I have a small book loaded with lists of prayers. I started writing in it on Easter morning of 2011, and it is now filled with page after page of personal prayer requests and those of friends and family. Reading back over some of them makes me laugh (Please, God let us beat Glenwood tonight!) while others bring back more somber, serious memories.
I started this book because I forget things. I forget what I go into the next room to do, I forget to call a friend back, I forget to take food to the teacher’s workroom at school if I don’t write it down. And I tell people I will pray for them or someone they love, only to forget if I don’t put it in my prayer journal.
So this journal is a good idea, right? Well… yes and no. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me yesterday saying that the journal had become a list of prayers that I was checking off day after day. Safe drive home from the beach? Check. Show me where to serve at church? Check. Beat Glenwood? (That’s an ongoing prayer…we’ll see what happens tonight…)
I realized my prayer journal is a good tool but it should not be a checklist. Each person, each prayer, each entry should be carefully and intentionally prayed over, not plowed through like my to-do list for today.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) See it’s all about being faithful with the time God gives me every day. Am I going to spend 10 minutes stalking people on FaceBook or use that same 10 minutes to pray for someone who needs healing? One of my goals this year is to be more faithful in prayer, and that starts with shutting out the world, letting Jesus in and focusing on what really matters.
So I close with this statement from Pastor Chris Hodges, spoken in his first message in the “I Have Decided” series: “I have decided that I’m not going to let anything that will ultimately mean nothing distract me from that which will mean everything.” BOOM.
Blessings for a fabulous Thursday!