“Day by Day,” is a folk-rock ballad from the 1971 Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak musical Godspell. The refrain’s origin has been ascribed to the 13th-century English bishop Saint Richard of Chichester.
“Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day”
I was 10 years old in 1971. And then over the years I would sing this song to myself whenever I was anxious and scared. I often think about the many times in the middle of the night I would hug my younger self singing this song in my head eventually falling asleep.
That song always comforted me. It still does today. Perhaps this song was the seed planted all those years ago that is now become The Prayer Journals. I hadn’t thought about that until now.
God’s perfect timing
While I have written in journals over the years, my prayer journal did not become a consistent practice until about eight years ago. I cannot imagine not going a day without my daily writing and praying visits with God.
“To see thee more clearly”
Even on the cloudiest of days my prayer journal has helped me to see God more clearly. The practice of reading God’s Word every day has given me new insight on His presence and asking Him to show me His presence in the darkest days. Because no matter how much I rely on my faith, there are days I when I feel the raindrops of doubt are the ones I do see Him more clearly.
1 John 4:12-15 (GW)
“No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. We know that we live in him and he lives in us, because he has given us his Spirit. We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God’s love live in God, and God lives in them.”
Acts 2:32-35 (GW)
“God brought this man Jesus back to life. We are all witnesses to that. 33 God the Father used his power to give Jesus the honored position—the one next to him on the heavenly throne. Jesus has also received and has poured out the Holy Spirit as the Father had promised, and this is what you’re seeing and hearing. David didn’t go up to heaven, but he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Take the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne
until I put your enemies under your control.”’
“To love thee more dearly”
On some days when it is difficult to love myself or others because this world seemingly becomes more hostile and unforgiving, God’s Word and my prayer journal are my refuge for reminding me of God’s love and the power of His peace that only He can provide me. It’s my place where I talk it out whether with tears of anger, hurt or hopeless, I know I am loved. But it isn’t just on the difficult days, it is every day that I praise Him for His many blessings and I find that I love Him more dearly.
Luke 10:27 (GW)
“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”
Luke 1:77-79 (GW)
“You will make his people know that they can be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
A new day will dawn on us from above
because our God is loving and merciful.
He will give light to those who live in the dark
and in death’s shadow.
He will guide us into the way of peace.”
“To follow thee more nearly”
This third thing is often the most difficult to do because I want what I want when I want it. You too? And when I find myself being bitter about not receiving the thing I want or something not happening when I think it should happen, I go to the prayer journal and I write:
“Lord, I only want to be where you want me to be. I only want what you want me to have and when you want me to have it and not a minute sooner.”
God lifts the burden and I feel His peace. It never fails to amaze me the feeling that comes over me. “I follow You more nearly, Lord.”
Deuteronomy 32:4 (GW)
“He is a rock.
What he does is perfect.
All his ways are fair.
He is a faithful God, who does no wrong.
He is honorable and reliable.”
1 Peter 4:19 (GW)
“Those who suffer because that is God’s will for them must entrust themselves to a faithful creator and continue to do what is good.”
These things I pray
Dear Lord God, I pray for the grace and wisdom to understand that in Your gentleness there is power, in Your kindness there is strength, and in Your forgiveness, there is life. Keep me from relying on my own power, my own purpose and the love of this world instead of my love for you. Help me to understand that wisdom is born and grows to maturity through faith in Christ. Grant me the patience and confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who is Wisdom. I love You. Amen
May I pray for you?
The Prayer Journals blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.
Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. 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, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God, however you wish in your prayer journal. God enjoys hearing from you and you will be blessed!
Blessings on your day,
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