3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have had a prayer journal for as long as I could remember. I was always very fond of writing and I find that writing down my thoughts usually help me keep them on the positive side of the spectrum. I don’t usually journal about events that happened during the day, more like how I felt that day and why. I also write ideas, projects, plans, bible study notes etc. But to be honest, nothing is more satisfying to me than to write my prayers down. I usually write them as letters to my beloved Father and I just love being able to read them over and over. Here are 3 reasons why you should keep a prayer journal.

 

  1. You can keep track of your answered prayers

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One of the best feelings of keeping a prayer journal is being able to look back and read over the prayers and requests that you wrote down before, and realizing today that they have been answered. You see I have realized that it is very easy to forget about our present blessings until we realized that a day before or a year before, the blessings that we are enjoying today were things that we were desperately praying for. On June 21, 2016 I wrote in my prayer journal for God to intervene for me so that I may have an interview with a specific company that I’d rather not name. On Monday June 27th, I was headed to my interview and opened my journal to pray before going. I started reading old prayers and couldn’t help but smile when I came across the one about the interview. On July 5th 2016 at 11:00PM, I wrote in my journal about going to orientation with my brother and having a place to stay and everything planned. On July 7th, 2016, there I was at orientation with my mother and brother with everything planned and taken care of. I could go on and on about this, but I wanted to give recent examples.

 

2.  You can use it to rekindle your hope in God

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Okay I know that sometimes we all lose hope or start doubting God or our relationship with him. Although yes, you should read your Bible and pray about it, but sometimes I don’t even feel like I have the strength to pray. I then open my prayer journal and start reading past prayers and I am reminded of who the god I serve is. I am reminded of my relationship with Him and of how I wouldn’t want to give that away for anything. It is funny that as I am inspired to write this today, I am living this part and reading my prayers over along with the Bible has sure brought the Joy of the Lord back to me.

 

 

3. You are more aware of the relationship you have with God

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I am not saying that I write every single prayer in my prayer journal because I pray multiple times a day. Before I eat, before I drive, before I make a decision etc. And these prayers are usually short ones in the quietness of my heart; But I do reserve one hour in the morning and one hour at night to sit down calmly with my Bible, my highlighters, my prayer journal, and worship songs. I write down my prayers, I bring my thoughts to my Father, my concerns etc. One thing I have realized from doing that is that I am more aware of what goes on between me and God when I keep my journal. I am able to have on concrete paper what I need to work on, what God is doing in me and in my life and in others’ life. Not only am I able to witness them in my life and in others’ life, I am able to look at it happen from another angle by keeping a prayer journal. I find that to be a plus if you are working on bettering your relationship with God.

 

I was inspired to write this today out of nowhere so I hope it inspires and helps someone. How has keeping a prayer journal helped you? If you would like a post about my process for keeping my prayer journal ( how it looks, what I start with, how I pray etc.)  feel free to comment and let me know! Feel free to comment even if you just want to say hi also! 🙂

 

Love,

 

Lori

Not Having it Together Yet in Your Early 20s is Totally Okay

Thoughts, Uncategorized

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was desperately looking for something to do to show out for herself. Everyone around her seemed to have talent and to be up to something except for her she said; so she was trying to learn as many things as possible or trying to come up with things like creating a blog, or writing or anything she thought she could get her hands on. I thought of encouraging her  if she was doing this for the right reasons until I found myself in her.

Today’s world puts so much pressure on young people nowadays! It’d have you feel that in your early 20’s you need to have graduated, be a home owner, have traveled the world, be successful, be married or in a relationship, own your own business, and be popular on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and whatever else there is.

When I think about it, social media and comparison seem to have a lot to with it. Let’s go back to my friend. She felt that everyone around her was up to something. When I asked who was everyone, she told me social media friends or people she knew in real life posting about their new job, travels, graduation, blogs, YouTube channels etc.

Hmm.. I thought. Haven’t we all been there! Social media are not what they are cut up to be. People are more likely to post about successes than failures. You will not see how many rejection letters they received or how they struggled for anything they post about. While I do not necessarily blame it, I do not condone comparing your life to others’. What you only see or hear others talk about is what they choose to share with you, so comparing your full life story to bits and pieces of another’s life is just not fair to you.

I am here to tell you that in your early 20’s, not having it together yet is totally okay. You are probably a student, working towards certain goals that you would like to accomplish, or maybe you are not a student but you have dreams and you look at other people’s successes and think to yourself that you should have been doing more or doing better. Well, I am totally here for having other people inspire you, but if being inspired by what someone is doing is borderline making you feel bad about yourself, you need to rethink this.

Each person is on their own timeline according to God’s plan for their life. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is trying to fit someone else’s timeline to your own. That won’t quite work now will it? I recently read the book of John and one thing I remember writing is how Jesus would mention that his “time had not yet come”. It reminded me that there are specific times for certain things. The fact that someone graduated today and you are working towards graduating but you are not there yet does not mean that you have failed. It maybe   means that you are moving according to God’s timing for your life! and if there is one thing I learned, it is that it’s the best timing there is!

