I’m generally not one for formal new year’s resolutions but often times I find myself reflecting going into the new year and resolving to make changes to my spiritual habits. Whether through a school break or a work vacation, I find myself with more time to reflect at the end of the year. For 2019, I want to use a prayer journal. For a while I’ve been wanting to bolster my prayer life and say more meaningful prayers. My morning prayer time can be solid sometimes but in the evenings I find myself praying right before I go to bed when my energy is at its lowest. Doesn’t God deserve my full strength? My prayers would often follow a social media scrolling session or streaming time. I need to get back to prioritizing God over my screen time. So I’ll be praying earlier in the evening to make sure God gets my best.
I also noticed that I journaled and made requests to God about certain aspects of my life but not all. If I could see God moving so clearly in some areas of my life through my journaling what other things was I overlooking by not documenting it? Writing things down is so powerful and helps me see how God is moving in my life. I can see through journaling over the last few years how I prayed through my graduate school application process and got accepted to how I asked God for specific traits in a significant other and not two weeks later I met someone who exhibited all of them :) But I also want to move beyond myself in my prayers and see these same miracles in other people’s lives. This is way I am resolving to do a prayer journal for not only all aspects of my prayer life but for many aspects of others. I’ll also touch on community and world issues. I’m hopeful that throughout the year I will see God’s work and progress. I welcome you to join me in this journey.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on Earth agree on anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18: 19-20.
I believe God answers our prayers in the most unique ways. I mean really, who could begin to fully conceptualize God and the extent of His power?
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
“Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.” (Ecclesiastes 8:17)
The other day I found myself asking God to help me with my ungrateful spirit. A lot of my ingratitude stems from knowing what I want to do professionally but not being there or seeing a clear path. So my impatience and frustration causes me to resent God when in actuality it’s not time for said doors to be open. I’m confident I am not lacking anything God would have me to have right now. But an interesting thing happened as I asked God to help with my ingratitude; He opened my eyes to see how much I had in comparison to others.
So I’m not saying I have conquered ingratitude but a got a few reminders that I have so much to be thankful for.
“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:3-5)
So I encourage you to go to God in prayer; He’s listening.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
I don’t consider myself a stubborn person but when I’m convinced of something and feel it’s right, I will not back down. Usually, the stuff that I know is right relates to God’s abilities and power. No one can convince me God doesn’t love us and have a purpose for every one of us because of what He did for me on May 19, 2008. With everything going on He spared me from a serious accident that I caused. While I suffered a traumatic brain injury because of that accident that’s not the end of the story. I also personally know the power of prayer because the doctors over my care projected 6-18 months for me to recover. I believe it was through the power of my mighty prayer warriors (my family, friends, church community, family and friends around the world) that I returned to school on time that fall less than 3 months after my accident. I graduated from high school a year to the day of my accident and started college on time in the fall. If my prayer warriors would have accepted the original diagnosis who knows where I’d be today?
And while I’m grateful for what God did in 2008, He is still working today.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Most recently I asked the Holy Spirit for clarity on a guy situation. I needed answers and wanted to make a sound decision and not be swayed by emotions. One of my love languages is words of affirmation. When this person was telling me nice things I thought for a second, “Oh yea I should give them a chance.” And while these words sounded nice I knew I couldn’t make a decision on emotions alone; so I sought God.
“And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2: 3-6)
I wasn’t in a hurry to hear back but I knew within the day that that person was not for me. While I’m alone, I’m not lonely.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 3-4)
Here’s what some of my Bible’s commentary says on this verse: “We must understand being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles.”
The more we suffer; the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.
Hi! I'm Marilyn!