Prayer is an important spiritual habit for our walk with Christ, yet it can often feel difficult to engage in or elusive. In today’s article, I’ll be sharing why I started writing my prayers and the changes I have seen since I began writing my prayers.
Prayer wasn’t something that always came easily to me. I mean, growing up I knew the Lord’s prayer and we would always pray in our home, but it often felt rote. It seemed like I would either pray for the same things repeatedly. Or mumble some words out without really thinking about what I was saying.
I never felt like my prayers were “adequate” which in retrospect was a ridiculous though by nature of what prayer is. But not an uncommon thought. I’ve often heard people compare their prayers to other.
It’s easy to feel like we don’t pray long enough. Or passionate enough. Or eloquent enough when we hear other people pray. And the act of praying itself can feel very artificial if we’re not connected to the true essence of what prayer is meant to be.
Prayer is a conversation with Heavenly Father. We talk to Him and we listen for Him. The relational nature of our relationship with God necessitates conversation.
I mean, is there anyone important in your life that you don’t have regular conversations with?
The answer is probably no.
Conversation is how we build a connection. It’s how we develop intimacy with the people we love. How we share our hearts, thoughts, feelings and get to know the people we care about.
Our relationship with Father is no different. God gave us prayer to foster intimacy with Him.
We are not just throwing words into the universe and hoping they stick somewhere when we pray. No. We are calling on and talking directly to Father and He listens to us while we speak even when we don’t feel like it.
And yet, with prayer being this incredible gift of intimacy with our Heavenly Father, a lot of us still struggle with it. At least I know I did for the longest time. And then one habit changed how my prayer life… writing my prayers.
Why I started Writing my Prayers.
There are any number of enthusiasts and experts that have talked about the benefits of journaling. But for some reason, I could never get it to stick. And one day I wondered what would happen if I wasn’t just journaling to journal but writing my heart out to the Lord?
After all, pretty much all the book of Psalms are David’s prayers. If David, a man after God’s own heart could write his prayers down, why couldn’t I? Where in the Bible did it say our prayers had to be audible? How often do we communicate via letters, emails or text messages?
I knew in my heart that God would still be with me and be listening if I chose to write out my prayers. The only thing potentially holding me back was the idea that maybe “it wasn’t the right way to pray” – which was an incredibly silly thought. So about 4 years ago, I bought a journal, started writing my prayers and I have been doing it ever since.
Today I’ll share 3 reasons to write your prayers based on some changes I have seen in my own prayer life.
3 Reasons to Write Your Prayers
Improved Focus While Praying
Before writing my prayers, focusing was always an issue for me. The thing is, I liked to pray in my head (not out loud), so I would start praying and less than a minute in, my mind would have drifted to something else entirely.
There’s something about the act of writing out a prayer that helps the mind to stay focused. It’s hard to get distracted when you’re putting pen to paper. Writing keeps you in the moment and if you find your mind drifting, you can just start praying about that thing by writing about it.
By nature of being able to focus for longer, you will also find that you can pray for longer periods.
Talking to God for Longer Periods
I know and always teach that prayer is not a performance. God doesn’t care about how eloquent or how long you talk to Him. At least I don’t think He does. He cares that we talk to Him – regularly.
I mean, I say extremely short prayers all through the day because I like to invite God into every day of my life. But there was a time when I felt I couldn’t pray for more than 5 minutes. And I know I am not alone in this.
We tend to run out of things to pray about or feel like broken records sometimes. Writing your prayers will change that.
For me, along with the increased focus came this ease in pouring my heart out when I am writing. I could sit and fill three pages of my prayer journal just talking to Father about everything.
From requests, to praise, to thanksgiving. It all comes flooding out so easily when I write my prayers. My prayer time became my “journal time” but instead of just writing with to aim, I write to Father.
Writing allows you to pour your heart out in a way that sometimes isn’t as easy verbally.
Provides a Point of Reference
Writing out your prayers provides you with a point of reference in the future. I think it is extremely easy for us to ask Father for something and move on with our lives.
We ask about and for so many things that sometimes when our prayers are answered we don’t even recognize it because we have moved on to wanting something else.
Going back and reading through old prayers gives you a chance to see where God has brought you from. You remember things you asked for ages ago and can reflect on your life to determine if God came through.
This allows you to enter a place of praise and thanksgiving. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at the things you wanted weeks or months ago. Or at how much life has changed.
You might even read something you wrote a while ago and realize that God answered that prayer in the subtlest of ways and because of the fast-paced nature of our lives these days, you might have missed that quiet answer.
But for this to work, you have to actually go back and read through your old prayers.
I can categorically say that writing my prayers changed my prayer life. Yes, I do still pray out loud. As I said, I talk to Father all through the day and I don’t walk around with my prayer journal.
But I start my quiet time in the morning by writing my prayer and it always feels so intimate. Writing allows me to enter the right heart space to spend time with Father.
If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to grab a notebook and write your prayers for a week to see how it feels and if you notice any changes in your prayer life.