Hello, lovely readers! How are you doing this fine Saturday?
It’s actually Friday right now, as I write this. I just sat down with a snack and my laptop after a morning/afternoon of “weekly cleaning”. I have a bit of an idea for the topic of this post, but I’m not entirely sure what all I’m going to write. We’ll see how this goes. I’m trying to stay on my blogging schedule! 😉
(picture found on pixabay.com)
So, I’m a writer. Thus, it might not surprise you that I journal my prayers. I haven’t always done this, but I started my first prayer journal at around eleven or twelve-years-old. Journaling my prayers was sporadic from there on out. In the year of 2014, February 25th to be exact, I started writing down my prayers in a new journal—a pretty blue one that I received from a cousin for my seventeenth birthday. That was a year of a lot of seeking on my part.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I set you apart;
This song pretty much sums up the passion burning in my heart:
“I know that I am far from perfect
But through You the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different,”
But anyway. For a span of a couple months, I wrote and wrote and wrote in that journal. I prayed for a more intimate walk with Jesus Christ. I prayed for my friends and acquaintances at youth group and Bible study. I prayed a lot for my brothers in Christ that year—I think because one of my friends had a heart to see them grow into men of God and that influenced me. I prayed for singers I knew of who were going through personal loss. I prayed for my family. I prayed for authors I loved. I prayed for friends who were entering romantic relationships. I prayed for growth and blessing in my parent’s marriage. I prayed for deepened faith. I prayed for healing and I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for my grandma who’d lost beloved family members. I prayed for boys I was interested in. I prayed for my future husband. I prayed for the strength to surrender my deep desire for marriage and babies. I prayed about my story, Silver Rose, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom concerning that—for His will to be done and glory be brought to Him!
(My blue prayer journal!)
I don’t recall why, but I stopped writing down my prayers in that blue journal for awhile. 2015 and 2016 were kind of rough years for me. I went through some depression and feeling lost. I started writing in a different journal (which I’d received as a graduation gift from some dear friends), and recorded my prayers there periodically.
At the end of 2017, I picked up my blue journal again, which was a little over halfway filled. I’ve started writing down my prayers again often, and it’s been a joy! It helps me keep focused on praying and it truly is a sweet time with the Lord.
How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So, all that to say, I finished my blue prayer journal! It’s all filled up with prayers from my heart! (And also a few letters to my future husband). It’s certainly a treasure to me.
Sometimes I read through it from the beginning and marvel at the prayers that God answered! The places He’s grown me. The ways He has spoken to my heart.
I relate still, so much, with the seventeen-year-old me.
Blue Prayer Journal: February 25th, 2014
I want to be set-apart for You, Lord. I want a relationship with You that is beyond any human relationship. I want to shine for You wherever I go. I want to know without a doubt that I can run to You when my heart is broken. I want my life to brim with meaning – I want to live in obedience and love with abandon.
However, life has a way of pulling me down. Satan has a way of whispering lie after lie into my ears in vicious attack. I get weary of a “every-day-is-the-same” life. I get weary. I don’t want to try anymore.
But, Lord, I do believe there’s something greater. And that’s why I’ve started this prayer journal, and have been trying recently to read my Bible more. I’m striving for a life in the center of Your will, Lord, so I plead that You will give me the strength, because I certainly can’t do it on my own!
Yes, I relate to her. But I also see how different I am from the me then. Different in subtle ways, that I might not realize at a brief thought. But as read through my prayers then, I realize …
My God has been so faithful to me.
He has answered my prayers. –My heart’s desire to know Him more. He has grown me and drawn me nearer to Him!
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
God has carried me through years of overwhelming anxiety. The days when I thought for sure my mom and siblings had gotten in a car accident because they were a few minutes late. The nights where I tried to stifle the gut-wrenching sobs that came from a place of unexplainable grief and fear squeezing my soul. The frightening hours of questioning everything I knew. The long, intense moments of drowning in a mistrust of God. The feeling of yawning emptiness inside. The disappearance of my passions, my desires, my excitement for life, my hope. The fear of death, the fear of disease, the fear of the unknown, the fear of not being wanted.
I feared the end of this life, but I was too scared to live.
Anxiety/depression is still a very real struggle for me. Some days I battle it all day. But I fight. Because I know my God fights for me. Because I know the victory is His, and I am His. So the victory is mine.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
(The year of 2014 shortly before my family moved. I painted my little sister’s toes and mine the same sparkly pink. *grins*)
My friends, I have found my hope again. As I deal with anxiety/depression, it’s becoming more and more natural to turn to God – my Protector – right away. And even though I’m still trying to find physical healing and get help for this mental struggle, I do find victory! I don’t know how to explain it.
God didn’t take the struggle away. But I feel He’s stepped right into the midst of it. When I surrender and open up my heart to Him, it’s like He lovingly says, “I’m right here, daughter. I have you. No matter what happens, you are going to be alright.”
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
Oh, He is good!
So, so faithful. It was just a week or two ago that I felt like I was within the clutches of despair bordering on terror. So I started praying. And as I prayed God’s truth over myself and reminded myself of all that I am in Him, tears welled up in my eyes and the sweetness of it swept over me. Peace descended on me.
I am His.
His daughter. His princess. His bride. And no one can take that away from me. He chose me. No one can take His love from me. No one can take me from Him. I am loved. I am secure.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.
I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m so imperfect that sometimes it terrifies me! But then I have to remind myself that I’m His and secure in Him. And He is growing me … what a beautiful thing! He is completing the work He began in me. In my weakness, HE IS STRONG.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Reading through my prayer journal shows me God’s hand in my life. It encourages me when I doubt that I have changed/grown.
And it reminds me that God doesn’t see time as we do. Sometimes I look back and feel as though I’ve wasted my whole life. I’ve done nothing. I’ve been nothing. I’ve not impacted or made a difference for anyone. It’s all meaningless.
But all those years God was pursuing me. Working on me. Helping me through my struggles. Preparing me! Who knows … perhaps for amazing things He yet has in store for this earthly life of mine.
(Me and baby brother in 2014)
Perhaps I’ll have the beautiful role of a wife and mother someday! Maybe I’ll get to publish my fantasy novel, and other stories. Perhaps I’ll get more followers on my blogs or Youtube channel and it can be my main ministry.
And right now I have the chance to touch the lives of my siblings and parents! And friends. I can take small steps to start mentoring younger sisters in the faith. I’m thinking about starting a small Bible study for older teens.
And I’m excited. Whatever God wants to do in and through me, I have faith that He can do it! Daily, I’m striving to surrender my passions, dreams, gifts, hopes, desires, ideas, and personality – myself! – to Him.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
I want my life to make much of His holy and good Name.
And so I seek Him and wait in expectation. ❤
Blue Prayer Journal: February 8th, 2018
Gracious Father, to end this prayer journal, I want to first thank You for how far You’ve brought me since I started it! I still struggle, but I can see how You’ve grown me and assured me of Your love … and that is beautiful. ❤ I love You, Lord! Show me how to love You, and Your people, well!
Now it’s your turn! After that rather lengthily amount of rambling about my journal (I’m impressed if you made it through!), I’d like to hear your thoughts.
HAVE YOU EVER USED A PRAYER JOURNAL?
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS GOD HAS WORKED IN YOUR LIFE?
DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD CAN STEP INTO THE MIDST OF YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLES AND FEARS, AND USE YOUR PASSIONS AND GIFTS FOR HIS KINGDOM? ❤