New Year’s Eve is upon me and my journey begins in search of the meaning of my Christian faith. A faith that I can share openly, honestly, and with my gifts. As I continue to wrestle with the concept of submission, I continue to write my spiritual memoir, a spiritual journey of faith.
Is the Christian faith a denomination?
Many people were taught their version of faith from their family traditions in an organized church – Catholic, Lutheran with three different Synods, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and others.
What about those who were not raised in a household of any denomination of the Christian faith?
Over the last several years, I have been asked the question, “How do I find the right church to attend?” I don’t know the answer to that question because I am still trying to answer it myself. I was raised in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church and I still find myself asking that same question.
Translating the Word of God
I wonder how we can all read the same Bible and find something else written there. With the many different translations of the Bible, which translation should I be reading? Is the Catholic Study Bible translating the Word of God as the Lutheran Study Bible?
“Most High, Most Glorious God, Enlighten the darkness of my heart. Grant me the right and true faith, A certain hope, and A perfect charity, feeling, and understanding of You, So that I may be able to accomplish Your holy and just commands. Amen”
– St. Francis of Assisi, Prayer before the Icon Crucifix of San Damiano, 1206
My Prayer Journal
For the last several years for the purpose of reading and writing in my prayer journal, I have used a Daily Bible. Most daily Bible formats begin with a daily portion of the Old Testament and a portion of the New Testament with verses from Psalms and Proverbs. In 2018, I am using a New International Version Bible named, The Daily Bible, In Chronological Order 365 Readings, With Devotional Insights to Guide You through God’s Word, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, c. 1984.
The compiler of this Bible, is Bible Scholar, attorney, and classroom teacher, F. LaGard Smith, who has spent a lifetime of teaching law and religion at Christian universities. As is written on the back page of this Bible, “This particular work is the outgrowth of a suggestion by Smith’s father, who early on implanted the idea that ‘somebody ought to put the Bible in the right order.’” Readings are divided into 365 easily readable sections varying in length up to 5 pages. Five pages may be too much for some at one sitting with busy life constraints, so I recommend reading what you can and then catch up when you can. I think God would rather we take in His Word to understand what he is saying than complete a self-imposed reading competition.
If you are new to journaling, I recommend a journal and a writing implement that works for you. I carry my journal with me because God inspires me to write throughout the day. Plus, I don’t want to forget any of my questions, thoughts or experiences that I want to share in my journal. Currently, I have settled on Moleskine’s XL Cahier Journals in a 3-pak because the journal is flexible but sturdy and fits in my messenger bag/purse. As for writing in my journals, I use a fountain pen.
The Back Page
While I begin each journal with a verse and perhaps an inspirational verse or poem, I use the back-page of the journal for listing (and going left in the journal) the people and situations that require prayer. This is another reason for carrying my journal with me. I don’t want to forget those who have asked me for prayer. I begin a new journal when my journal entries and my prayers for others meet. One journal usually lasts me approximately 30 days.
I’m ready for the journey
God who created the universe, who set the world in motion is with me. I know He will be with me not just on joyful days, but on tough days too. God is with me every single day. He lifts me up and I know He is cheering me on as I draw closer to Him.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
May I pray for you?
Some of what I have shared in this post I have talked about in previous posts on how I journal and what I teach others on keeping a journal. For those of you who are new to The Prayer Journals, please reach out to me if I can answer any questions. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, or a lyricist. Use your gifts to communicate with God however you wish in your prayer journal.
My extended prayer is that you will continue to read along in 2018. I don’t know where God is leading me, but I know He is with me. Whatever your journey, I know God is with you too, and you, my readers are listed on the back pages of my prayer journal.
Blessings on your day,
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