Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I believe the same can be said about prayer. You’ll miss 100 opportunities to see God moving in your life when you don’t pray. Jesus encourages us in Luke 11:10-11 to “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Sadly, we often get distracted by the busyness of life and lose sight of the power and priority of prayer in our lives. Often, before we lose sight of prayer, we first lose sight of God. Journaling is a powerful tool to help us in this regard. Below are three simple ways journaling can encourage us to pray.
- Journaling slows down your mind.
My mind tends to race on a regular basis – I’m sure yours does too. But there is something about writing that forces you to focus. With the amount of screen time we consume daily through our devices, our brains are forced to run faster than ever. This can be frustrating when we try to slow down. But writing a prayer and thinking specifically about what you’re asking allows for the heart and mind to slow down enough to remember: remember who God is, what he’s done, how eager he is to show his goodness.
- Journaling tracks what God has answered.
Do you remember what you prayed for yesterday, last week, or last month? We don’t realize how many prayers God answers. It wasn’t until I started journaling my prayers that I was able to see this. I was in awe of God’s goodness. Parents often have a wall where they mark their kids’ height as they grow. They don’t do that to prove their kids are growing- they do it to remember how awesome it was to see them grow. In the same way, we don’t track our prayers to make sure God is on his job but to be filled with awe and praise as we look back and see the faithful lovingkindness of our Father in heaven.
- Journaling serves as a memory bank of God’s faithfulness.
All through the Bible God often tells his people to remember all he has promised and all he has done. On the day of trouble, the Psalmist was intentional to “remember the deeds of the Lord and to ponder all his works” (Ps. 77:11-12). What’s amazing is that the writings of the psalmist, to this day, are a wellspring of hope for us and generations to come. Psalm 102:18 says “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” Your journaling isn’t inspired, but it can certainly serve as a testimony for you and your future generations that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8)!
I challenge you to journal your prayers for a month. John Piper said, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.” I’m sure after you begin to journal you’ll be aware of many more things God is doing. I pray it fuels your faith, stirs up your affections for Jesus, and leads you to praise him more!