Now that my husband and I are empty-nesters, I envisioned more time to keep to a schedule for household chores, exercise, and a consistent writing schedule. My expectations for scheduling was to produce more time to do the two things I love to do the most outside of spending time with my family and friends which is reading and especially, writing. Yet one year has gone by since my youngest child has left the nest for college, and I still have not been able to stick to a schedule.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
I seem to be on my umpteenth attempt, but here I am again trying to formulate a schedule to get the laundry done, folded and stored away among other duties.
Ultimately, the same failed attempts can infect about almost anything we are trying to accomplish, especially when it comes to our relationships with others. And for many, our relationship with God. My prayer journal has helped me to stay focused on God and my spiritual life. Yet, even my prayer journal has from time to time been set aside when my attention has been diverted because of health issues or any number of things.
It is often said, “you make time for what it important.”
True. However, we are imperfect. And no matter how hard we try, our priorities can get mixed up even when it comes to our most important relationship which is with our Lord and Savior. We may miss church more often than we should and we can rationalize all day long why we missed Sunday service or other church event. Yet the fact remains, we miss out on valuable relationships with people who share our faith, the sermon message that keeps us refreshed and revved up to take on the coming week, and connecting not only ourselves to Christ but helping others to connect to Christ too.
Our prayer journal is not meant to take the place of our church community, but rather enhance our communication with God.
The most common feedback I receive when discussing journal writing with others is, “I can’t seem to get into the habit of writing consistently in my prayer journal.”
What has worked for me in keeping my prayer life, and particularly, my prayer journal a daily habit is to go to my favorite sitting area with a fresh brewed cup of coffee with my Bible and prayer journal. I even set my alarm earlier so I have plenty of “me” time with God. It’s quiet in the morning and the time I have spent in prayer and meditation gets my day started off on the right foot.
Even if you have small children or long commutes to work, early morning can be like me trying to keep up with getting the laundry done, folded and stored away. I encourage the idea of ‘setting appointments’ for your time with God and your prayer journal.
“If I can get myself up every day to get to work on time, how is it I cannot accomplish the same feat for my relationship with God?”
“Let this be your chief object in prayer, to realize the presence of your heavenly Father. Let your watchword be: Alone with God.” ~ Andrew Murray
What works for you?
Until I was in the rhythm of morning journal writing, I carried my prayer journal with me throughout the day and I still do. Whether I was in a waiting room or on a lunch break at the office, I had my prayer journal and fountain pen available. Rather than looking at my iPhone and posting to social media, I was mulling over my thoughts with God.
Getting in or out of the habit
Just like laundry, exercising, writing in my journal or attending church, I, too, have gotten out of the habit of making essential ‘appointments.’ God understands my daily struggles and my prayer journals have been the motivation to get me back on track and into the habit of making Him my first priority in all ways!
I often re-read my journals to reflect on how far He has brought me out of the wilderness of hurt, sin, and sorrow, and into the light of love, joy, forgiveness, and happiness. I know when I bring my every day struggles, big or inconsequential to Him in prayer and in my journal, I can accomplish all that He wants me to accomplish whether it is sharing Christ with others or, even if it is merely doing the laundry.
“Christ gives us confidence about… God’s presence. By ourselves we are not qualified in any way to claim that we can do anything. Rather, God makes us qualified.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Something new here at The Prayer Journal blog!
From time to time, I will be reviewing Christian themed books to help you in your prayer journey and journal writing experience. You will find all book reviews archived in the category “Journal Book Reviews.” Stay tuned for future book and devotional reviews.
“May the Lord Jesus Christ’s good will, God’s love, and the Holy Spirit’s presence be with all of you!” 2 Corinthians 13:13
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