I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I wish I had journaled more in my early years as a Christian and in college. It wasn’t until we had children that I journaled my prayers/life. As Collins’ wedding was approaching, I began looking for my oldest prayer journals. I wanted to write my toast according to my answered prayers for Collins and her future mate.
I searched everywhere. I have kept them hidden because they are my private prayers to God. I figured one day when I die our kids would have a written record of my prayers for them and Bill and others. It took me several weeks to figure out where they were but one Sunday I found them and spent the rest of the afternoon reading them. It encouraged me greatly!
Several things happened that afternoon.
The first was God’s great comfort and encouragement to me that I have loved Him for many years and that I have been earnest in my prayers for my family.
You see, sometimes I doubt myself.
Does that ever happen to anyone out there?
Today I clearly recognize it has been the voice of the enemy whispering messages and jabs of “doubt” about my love for God and my family and others. When I opened journal after journal seeing my handwriting to a Holy God, waves of comfort and assurance washed over my entire being as I read through my long love fest with God and love for my family and others. It seems crazy but the enemy is tricky and can deceive us into thinking the “craziest, most absurd things!”
I could also see from my journaling how my prayers changed as I grew in my faith and maturity of knowing who I was in Christ. My prayers became more bold, less self-centered and more about “His will than mine!” I could see many answered prayers and still some unanswered prayers. Some of the unanswered ones? I can now see that the “No’s” were for my greater good and that of others.
When I began publicly writing over three years ago, I didn’t think I had ever been a writer…but looking back at my prayer journals I NOW see how God used those early writings to prepare me to write publicly. I had no clue, until I started reading my old journals, of the “preparation” I had already been doing.
Point of post….I beg, urge and plead with you to journal your prayers to God.
Write them down. Our memories are not that great. Many details we can’t remember but if we write them down, we will SEE God in the details of our lives. That written record won’t lie and one day, it may be the very thing you need to open and read to STRENGTHEN your faith and confidence…when maybe the enemy has been attacking.
I’m not sure when I would have gone to find those old journals and read them if Collins hadn’t been getting married. As I prayed for months over the toast the Lord would have me make, He prompted me in my quiet time to go to the prayer journals. Little did I know HOW much encouragement He would have for me there!
I am so thankful for God’s written word and the accounts of Jesus’ life in the four gospels, for all the prophesy and applications for our own lives. If you read and study God’s word and apply it and go so far as to write your prayers, those written prayers could one day PACK tremendous comfort and assurance when you have “doubts.”
Over and over again just in the Psalms alone you find the psalmist asking God to hear his prayers. All of these prayers/requests are written for our encouragement. Solomon’s prayer of dedication is another prayer recorded that brings great encouragement. “Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence,” (2 Chronicles 6:19). How encouraging to know that I am not the only one who cries out to God.
“But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:19-20).
Journaling my prayers is without a doubt one of the best things I have ever been obedient to do. I encourage you to do the same.