
When we journal our prayers we leave a legacy of God’s goodness. A testimony to all He has done, something for our family to read that may just strengthen their faith. We just never know what God can and will use to bring someone to Him.
So I encourage you today that if you haven’t ever written out a prayer, that you start. It doesn’t have to be pages and pages. Keep it simple. Do what works for you. But write them down, so that you won’t forget either!
Lord, Thank you for answering our prayers even if they aren’t in the way we had hoped. We want to be people that remember and tell of your goodness. Prayer journaling is a way to do that. Stir in our hearts a joy for not only prayer, but also in sharing all the ways that You have been faithful to answer. May the recording be a way to bring You glory and honor. We love you Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.