Why to use and keep a Prayer Journal
Our bible as we know it bears tales of exploits of God and believers. We are encouraged by what we know God has done. This is what becomes our basis of what God can do. There is a common phrase in Christian circles “If he has done it before, he can do it again!” God however, takes it much further than this. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? Whatever is unrecorded is at risk of being lost forever. If David had not written down his trials and victories, just how much would the body of Christ have missed out on? The Psalms carry tales of ups and downs, and further downs! There is always a place you can relate to at any point in your life.
A prayer journal is a record of your conversations with God. You write down what you are currently speaking to him about, what you intend to speak to him about, what he has said to you, and what he has done. It bears a true record of your life’s ups and downs. The Psalms are filled with these records of king David’s life. As much as we often speak of his victories, there are sad times of unimaginable trials. We will have these as well seasons as well. Seasons where an anointed king David would become destitute. Seasons where a blessed Job would be advised to curse his God and die.
These are principles that are shared in secular circles as well. Your life should bear record. That is why many speakers encourage you to keep a diary of your day to day activities. Are your day to day activities more important than the relationship that you have with the Lord? There are several places where you could purchase a prayer journal, but you could easily make your own or use a notebook. Below are some tips that you can use on this journey.
Meditate on his word
Joshua 1: 8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
The word of God is the backbone of all relationships with the Lord. This is where you hear from the Lord, see his ways and learn from those that have been here before. Together with prayer, the word of God are the most important things that all Christians cannot go without. The first thing you can put in your journal is what you have read from the word of God and how you will apply it. Couple this with things that you will be praying for in that day regarding the scripture that you have just read. If you have read Joshua 1:8, your prayers for the day could go in the lines of:
- Father thank you for your word, I will adhere to it, I will speak it.
- My thoughts shall be aligned to your word. I will mediate on it day and night. Give me grace to make time for this oh Lord.
- Father may your word govern my actions. I will observe and live according to it. My ways will be prosperous, I will be successful. In Jesus’ name. Amen
The aim of all of this is not to end up writing things that you do not make use of. Writing it will make sure that it is in your thoughts for the rest of the day. This is what feeds on that call to pray without ceasing. As you meditate on the word, have prayer points for that word, and take action by praying through your day. In the fast paced world that we live in today, there is never going to be a moment where the world pauses for you to pray. Make it a priority to do it on the go. It should become a part of every breath. As you think, as you speak (better yet before you speak), as you eat, as you drive, as you work, in all seasons and actions prayer should be a light to guide you.
Hiding it in my heart
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Our faith is under attack on a day to day basis. This is not a unique or even new phenomenon. Job was asked where his God was in his time of despair. David wandered helplessly while he knew the Lord had anointed him king of Israel. It is only the word that is hidden in your heart that will fuel you in such seasons. When you hide the Lord’s word in your heart, it becomes a part of your very being. To deny him would be to deny yourself, to deny your very existence.
Not down a word that contradicts your predicament in times of trouble. The prophet Joel said it best, Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
You live what you truly believe
That statement above couldn’t be more true. The way you live is testament to what you believe. If this isn’t the case for you, there is something gravely wrong that ought to be rectified. Whatever you believe should be mirrored in the way you speak, the way you think, and the way you act. Your actions are an extension of your faith. When the disciples went out to preach the gospel after Jesus had been crucified, those who saw and heard them knew their affiliation to Christ. Do those who hear you speak and see you know that you are walking with? Change is a very conscious process at times, check yourself.
We are not without a helper, and cannot do these things alone. Seek the Lord, confess your shortcomings and ask for his grace to overcome. These are things that when placed in your journal, are prayed over, thought about and finally reviewed later. A journal helps you track your own progress as well as the testimony of what God has done.
Whom are you praying for?
This is also another key aspect of your prayer journal. Write down the needs of other and pray over them. Your journal acts as a reminder of whom you should be praying for, and a record that you are doing it. This is not with a mind to show others how “prayerful” you are, but to hold yourself accountable. We are all stewards of his grace, we should not bury it.