This post was contributed by Jeremiah Chandler, currently a student of Biola University and former intern at sho.resh. We are so excited to have him share with us today!
I would never choose 2 am in the morning to be hit with an inspiring thought that would radically change the tempo of my relationship with God, but He always seems to reveal himself in such times.
The sun was nowhere in sight, and my missions trip to Panama came to conclusion as my team and I woke up to be at the airport by 3 am. Though the lack of sleep tried taking away our spirited conversations, the amazing work God was doing in Panama could not leave our lips. We could do nothing but use what little bit of energy we had to share our stories with one another.
The size of the team made it difficult to connect with everyone so it was not to my surprise that I spoke with someone I had barely known on the tail end of our trip. Eager to hear how she experienced God, I turned around to firstly acknowledge how disappointing our circumstances were that this would be our first conversation but to secondly get to know her more. As we spoke, the overwhelming theme of forgetfulness arose. Neither of us wanted to forget the sweet faces of the kids we met. An increasingly small portion of the world knows of the physically and mentally handicapped orphans of Panama, the unwanted of the unwanted. Someone needs to remember them. Someone needs to daily intercede on their behalf for protection and provision because their circumstances deny them of such.
This topic urged my new friend to tell me of her prayer journal. While the idea of a journal to record my thoughts was not new, the idea of a booklet that details the exact things I was praying for in that season of my life was refreshingly profound. In her journal, she simply wrote down the date, her surroundings, and an honest entry of her heart’s prayers. In that moment, nothing felt more important to me than to start such a routine. For the following months, I practiced her format of the prayer journal and, in time, eventually crafted my own structure.
Journaling always seemed tedious and senseless, but God radically changed my mind. It only took a stranger on a bus at 2 am in a foreign country with little to no sleep. The power in looking back and seeing the prayers and longings of our hearts should not be denied. A prayer journal beautifully chronicles where we were a time of benevolence, stagnancy, or distress. Hopefully, my short little story unveiled the power of a prayer journal and will convince you to consider starting one.
If you were to read my prayer journal, you would probably assume it was a compilation of letters. I simply begin writing slowly, beginning an honest conversation with God:
- First, acknowledging who He is, second
- Praying for others to know him
- Third, practicing vulnerability in expressing the longings of my heart.
A lot of the time, I truly do not understand the things on my heart, but from that very first moment on the bus in Panama, simply writing a letter allows for God to begin speaking to each thing he puts on my heart.
Usually, within my reading, I’ll be moved to pray for a change in my heart, a movement within the body of Christ, or a specific word for a person. Whatever it may be, I write it down. Just like in any relationship with a close friend, the importance of honesty can never be overlooked. Even more importantly, the Creator of the universe who authored the entirety of your life wants to speak with you. Practicing conversation with him should be a top priority.
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”
“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
Some journals for your liking…
A durable leather journal that will stick by your side for the ages.
For a more tropical touch, check out this journal!
This simple 3 pack of large Moleskine journals is perfect for journaling. There are so many ways to bind the three journals together and their simplicity leaves a lot of room for creativity!
Also, check out our Pinterest board for some journaling ideas!