40 Days of Lent – Reflections #1, A Series

Last Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Ash Wednesday began the Lenten season for Christians. This blog, The Prayer Journals extended an invitation to join a 6-week spiritual awakening through daily fasting, prayer and reflecting on posting Bible verses and prayer journal prompts. These Bible verses and reflection, prayer journal prompts are posted daily on The Prayer Journals Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PrayerPrompts/. Even though this 6-week spiritual awakening journey has begun, I invite you to join this event today.

Reflections #1

Each week I will be posting excerpts from my prayer journal reflections. I invite you to share your prayer journal reflections here on the blog or over on The Prayer Journals Facebook page. My sharing of my personal prayer reflections on this spiritual journey towards Easter is intended to show how journal writing can help each one of us draw closer to God.

Drawing Closer to God

In drawing closer to God, we can express our personal, heartfelt desires, failures and needs. The back page of my prayer journal lists the names of people I pray for daily. When the page is full, I add names on the previous page and so on. When prayers have been fulfilled, like a successful surgery or an answer to a job interview, I note a prayer of thanksgiving next to the person’s name and date. Why a date? It is a reflection that not all prayers are answered instantly, but according to God’s Will and perfect timing for that person.

Find that quiet space to draw closer to God. Allow yourself to write as much as you are led to write from your heart. It may only be just one paragraph, or it may be several pages. God wants to hear from you. I ask God daily to help me see Him throughout the day, to hear Him, and to help me feel His presence. God never fails to answer that request.

Daily Bible Verse and Personal Reflection

While the focus of the daily personal reflection is on one Bible verse, it is an opportunity to read that verse in the Bible in its’ full context with the beginning of the chapter in which the verse appears. The God’s Word translation is primarily used in The Prayer Journals blog and for the purpose of this Lenten series.

1 DAY- 40 DAYS OF LENT

Day 1 – “Self-Improvement”

As I read Luke, Chapter 6, the meaning of verse 24 becomes into focus in verse 37 on the topic of judging others.

Here is an excerpt from my personal prayer journal:

“As I pray today’s verse from Your Word, I diligently pray for my own self-improvement in mind, body and spirit. As I begin to fast from 3 daily meals, I pray that my hunger is not from food but a hunger to know You better. A hunger to reflect Your Goodness and deny myself any position that would make another person feel less than deserving of Your love, grace and mercy than me. I look to Your ways to help me to stop judging, to stop condemning and to forgive others. Lord, may I see not see their faults, but the highest possibilities in them. Help me to be the well-trained teacher that leads with Your compassion.”

2 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 2 – “To Devote Myself to God”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory. Many times, over the course of my life I relied on the wealth of this world instead of You. As I continue to fast, I peer into the deep well of my incompleteness and I have seen where I have limited or impoverished the ministry of Jesus because I have not been fully been devoted to You. I ask for forgiveness. I devote to drawing from Jesus’ well of quietness and comfort, and not the sadness and bitterness of my own, or what the world promises.”

3 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 3 – “To Carry Other’s Cross”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, not all of us have the same life experiences, but our experiences have familial roots. I pray that whether I can grasp the unique personal challenges of others that I am able accept and affirm them as Your child. As I help them carry their cross, may they see Your light in my actions and words. Lord, I am grateful to those whose names are on endless list that have done the same for me.”

4 DAY - 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 4 – “To Cultivate Silence”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Lord, I know when something or someone disturbs me, I can make a disturbance to others. It is often something out of my control or something I cannot handle myself. So, what am I to do? I pray I will seek if not a physical place of quiet reflection, but a cultivate a place of silence within my heart so that I may feel Your calming presence. There is so much division, strife and heartache in this world, Lord, and I pray I do not add to it. Help me to hear Your whispering voice.”

5 DAY 40 DAYS OF LENT
Day 5 – “To Do God’s Will”

My prayer journal excerpt from the day:

“Dear Lord, I pray that I will not fall asleep. It is so easy to do under the weight of the today’s worldly pressures; but I pray that you will take my cup of temptation away and fill it with Christ’s living water.

I pray that I would resist using my own weapons in my own moral-resisting power; but use the spiritual weapon of implicit trust in You, a simple relationship with Jesus Christ. I know Lord that my love for You is not realized by intellectual discernment; it is a spiritual revelation.”

When I pray

I encourage you to periodically refer back to the initial invitation for this 6-week Lenten series, 40 Days of Lent – An Invitation for further journal writing guidance for the daily prayer journal prompts for the reflection topic. Please know that I am praying for you in this spiritual awakening journey toward the Easter celebration. You may reach out to me by email at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

Getting to know God

I have been writing in a journal since I was a young girl. In the last ten years I have kept a prayer journal to draw closer to God. Are you waiting for answers? Draw closer to God.
I hope you will join me on The Prayer Journals Facebook page during the Lenten season (and beyond) for spiritual growth.

