Thursday, September 13, 2012

The benefits of a prayer journal

One thing I was reminded about this was summer was the benefits of a prayer journal.

The mornings getting ready for a day of COCUSA are fairly crazy.  While I nearly always made time for a "quiet time" each morning this past summer, looking back I feel that my prayer time specifically could have been better.  (Duly noting that this side of heaven everyone's prayer times could be better.)

What I found myself falling into was a wandering mind that didn't focus on praying for anybody or anything in particular.  When I did pray for someone I often did not do that with a lot of specifics, but instead just a general "bless this person".   

The first thing I refreshed coming off of the summer was my "prayer journal."  (It's really more of a prayer paper.)  I keep a running list of prayer requests and people on one side, and some specific daily prayers on the other.  I didn't use it as much this summer as I normally do.

Since I've gotten back into it though, I've seen the lift it has been to my prayer life.  I think the benefit comes from having a more specific focus: knowing who I'm going to pray for next and what I'm going to pray about.

I realize that you could still have a wandering mind and not pray specifically for someone with a prayer list, but it has been a big help to me.  In fact, usually my heart and mind are in a much better state to do some "wandering prayers" once I've prayed through my list.  My focus is on God and my heart is more easily turned to others (instead of worrying about my day and problems.)

Take all this for what it's worth, but if you're struggling with your personal prayer time, maybe a journal is worth thinking about?

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