Praying Your Journey

Prayer ONe

I recently had a conversation with a group of teen girls who said that they have a hard time focusing when they pray.  They begin praying and then their minds take them off on rabbit trails.  I can so relate to that problem.  My mind has a mind of it’s own, and rarely are they going the same place.  It can be extremely frustrating to begin praying and ten minute later come back to your senses and realize that your prayer took an unexpected turn about ten seconds in, and you’ve traveled through a ten year time span of memories and thoughts in the ten minutes your mind was wondering, and non of it had anything to do with the prayer you started with.  Phew!  That wore me out just typing it!  Often that’s how I feel when I pray…completely exhausted and unattached from praying in run-on sentences.

Since becoming a Christian back in 2001, I have kept a journal.  I’m not consistent, but I wish I was.  I enjoy going back and reading the past journal entries, even if sometimes they are difficult to read.  But the most meaningful entries, are the ones where I cry out to God.  They aren’t just posts about what I did that day, but the cries of my heart to God.  Often times, I have forgotten what I had been praying about at a particular time in my life, but when I read through my journal it is so evident how God walked me through those times.  I see answered prayers and threads of things I still struggle with, but see that God has made improvements.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.  I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.  If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 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.”  Ps. 66:16-20

Journaling has been the single most important way for me to track my relationship with Christ.  It keeps me focused when I’m praying, because I am writing my prayers down.  It also gives me a record of God’s goodness and faithfulness through the different times and trials of life.  Rereading the entries gives me a chance to thank God for the many answered prayers that I have taken for granted.  Because our prayers are often not answered in the time frame we expect or the way we desire, I have found that the journaling of my prayers helps me see the hand of God more clearly at work in my life.

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”  Ps. 116:1-2

Back in 2006, I began a journey.  I was given the book “David” in the “Personal Reflection Series,” by Beth Moore.  It started me on a path I did not expect.  The study really spoke to me.  It wasn’t just Beth’s personal insight into the life of David, but it was my personal reflection throughout that was specifically impacting for me.  At the end of each day’s lesson, Beth has you write a prayer about the topic of that day.  She begins the prayer with some scripture and you are to finish it.  I wrote daily from the cries of my heart, but it wasn’t until later, when I reread those verses that I truly saw the value of them and the power of God at work in me.  I have since done the “Paul” and currently the “John” studies by Beth Moore.  It is still the power of the prayers that have moved me to share this.

When I began my blog, I had a tab included Prayer Journal.  It has been on my heart to share some of these prayers with you.  I have shared them personally with a few people and the feedback was very positive.  I’m hoping that you will be inspired by the words God placed on my heart and that you too may start a prayer journal of your own.  I’m hoping to make this a regular part of my postings here at “Groomed by God,” so please let me know what you think.  If these posts help you or inspire you, I’d love to hear about it!  As I bear my heart, I hope it touches yours.

Today’s prayer is still significant to me in this time of my life, even though it was written nearly 8 years ago. As I seek to serve in ministry as God calls me, I don’t exactly know what it looks like, but I want to get rid of anything that would hinder me from following where He leads.  Maybe you can relate, so pray with me…

“Lord, give me things to accomplish for You, and allow me to “put-off” those things that are hindering me and making progress for Satan and not Your Kingdom.  Help me to recognize the things in my life that are stumbling blocks and that keep me from growing in You.  Purge those things for good and keep me from returning to them.  Give me Your strength and Your will to accomplish what You have planned for me and those that I love.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Praying God gives you good works to accomplish today and that you too may be inspired to write them down!