Someone told me the other day, “I’m not a big journal-type guy.” Meaning, its very difficult for him to write down experiences on “paper” and then go back over them. Strangely enough, as much as I love to write, I feel the same way. It’s hard to keep an official journal and then go back to it time and again. I don’t know that it will ever really catch on for me.
One of my favorite “devotional” books is Paul Miller’s A Praying Life. It just doesn’t get much better, as he weaves prayer (why and how to do it) into the entirety of life-even praying for parking spaces! One of the tools he recommends at the end of the book in his practical section is keeping a prayer journal. As much as I love the book and have been influenced by it, I don’t see it sticking.
Yet, I understand the WHY behind a prayer journal! You can literally see God answer prayers (and sometimes the answer is that He’s changing us) one at a time. You can literally see how your prayers actually do make a difference, and your heart will overflow with thankfulness.
Today, I was going through some recently recorded church-wide prayer goals I thought I had saved on my computer within my Evernote App. I couldn’t find them so I looked through some previous prayer goals I had written in 2014. As I looked, I noticed how all of them had been answered in a way consistent with what I had prayed! Here are some of them below:
- Music leader house sold; more vocalists
- Attendance averaging 100 (we’ve had a few Sundays over a 100, and some in 90’s last month, so I think we’re pretty close)
- 4 Community Groups
- Young families (we’ve picked up a few towards the end of the summer)
- A Children’s Leader
- More children’s church teachers
- Women’s bible study leaders
Now next Sunday could see a drop in numbers, some families could choose to leave, a teacher quit, etc. I gave up assuming anything since I’m often wrong and there really isn’t a need to do so; it’s Jesus’ church, not mine! But this simple note reminded never to leave out prayer. As Bon Jovi wisely postulated, “We’ve living on a prayer.” Most of what and whom we have here at Harbor has been given in response to specific prayers. Since He has clearly said yes on a number of occasions, I need a place to store these requests. If I didn’t have a place to store these requests, I wouldn’t have seen how faithful He had been to us. Even if you’re like me, and probably won’t journal, it’s a good idea to find some system that allows you to record your prayers.
Evernote is the easiest to use and is free for the basic option (which I use). It is the most helpful app known to man (or at least this man).
Prayer Notebook is just $1.99 for I Phone and $ 2.99 for I Pad and is an app I used religiously (not in the pejorative sense) before church planting but I have gotten away from since moving back to Bradenton. I confess I’ve hyper-focused on praying for this church plant to the exclusion of many other categories I used when living in West Va as an Ass. Pastor.
Whatever you use, make sure to record your prayer requests in a place accessible by you at some time in the future. You’ll be glad you did.