"The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth."
There are many different ways to pray. Some people say their prayers out loud while others think them silently. Others still pray by writing their prayers down in a journal. If you often have trouble with knowing what to say when you sit down to pray, then a prayer journal might be a good choice for you. It may seem a little strange at first to write down your prayers, but keep in mind that God doesn't care how we communicate with Him, only that we actually make the effort. As we are told in a spiritually inspirational Psalm:
"The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth." (Psalm 145:18)
A prayer journal is a fantastic way of calling on God in truth because...
- It can help you focus
The mind is a fickle creature that tends to start wandering the moment you try to rein it in and make it focus. Having a pen in your hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of you can help you zone in and focus more on your prayer than you would if you were just going to think or speak the words. Writing takes sustained effort, making it more difficult for your mind to jump from thought to thought. Journaling your prayers can help keep them more coherent, on topic, and, ultimately, more spiritually fulfilling.
- It allows you to track your spiritual growth
How wonderful would it be to be able to go back and hear all of the prayers you have prayed in the past? A prayer journal will provide you with exactly this sort of time machine. If you continue on using it for long enough, then you will be able to go back, reread your prayers, and truly track your spiritual growth. You'll be able to see how your prayers have changed over time, letting you both celebrate progress and catch areas where you may be backsliding. Few other methods of prayer are capable of providing us with such insight into our spiritual lives.
- It helps reveal all that God has done in your life
On top of allowing you to track your own spiritual progress, prayer journaling can give you an incomparable understanding of everything that God has done in your life. It allows you to see which of your prayers have been answered and what aspects of your life God took it upon Himself to improve without even needing to be asked. A big part of prayer is thanking God for all that He has provided for you, and consulting this written record of your gratitude can give you some much-needed encouragement on a hard day.
Prayer journaling isn't for everyone, but, if the three benefits above sound good to you, then it might be something for you to try. You'll find that praying in such a deliberate and focused manner can reveal a wealth of insight into how God's plan for you is unfolding in your life.