31 days of powerful prayer. Day 27: Keep a prayer journal

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God wants to hear from us regularly.
But as we can read from the yesterday's post sometimes we might have a dry
period in our prayer life so that's why it's good to try to do something differently.
Some time ago I decided to wake up earlier to spend some time in prayer before 
wake up the kids and get them ready for the school. But what happened?I was 
so tired that when I closed my eyes to pray I nearly fall a sleep again even if 
I was standing! And my prayer wasn't really effective. So then I saw Bill Hybel's 
text about keeping a prayer journal and I really liked the idea and tried it- and
I liked it! Actually I found it powerful.Because first before starting to write I felt bad and I wasn't even in the mood to pray but as I started to write down my prayer everything changed.My attitude changed and in the end my focus was on God and I was filled by His joy...

Actually we know that David kept a prayer journal. He loved to write down his prayers as we can read from the Psalms;for example Psalm 57:
O God, have pity, for I am trusting you! I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this storm is past. I will cry to the God of heaven who does such wonders for me. He will send down help from heaven to save me because of his love and his faithfulness. He will rescue me from these liars who are so intent upon destroying me. I am surrounded by fierce lions—hotheads whose teeth are sharp as spears and arrows. Their tongues are like swords. Lord, be exalted above the highest heavens! Show your glory high above the earth. My enemies have set a trap for me. Frantic fear grips me. They have dug a pitfall in my path. But look! They themselves have fallen into it!
O God, my heart is quiet and confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Rouse yourself, my soul! Arise, O harp and lyre! Let us greet the dawn with song! I will thank you publicly throughout the land. I will sing your praises among the nations. 10 Your kindness and love are as vast as the heavens. Your faithfulness is higher than the skies.
11 Yes, be exalted, O God, above the heavens. May your glory shine throughout the earth.

Here are some thoughts about journaling by Gordon MacDonald:
   "At first it was difficult. I felt self-conscious. I was worried that I would lose the journal or that someone might peek inside to see what I’d said. But slowly the self-consciousness began to fade, and I found myself sharing in the journal more and more of the thoughts that flooded my inner spirit. Into the journal went words describing my feelings, my fear and sense of weakness, my hopes, and my discoveries about where Christ was leading me. When I felt empty or defeated, I talked about that too in the journal. Slowly I began to realize that the journal was helping me come to grips with an enormous part of my inner person that I had never been fully honest about. No longer could fears and struggles remain inside without definition. They were surfaced and confronted. And I became aware, little by little, that God’s Holy Spirit was directing many of the thoughts and insights as I wrote.  On paper, the Lord and I were carrying on a personal communion. He was helping me, in the words of David, to “search my heart.” He was prodding me to put words to my fears, shapes to my doubts. And when I was candid about it, then there would often come out of Scripture or from the meditations of my own heart, the reassurances, the rebukes, and the admonishments that I so badly needed. But this began to happen only when the journal was employed. "

The great thing about journaling is that we are forced to examine our lives.

So how to journal?
All you need is a simple notebook and a pen- and then spend some time to write down on your notebook! If you don't like a lot writing maybe you can start to write down your prayers just once 
a week and then plan to write in this notebook everyday but restrict yourself to one page.
Start by writing a word yesterday. And then write a small paragraph recounting yesterday's events...maybe a little description of the people you met, your appointments, decisions, thoughts,feelings,high points,low points, frustrations...
And then write some insights that come from reading the Bible and other spiritual literature.

 And then write down your prayers!
Writing down your prayers is good so it gives your body a brief rest and it focuses your mind.
It's good to limit to write your prayers in one page so this exercise won't become too overwhelming.
In writing down your prayers ACTS formula could be helpful. 
ACTS means adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. 
I have written about these subjects during my project 31 days of powerful prayer and you can read more here: 

Writing down your prayer is also a good way to notice how God then answers your prayers!
And then when you have finished writing you can read aloud what you wrote.
And the important thing is also listen to what God wants to say to you!

"The main value of a journal is as a tool for listening to the quiet Voice. Journal keeping serves as a wonderful tool for withdrawing an d communing with the Father. When I write, it is as if I am in direct conversation with Him. And there is that sense that in the words that you are led to write, God’s Spirit is mysteriously active, and communion at the deepest level is happening."
-Gordon MacDonald





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