Order – I crave order. I make schedules and lists and plans and then the children wake up…and well – the order goes out the window! That’s when I light my candle, put on some classical music and say a prayer for peace in our home lol!I shared on a post earlier this year – how my prayer life deeply suffered in 2012. Typically, I come to the end of the year and my prayer journal is bursting at the seams with a vibrant walk with God – but not in 2012. I was so busy blogging and homeschooling and cooking and cleaning and taking care of my husband…that long prayer times were abandoned for popcorn prayers through out the day.So 2013 gave me a fresh start and I’m still struggling to find a new balance with a new ministry that is taking more time than it once did. It’s a discipline more easily lost than regained.After sharing my above struggle I got quite a few emails from women asking for more details about what’s inside my prayer journals…so here’s how I do them.
Every year on January 1st, I attempt to get my spiritual life in order. I crack open a fresh, simple 5 subject notebook and transfer my favorite quotes and verses from last year’s journal to this years journal. Then I write out my spiritual goals for the year and begin my first devotion of the new year!
2. Confessions. I confess my sins in my notebook – yikes – do not let the kids get a hold of these lol! Lately, I have grown more private and I use code words or often I write the word “confession” (as seen above) and then I pause to confess my sins but I don’t write them down. The discipline of confessing is unnatural – it is easy to become neglectful in this area.
3. Praises. Sometimes I write them in list form and sometimes I write out entire prayers of thanksgiving.
4. Verses. Often, I write out verses from my quiet time using the SOAK method. The S – stands for Scripture. The O – stands for Observations. The A – stands for Applications. The K – stands for Kneeling in Prayer.
5. Prayer requests for others. I have missionary prayer cards I pray through. I also pray through lists of names of family, friends, and bloggers. When I led women’s Bible studies, I always kept the sign-up list in the folder so I could pray for the ladies by name.
6. Book notes – when I read a good book, I consider the author my mentor. Often times I journal quotes that have touched my soul.
What I don’t journal:
1. Bad things my husband says or does. At one time I would go to my journal when we fought and just pour out my frustrations…to the Lord. Taking my frustrations to the Lord was good but journaling them not so good. Here’s why…a few years later, I was reading through a journal and came to a point where Keith and I were fighting – oh it was ugly! All the feelings rushed back as if it had just happened only moments ago – what a tool from the enemy to distract me from the forgiveness and grace God had helped me to extend. I learned that day to no longer journal when I am angry…if you feel a need to write – tear it out and toss it – it’s amazing how anger can be restirred up simply by remembering.
2. Bad things about others. Here and there in my journals, I express disappointment when a friend or family member has hurt me. It’s amazing how years later, I can see my immaturity in some situations to the point that I am embarrassed of myself when I read what I wrote – sin is so evident all over the pages! I do not want to sin in my journal!
So it’s a new year and time for new beginnings. It’s time to get our spiritual lives in order. If you have never tried journaling, I encourage you to hit the nearest Target and get yourself an inexpensive notebook. I can testify that it has been a powerful tool in my spiritual life.
**Chime In: Do you journal? What do you put in your journals? If you are a blogger and have blogged about your journals – feel free to include the link to your post in the comment section.
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