My friend also wanted to find things to do that she’d seen others’ been successful at. Hmm.. while this can be a good thing, it has its flaws.  I am all here for finding yourself, finding your purpose, your path, and God’s plan for your life, but if the reason you choose to go into something is because you see others do it, I think you should rethink this yet again. God gave us gifts and talents according to His will for us. Maybe someone else’s ministry is singing, maybe another’s is creativity, or leading, writing, or whatever else, but that does not mean that it is your own. Appropriating another’s path won’t make you as happy as they are if it’s not your gift.

Find your purpose, find what you are good at and do that. The rest will follow according to God’s will. Move at your own pace and try to enjoy the ride along the way. And the next time you find yourself being discouraged by comparing your life to others’, remember God created you unique in His image, with gifts that maybe you have no idea you have and that He is going through this journey with you. Pray and ask Him for guidance with your life. Trust in Him and in His timing.

Love,

Lori

5 Steps to Gratitude

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A couple of years ago, God told me to appreciate little things. He really did! He sent me books, people, and when I still wasn’t paying attention, He told me. Once I realized what direction God wanted me to take, I started to take it to heart and putting gratitude into practice. God is so good and so merciful! I ran out of words to thank Him a long time ago, but I still make sure I do. Here are five things I did and still do today. I hope these will help you have a more grateful heart.

1. Write 10 things that you are grateful to God for
I was always into journaling as I love to write so this came naturally to me. I kept a journal in which I wrote down my prayers and things I was grateful for every day. I wrote about ten things to begin with so you can start with that. Later on, I couldn’t stop. I stopped counting how many things I was writing and it was amazing the things I was grateful for! I wrote things like:” Thank You so much, Lord for this beautiful day.” or ” Thank You so much, Lord, for Your love and mercy.” ” thank You God that I have eyes to see the beauty of Your creation.” etc.  At first, I planned on doing it for 21 days, but I did not stop ever since. It truly changed my life and put things into perspective.

2. Say Thank you to/for others and mean it

I also started thanking others. Thanking them for little things each and every time. Thanking them for their friendship and thanking God for them.I would say in my heart when I see them:” Thank You God for putting this person in my life.” or even tell them in person that I am grateful for them. Surprisingly enough, my relationships bloomed without me doing anything. God was blessing each and every single one of my relationships and people seemed happier in my company. People who didn’t have my best interest at heart either completely changed their attitude or stayed away from me for my own good. I was also happier.

3. Be Grateful in Difficult Situations

I admit that this is not an easy one, but practice makes perfect! So much, that now, even if I say I am hungry or this is not going well etc. I am just saying it, but in my heart, whatever is not going well does not bother me one bit. Let me explain. In each situation, I believe there is a hidden blessing. There are always lessons to be learned and God knows I love to learn. I love to become a better person and to grow personally. As a result, every time something goes South, I always remind myself that there is a blessing in this situation even if I don’t realize it right away. I often say:“Thank God for lessons learned.”

I used to tutor at the Math Lab in the community college I went to. Some days were so busy that our supervisor would come in to help out. I had to walk around and help students while sometimes having one to one appointments and it was just so hectic. My coworkers would complain a lot about it and I would too at some point until I decided to view things from a different angle. Every day before work, I would pray and thank God for having a job and most importantly I would thank God for being able to help so many people who have exams and homework to go through. Next thing I knew, I was always so happy and cheery to go to work and help people. So much, that the students started to specifically ask for me to tutor them which made me even more grateful. At the end of my work days, I would be tired but I would always be smiling and looking forward to tomorrow. The same thing is happening at my current job. I love it so much and love the people even though it’s tiring work. I always look forward to the next work day so I can help people. As a result, my supervisor pulled me once to tell me how she loves how much of a positive attitude she noticed I have, how she appreciates my kindness, and how I always have such a genuine smile all the time making students feel welcomed. I thought to myself:” Thank you, Jesus. It was all You.”

4. Give Thanks in Your Prayers

Okay, I know this is a no brainer because we are supposed to give thanks while praying, but have you ever tried to not ask for anything and to just say thank you? I practiced that for over a month. I would wake up and start with praise then I would  thank God for each and every little thing in my life for an hour. I would do the same at night. As a result, I started to pray for others and not for myself and kept on giving thanks. What happened was that I got the job I wanted out of the blue,I got the courage to walk away from someone who wasn’t good for my life, and I passed classes I thought I’d fail. I did not expect any of this, and sure did not pray about them, but giving thanks to God for the things I do have without asking anything else was trusting God to take care of my needs and that’s exactly what He did!

5. Don’t worry and Be Happy!

Easier said than done, but When you are genuinely grateful to God, you don’t have the time to doubt Him. You don’t have the time to question whether or not He will provide this or that because you are too busy being grateful for what He has provided. One thing I’ve learned is that worrying is one of the most ungrateful acts. To me, worrying is basically not believing God’s promises and dismissing what He has already done for you. So Be happy! Smile to strangers, love out loud and share the joy that you found in the Lord! He’ll take care of you like He always has!

Love,

Lori