say what you feel
“When you pray, go to your room and close the door. Pray privately to your Father who is with you. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.” _Matthew 6:6
Begin in Prayer
As you begin to Journal God’s Word, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. For this reason, the most practical place to begin is in Prayer. If you are unsure about how to pray effectively, go to the Word and learn from Jesus.
If writing down your prayers is a new practice for you, consider the benefits:
- writing sharpens concentration and enhances memory
- interruptions won’t stop your prayers, simply pause them
- recording praise and promises reinforces retention
- prayer requests made in writing can be reviewed and God’s answers can be inserted on the page
The Lord’s Pattern for Perfect Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
This ‘perfect’ prayer appears in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter six, and is accompanied by more of the Lord’s teaching on prayer. [also see Mark 11:20-25; Luke 11:1-13]
Write a Love Letter
While it is true, Jesus had much to teach us about prayer, your personal journal is not meant to be perfect, liturgical, or religious in any way. Your personal journal and the prayers you write there are meant to be correspondence with God the Father, Jesus your Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit who resides in you to comfort, counsel and guide you through the Word.
“…when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.” _ Galatians 4:4-7
Abba, in the ancient language, is literally “Daddy!”
Little Hebrew children can be heard crying out “Abba, Abba.” on playgrounds and street corners in Israel to this day.
“Daddy. Daddy!” A loving and trusting title bestowed on a beloved father by a faithful child.
As you write the first prayers in your personal journal follow this example—pray what you’re feeling.
“And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” _Mark 14:35-36
Confident or worried, happy or sad, with plenty or in need—take it all to your Abba, Father, in the name of the Son, expecting His answer to change the situation.
Write it all down, just as if you were writing to the one who loves you more than anyone else on earth. There is nothing he does not know about you. “Even your hairs are numbered!” There is nothing you can tell him that will surprise him. There is nothing too hard for him. There is nothing impossible with God.
Prayer is Your Memorial
In the book of Joshua, as the people moved forward to enter the promised land, the priests, bearing the ark of God’s covenant, went before them. When the feet of the priests touched the flooded Jordan river, God stopped it’s flow! Nothing is impossible for God. [Joshua 3:7 – 5:1]
Each of the twelve leaders of the twelve tribes were instructed to choose a stone and carry it to the bank. At Gilgal they stacked the stones as a memorial to God’s miraculous power and saving grace.
To this day those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan and set up in Gilgal are remembered, “so all the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may remain in awe of the Lord forever.”
The stones of memorial were to be set up not simply to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan, but as a testimony to the people of God concerning His miraculous and delivering power. The stones would recall what God had done in the past, so that in the future Israel could look to the God who had formerly delivered them.
Your personal journal prayers will become stones of remembrance to your own experiences which will strengthen you when you face difficulties in your future. You will be able to look at your own answered prayers and say, “I know God will, because God has…”
Journal God's Word - copyright Ellen Lebsock 2017