I had a Sunday school teacher who told us we can pray to God about anything, even boys. I was shocked. “Really?!?” I asked her. She said God wants to hear from us about anything and everything we’re going through. He wants us to talk to Him, and we can talk to Him like a friend.
But it’s not until recently that I started to pray to God and tell Him everything. I used to write in two journals simultaneously. One was a regular journal where I jotted down my thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. The other was a prayer journal that started off with Dear God. When I needed to get something off my chest, I wrote in my journal. I ranted in my journal. I cried on my journal. My prayer journal was reserved for prayers. I used it after I unloaded all my messy thoughts and feelings into my regular journal.
Then one day, I couldn’t find my journal and I had a lot to get off my chest. I only had my prayer journal and I thought that maybe I could split it into two. The first half would be prayers, while the second half would be a normal journal.
But it didn’t feel right, and maybe it was the Holy Spirit, but I just wrote to God what I wanted to write in my journal. I prayed about how angry I was and what I wanted to do about it. I wrote about the hurt. I wrote about the temptations. I told our majestic, awesome, all-holy Lord about all the ugliness I felt inside.
It felt like I was dragging God into my mud, but He didn’t care. As I cried the ugly crocodile tears, a peace settled in my heart. Bible verses that held the promises of God whispered in my mind. I felt embraced, and I realized that God truly wants to hear from us. We can be brutally honest with Him. It wouldn’t shock Him, and He wouldn’t condemn us. He would lift us out of our filth, love us, and show us a better way.
So my preferred way of praying is with a prayer journal. Writing down my prayers helps me slow down enough to process my thoughts and feelings. It also acts as a record so I can look back and see how far God has taken me, which prayers He answered and how, and be reminded that the darkness only lasts for a while.
Prayer is a way we spend time with God, which is part of selfcare. I encourage you to try using a prayer journal. You can keep track of your prayers, see how God answers them, see how far God has taken you, and also write down revelations God gives you.
My prayer journal is simple. It’s a journal filled with prayers that look like letters. Dear God….In Jesus’ Name, love Angela. Sometimes, I would write down the Scripture I read that day, usually I don’t since I use the First 5 App and the Bible app to keep up with devotionals. But the prayer journal is also a great place to jot down what you’ve learned from the Bible verses you read.
There are more systematic prayer journals out there. Just search Pinterest for “prayer journal pages.” You’ll find that there are many ways to use a prayer journal. There are many kinds of set-up with different purposes. The key is to find what works for you: one that helps you focus and connect with God instead of stressing you out.