Monday, July 12, 2010

My Prayer Journal...

I pulled out my prayer journal last week. It was buried deep in my book bag that I carry around. It's leather bound and well-worn. But I will confess, it has been a little while since my last entry. So I read my way though some of the thoughts I have recorded over the years. It was like catching up with an old friend. A flood of memories came rushing back as I read about and relived past events; Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Dennis, the collapse of our church building, the excitement of moving into the building, our church’s Ten-Year Hiccup, a few family crises, personal struggles, my meditations, prayer requests, answered prayers, and outpourings of gratitude to God. I was once again reminded of something I don’t always recognize – God is always there.

My prayer journal is a travelogue of my spiritual journey. It contains the ups and downs I go through. I show my emotions in there, confess many sins, and record my prayers. If you are like me you have a hard time keeping your thoughts on track during prayer, especially when you are praying in your head. Putting my thoughts on paper helps keep the task at hand. Writing out my prayers takes a little longer than thinking them and forces me to be clear. Written prayers become deeply embedded in my mind.

Prayer journaling helps me to be more reflective about how I feel and what I’m thinking. It also helps me keep an open mind and heart so that I am better able to hear what God expects of me. My prayer journal is a running conversation with God. At other times it just contains random thoughts.

Writing about these experiences and re-visiting later helps me to gain clarity about my relationship with God, myself, and others. In some ways it is a journey of self-understanding. More importantly, it contains evidence of God’s work in my life.

I'm glad I dusted this book off. It's time to start jounaling again.

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