One of the main blessings I’ve experienced with the many prayers I’ve written out over the years is how it always brings such comfort when I’ve felt hurt in my marriage.
Back in my very messy marriage years, I expected my hubby to be the main person who would comfort me—even and especially when he was the one who had hurt me. Oh sure, I’d also turn to the Lord too, but it was often after being disappointed in my husband’s inability to rise to the occasion.
And the biggest lesson the Lord taught me as I began to turn, first and foremost, to Him for comfort was how my husband wasn’t meant nor built for that “heavy lifting.”
God was the only One who could truly raise my spirits and give me a lasting sense of comfort. The Bridegroom was the only One who could lift me—His bride—securely above the rejections and painful thresholds of life.
In time, one of the main ways I began to realize this was through the power of prayer journaling. I’m not saying that simply speaking a prayer won’t bring the same sense of God’s comfort in trying times. But I do think that prayer journaling has some very distinct benefits over traditional prayer modes.
Benefits to prayer journaling are . . .
1. You stay engaged.
Admit it. You’ve surely at least lost your train of thought while praying or even nodded off on a day when the coffee isn’t doing its job!
Now tell me . . . When was the last time you nodded off while typing away a longwinded email? Or what about when you’ve handwritten a lengthy letter to a friend? #keepsyoualert
The same holds true for journaling your prayers. Your attention and clarity of focus will sharpen and prove very eye-opening, if you catch my drift! 😉
2. You see connection points and insights more clearly.
God uses this intentional approach to prayer to open my eyes to His truth, especially when I’m needing correction or insight. Besides . . .
And when I’m seeking comfort alone from the Lord in my journaling, I find that writing out my emotions is a more tangible way to release and surrender them at His feet.
3. You’re keeping a record of your prayers.
That way you can look back at crucial junctures to see how God answered, as well as what your frame of mind was in similar situations in the past. #perspective
4 Steps to find God’s comfort through prayer journaling:
1. Use this method when your emotions are raw.
Whenever you feel disappointed, sad or angry consider that your cue to begin to prayer journal.
2. Pour out your heart to God.
Do not censure or minimize your emotions. God knows them, so no reason to hide them from Him. You never see that in King David’s Psalms. He was always so graphic and vulnerable about his feelings with the Lord and he was, as we know, “a man after God’s own heart.”
3. Seek and Receive God’s comfort.
Ask God directly to comfort you in your pain. That might seem like a no-brainer, but this step often escapes those I’ve talked with about prayer. Then position your heart to receive His comfort. This is where “being still and knowing that He is God” comes to life (Psalm 46:10). Let your faith in the Lord’s comfort and love surround you. Even envision your Father’s strong arms encircling you.
4. Write out how you believe God will help you.
King David’s Psalms serve again as another great example since they almost always included David’s words of trust in the Lord’s help. This practice not only pleases the Lord, but will also encourage you as you confirm in writing your faith in the Lord.
Next week I’ll be sharing how prayer journaling improved my marriage by convicting me in one key way.
What doubts or questions do you have about how prayer journaling could improve your marriage?
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced—married or not—because of prayer journaling?
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