How to Grow Stronger in Your Faith
Create a Prayer Journal.
What’s a prayer journal? For me it’s a $0.99 Wal-Mart spiral bound notebook. I used to write in a fancy leather-bound journal but now I keep it simple. When you think prayer journal think diary, only write like you’re talking to God. The more honest you are with yourself, and God, the more freedom and joy you will experience.
Disclaimer: I pray by journaling. I write down my concerns, celebrations, and the secret thoughts that are separating me from my relationships and peace. A prayer journal is essential to building your faith because it’s the record book of God’s faithfulness in your life.
Some people use the notes app in their phones or maybe type it out on their computer but I get distracted when I am using a device. My prayer journal keeps me engaged and in tune with my heart’s condition. In order for me to spend quality time praying with God I need to be engaged so that means a pen and paper.
A girl in my Bible study came up to me in tears a few weeks ago. She was worried and sad for her friend Mary. Mary’s Dad was an angry man and wouldn’t let Mary come to church. She wept and said all she wanted was for Mary to come to church because she’s going through a hard time and needs God. I asked, “Have you prayed specifically for Mary to come?”
She looked at me like I was a little crazy and she sort of whimpered, “No, her Dad won’t let her.” So I looked down at her and said “I want you to specifically pray, right now, that Mary would come to Bible study this Wednesday.”
That Wednesday as I stood at the door greeting to greet the students this young girl walked in with her friend Mary. God answered her prayer.
It’s hard to see God at work when we don’t know what we’re looking for. “God please help me today.” Help me with what? With work? Maybe school? My relationships? Or Family drama? Praying “help me God” doesn’t always help our anxiety and fear.
Change your prayers to actual scenarios you experience and pray for a tangible way God could show up. Peace follows prayer because we know we can trust God. How? The Bible says so.
“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.” Psalm 17:6 NLT
We see God at work when we pray for things only He can do.
Here are some specific prayers I’ve prayed that God has answered:
“God please bring me a friend who will go to church with me.”
“God I don’t feel very loved, please show me how much you love me this week.”
“God help me focus while I study so I can pass my test.”
“God please help me love her even though it feels impossible. I need you to give me Your heart for her.”
“God when I feel tempted to be fake please give me a desire to please you instead of my friends.”
“God I am unhappy in my job, please give me another opportunity to use my gifts.”
There’s a chance you don’t see God at work because you don’t know where to look. Specific prayers make you expectant and prayer journals keep track of His faithfulness to encourage you in hard times. This is the recipe for growing in your relationship with God. Your prayer journal is the story of His love for you.