May I also ask that you share this blog post on your Facebook page and other social media, as well as, the daily Prayer Journals Facebook posts?

I appreciate your participation and value your prayers.

I am praying for you!

The Prayer Journals Facebook page provides prayer journal prompts and inspiration. Please join me there or on Twitter @prayerprompts. If you have a specific prayer request, please email me in confidence at theprayerjournals.com@gmail.com.

God’s Blessings to You,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

© 2016-2020 All Rights Reserved

He Told Our Stories

This morning as I lay in bed willing myself to get up to start the day, I thought of the simplicity of inhaling a breath and exhaling. Often most of us do not even notice our breathing – inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. For those of us who do not suffer from lung diseases or a terminal disease, we take our breathing for granted.

A day in the life

My most important battles are not in the air I inhale and exhale, but they are still within me – my mind, my will, and my emotions. Whatever our individual stories of illness, abuse, neglect, loneliness, deceit, addiction, Jesus has told each one of our stories in the Bible. Our reactions to our stories, our sins are etched and gouged into the body of Christ who hung upon a tree so we may have the breath of eternal life.

Jesus told my story.

God knew me before my beginning. He knows my past. He understands my present. He has planned my future. He waits for me to cast my worries on Him because He cares for me.

“…all of you must serve each other with humility, because God opposes the arrogant but favors the humble. Be humbled by God’s power so that when the right time comes, he will honor you. Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:5-7 GW

Now as I draw my breath in, I will think of drawing closer to God. And when I let go of my breath, I will think of the Holy Spirit taking my hand to walk with me through this day – to protect me, to comfort me, to love me, to guide me.

I pray to not take for granted the simplicity of my breathing.

When I recognize my breathing and stay committed to the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray. And I pray that God can use me in meaningful ways to exhibit the life of Jesus Christa and allow the Holy Spirit to guide my conduct, my conversations and my ability to listen. I pray for the courage and compassion to share my faith in Jesus Christ; and for those I meet this day and beyond if so blessed to receive God’s truth and I will trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

“If you faithfully obey the commands that I’m giving you today, love the LORD your God, and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 11:13

I can only be the best I can be when I spend time alone with God in prayer, reading His Word and sharing my faith in Him with others.

When I share Jesus’ story,

I will ask myself when I share my faith story with others,

“Are my feet walking in wet cement for all to admire when all turns to concrete?”

My service is not for my name to be etched on any building or written in anyone’s walk of faith. My feet are left in wet sand holding others up to walk on dry land and to build upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. My name will fade with the tide, but His name is the glory for all eternity.

“This is what the Almighty LORD says:
I am going to lay a rock in Zion,
a rock that has been tested,
a precious cornerstone,
a solid foundation.
Whoever believes in him will not worry.Isaiah 28:16 GW

“In spite of all that, God’s people have a solid foundation. These words are engraved on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Whoever worships the Lord must give up doing wrong.” 2 Timothy 2:19 GW

Praying the Scripture

My experiencing Jesus’ love in my story motivates me not for my own legacy, but to enable me to care for others so they may experience that same love and eternal breath.

“Glory belongs to God whose power is at work within (me). By this power he can do infinitely more than (I) can ask or imagine. Glory belongs to God in the church and in Christ Jesus for time and eternity. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21 GW

“You received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live as Christ’s people. Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7 GW

guardian

My Prayer

Dear Good and Gracious Lord, from whom all perfect blessings flow. Thank you, Lord for each breath I take that draws me closer to You. May each breath I exhale exclaim Your goodness. Thank you, Lord, for telling my story throughout Your Word so that I may see my circumstances and my sin so I may direct path and build my foundation with Christ as the cornerstone of my life.

I confess that I think too little about the air I draw in, for You make it possible. I confess I think too little of the fact that I deserve nothing for all the many blessings and people you have placed in my life to serve me without giving a thought about You, them, and of my own service.

I pray Lord that I not only think of my ingratitude on holidays but every single time I draw a breath. I pray you open my eyes to Your goodness, fill my heart with thankfulness, and motivate me to respond with appreciation with every breath I take and to serve others in the love You have shown me.

I thank You; through Christ, our Lord, Your best gift to me. Amen

My Spiritual Journey

The Prayer Journal’s blog is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir.

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 an articulate writer. Use your gifts to communicate with God by perhaps with your talent as an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. God enjoys hearing from you. I know you will be blessed! I know I am!

I enjoy hearing from you too! I’m praying for you.

Blessings on your day,

Head shot 2019 - revised

Sheri

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