A Daily Discipline
Since the financial crisis of 2009, I have searched for a new career that will allow me to take care of my family and provide a reasonable retirement. It’s been a difficult journey financially and emotionally these last seven years of primary self-employment. Yet, I am grateful that God has provided for us in many ways I could not have imagined prior to 2009.
A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a job posting on LinkedIn that was very similar to my past career prior to 2009. Everything about the company, job, and the outlook was perfect (well, as perfect as anything can be, right?) I had a short telephone interview with the human resources manager who recommended me to the hiring manager. My personal interview with the hiring manager, seemed in my opinion, to go great. She enthusiastically said I met all of her criteria for the position and could not name one objection that would prevent her from extending an offer to me. She told me she was recommending me to go to the next step in the hiring process – an interview with her boss. Now it is important for me to note that this company and her boss was known to me as a client of my previous employer before the downturn. So I believed my chances of moving forward and possibly being hired were excellent. But instead of a telephone call after the Memorial Day holiday to schedule the third interview, I received the typical rejection email notification from the human resources manager. Needless to say, my heart sank and a few tears were shed.
“God? I don’t understand. What more can I do?”
I am disappointed. Discouraged? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. But what my prayer journal has helped me to overcome in the last seven years is despair. I have received literally hundreds of rejection emails from prospective employers that didn’t even give me a chance to interview, and hundreds more from companies who never responded to my resume and application. I have applied for all types of jobs with varying pay scales.
Rewind the clock five days
I went back to my prayer journal to read what I had written the day of my interview with the hiring manager. On the last page for that day, I had written the following passages.
My prayer: “Lord, when the odds are against me, help me to remember You have a plan for my life. Amen”
Further down the page: “No matter how He answers my prayer, can I trust and love Him?”
Fast forward to today
Today, I have written in a bold marker for journal entry 5/26/16:
“Yes! Lord, I trust and love you always! I do believe you have a plan for my life, and it may not be one I ever expected, but Lord, you have always taken care of me. Thank you, Lord. I praise your name. Amen”
The confidence in prayer comes from the power of God’s Word. My prayer journal time is reading God’s Word and reading a number of different Christian devotionals for a perspective that helps me to understand how God is working in my life.
“God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful.” A.W. Tozer
Parables on Prayer – Luke 18:1-8
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
God’s Word and the daily discipline of writing in my prayer journal has taught me to go to God first because only He can bring immediate peace over my situation – that is the power of prayer and the power of a prayer journal.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I leave space in each day’s entry for when God answers prayers. Today was a prime example of needing that extra space!
Because I journal early in the day and often throughout the day, I usually re-read my daily journal entry prior to my evening prayers. I also believe that re-reading my journal at the end of the month helps me to see the progression of my relationship with God. I may even read several of my past prayer journals.
In the past when I would have received yet another rejection letter, I would have had a complete meltdown and would be depressed for days. Yesterday, I had a few tears, but today my faith in God is stronger and His Word gives me hope. That is the power of prayer. It is also the power of a prayer journal to see how far I have come in faith, hope, and love of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Praying the Scripture:
“Now may the God of hope fill (me) with all joy and peace in believing, so that (I) will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
Prayer Writing Prompts:
How has prayer strengthened my relationship with God?
What do I do when things go wrong or go badly?
May I pray for you?
Blessings on your day!