Many of the people who I counsel seem to have something in common – they have trouble answering this question – “What prayers has God answered for you?”
Sounds simple enough, but if you have let your focus in life stay on your troubles too long and away from God, this can be a perplexing question. What you pray for, how you pray for it, and when it gets answered are all things that you should be writing down in a prayer journal. After all, if I asked you what you had for lunch last Thursday could you tell me right away? Of course not, and the same goes for our prayer lives.
Our prayer lives and prayer time with God is truly some of the most important time we spend with God. God teaches us that we should be talking with Him as our friend and Father each and every day, all throughout the day. I know your thinking “that is crazy and impossible.” I’m not saying you should be having full on out loud conversations with God 24/7, but what I am saying is that, for example, when something goes your way during the day you quietly say “Thank you Lord”. When something troubles you, you pray “Lord you know I’m not a huge fan of this so I would absolutely love it if you would help me with this.” When you are at a stop light in your car, you can take a quick moment and say “Thank you for this awesome new day you gave me Father and I pray I use it to your glory today.” See how simple that is? It takes no time at all to keep God in your life throughout the day.
I tell all of the people I counsel the following: 1) get a spiral notebook and a pen you love to write with, 2) when you get up in the morning before your feet hit the floor, start your day with a prayer of gratitude to God for keeping you alive during the night and graciously giving you another day here on Earth as well as all of the many things you are grateful for (trust me that should be a huge list), 3) next pray for the very SPECIFIC things that you want God to help others with, such as praying for healing for any sick friends/family, praying for help for people you know are struggling, such as those currently struggling with depression or anger, 4) finally praying for any SPECIFIC items you would like to ask God for. As a side note, never pray, “God please bless me”. WHat does that even mean? Bless you what? How? Why? When? THe Bible teaches that unspecific prayers are much like leaves blowing in the wind, they have no direction and just blow away. Don’t waste your prayers or God’s time with unspecific prayers!
Now, with that done, WRITE THESE ALL DOWN and put a date by each of them. Then when these prayers get answered, go back to them and write down the date they were answered. This way, you get a dated and numbered list of prayers that God answers for you.
“How does this help me” you ask? This list will help you when you feel like God is silent in your life. It will help you to realize that God loves you and has answered prayers for you in the past, therefore He will again. It will remind you of the things that you continue to struggle with in your life when you see the same prayer written down multiple times. It is truly a full accounting of the conversations you have with God and how they turn out!
Friends, a prayer journal is as vital to you as reading your Bible each and every day. God gives you everything you have – the air you breathe, the body that keeps functioning, the clothes you wear, the family you have, the job you have, the finances you have, and on and on. We are simple borrowing it all from God, so we need to first be grateful to Him each day, boldly ask him to help others with their struggles before ourselves, and then boldly ask God to help us grow in our relationships with Him as well as help us with the things we struggle with.
Start you prayer journal today and I guarantee if you stick with it, you will begin to see it pay off for you right away. You keep your bank account balanced I’m sure, so why not keep a record of all of the gifts God gives you and the prayers He asnwers for you? God honors and rewards us when we keep track of His work and stay grateful to Him for it.
In His Name,
Pastor Brad Komgenick