Today I am humbly sharing something very personal in hopes that it could be as big of a blessing to you as it has been to me. It’s my prayer notebook. Am I going to tell you all of the prayers that it holds? Of course not, because those are between me and God. 🙂 But I am going to tell you a little bit about how it is organized and how it functions.
About 15 years ago, I started the practice of writing down my prayers in a notebook. It has truly changed my life, giving me some peace of mind and a lot of joy. As you’ll read about below, using a prayer notebook has also strengthened my faith and increased my gratitude.
1. My notebook has several different sections.
Aren’t there so many things to pray for in life? There are family, and friends, and missionaries, and our church, and our nation, and …. the list goes on and on. So, I just make different sections for the main areas in my life and put a tab on each of those sections. Some years I have just a spiral bound notebook with some Post-it Notes, but this year I found this pretty notebook and received these awesome sticky tabs for Christmas (thanks, Dad!).
To help me remember everything, I write people and things down in my notebook and it gives me clarity and peace of mind. Do I pray for everything each and every day? No, I don’t, but I’ve got the important people and issues safely listed in my notebook and ready to be prayed for when I find the time. Some days I just read over the lists and pray and other days I write new thoughts and prayers down.
2. The pages of my notebook are folded vertically down the middle of the sheet. On the left side of the page I write the date and the request, and on the right side of the page I write when and how the Lord provided for that request. For example, (on the left column) “Please provide a math curriculum for this year.” And then on the right hand side, “Thank you that my friend, Dwell, called to loan us her math curriculum.”
This method has really been faith building for me. There is nothing more fun to look back over old notebooks from past years and to see so many answered prayers. Some are very simple (like math curriculum) while others have been so deeply personal that maybe only the Lord knows about them. The practice of writing the request on one side and the answer on the other side of the page really has taught me to pray with expectation that the Lord hears and will answer my prayer.
3. There is a Gratitude List section at the back of my notebook.
After reading Ann VosKamp’s treasure called One Thousand Gifts a few years back, I started to keep a gratitude list. In her book, VosKamp encourages others to simply write down 3 things that they are thankful for everyday. At the end of the year, there is a beautiful list of 1000 blessings that God has given during that year. This has been really special for me because it has opened my eyes to some very simple but profound blessings that are a part of each day. Here are a few current example from my list:
387. The smell of the lilac bushes on our walk last night
388. Coffee with cream on early mornings
389. The girls playing dress-up together this afternoon
If you haven’t read One Thousdand Gifts, I greatly encourage you to do so. It’s lifechanging!
To leave you today, here are a few powerful verses about prayer from God’s Word. I hope you can carve out a little time today to spend some time talking with a God who loves and cares for you very much.
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.”
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ”
I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”