“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I make decisions alone
with sorrow in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look at me! Answer me, O LORD my God!
Light up my eyes,
or else I will die
and my enemy will say, “I have overpowered him.”
My opponents will rejoice because I have been shaken.
But I trust your mercy.
My heart finds joy in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD because he has been good to me.” Psalm 13 (GW)
The poetry of Psalm 13 is an example of what is often the subject of my prayer journal. It was especially so during the time of the COVID pandemic. As I reflect on the first several months of the pandemic, I, like so many others were sheltered in place fearing our turn to potentially contracting the deadly coronavirus.
On September 25, 2020, I went to the emergency room wondering if I had appendicitis or the coronavirus. Instead, I would be diagnosed with leukemia. Later that evening after my husband left the hospital, I sat at the window of my hospital room marveling at a beautiful sunset. I praised God for allowing me to become a wife and then a mother to two amazing sons. Even at the end of the worst day of my life, I found joy. God is here!
“Sorrow is better than laughter because, in spite of a sad face, the heart can be joyful.” Ecclesiastes 7:3 (GW)
Turning sorrow to joy.
“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne.” Hebrews 2:12 (GW)
While I had put on a brave face, I unloaded my sorrow in my prayer journal. After years of journaling my prayers and staying focused on my faith in Jesus Christ, I can look back over the pages of my prayer journals to read how the Lord had shown me His mercy. I had recorded it not only to express my grief but my acceptance of His answers. Each time He led me back to His Word so I could be reminded of His promises.
Prayer Journal Prompt:
“COME CLOSE TO GOD, AND HE WILL COME CLOSE TO YOU.” JAMES 4:8 (GW)
Am I secretly grieving? If so, why? What is causing my sorrow?
How do I unload my sorrow?
Where can I find joy in my life?
What does it mean to me, “Sorrow is better than laughter?”
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