Faith is a huge part of my life, it’s the “saint” behind Saint + Cypress in case you were curious! 🙂 So I want it to be something I talk about here regularly on the blog. It wouldn’t feel right to not include such a big part of my life. So without further adieu, let’s talk about prayer…
Prayer is a crucial part of my faith walk, yet it’s one of the things I tend to struggle with the most while following Jesus. I have studying the bible and going to church on lock, but prayer… it’s just doesn’t come that easy to me.
Growing up, I was taught to recite pretty formal prayers and for many years I thought that was the only way prayer worked. As an adult, I’ve learned that prayer is simply a conversation between me and Jesus. Nothing complicated. No rules. No etiquette, so to speak. Only me and God, sharing our hearts.
There’s been one tool that I’ve used consistently for the past few years that has made a tremendous improvement in my prayer life — my prayer journal from Val Marie Paper! I’m a journaler in general, it helps me process all the thoughts that hurricane in my mind. So it was a no-brainer that I would like organizing my prayers in a journal. It’s a type-A girl’s dream!
How do I use my prayer journal?
I shoot to fill out my prayer journal during the last week of the previous month, or at the latest during the first week of the new month. My bed is my place. It’s comfy and calming and the ideal spot for journaling of any kind. I typically will put on some worship music, light a candle or diffuse some essential oils, make a cup of tea and start praying.
To start, I reflect on the month that’s just passed, think about what’s on the schedule for the month to come, and consider what the people in my life are going through and what current events are taking/have taken place. This is where the “base” of my prayers begins.
Next, I flip section by section through my prayer journal and fill things out as they come to me. I put zero pressure on myself during this process. Some times I have a lot on my mind and heart and can just write and write. But other times, the prayers come in a slow trickle. And that’s completely okay!
I keep my prayer journal in my nightstand for easy access to add to anytime I need. You know all those times you hear a friend or colleague talk about a situation they or someone they know are going through and you automatically say, “I’ll keep that in my prayers” but all too often we kinda forget to actually do so? My prayer journal solves that. Whenever I say I’ll pray for something/someone, I go ahead and jot it down in my journal. Then each time I go to pray, I’m reminded of who or what needs some interceding.
Do I pray with my journal? Nope! I pray frequently throughout the day – while I drive, while I work, etc – when I don’t have my journal nearby. Having my intentions jotted out in my journal helps me to remember who and what I need to intercede for even when I don’t have it with me.
What are my favorite prayer resources?
- Prayer journal – For the last couple of years, I used these six month journals. But this year I opted for the yearly prayer journal! Y’all, it’s the best! And no I’m not getting paid to say this 😉 The yearly prayer journal is a combo of a prayer journal, gratitude journal, and a conversation journal. Oh and it’s the perfect size and it’s spiral bound!
- Before Amen, The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado – I seriously tried to absorb every single word of this book like a sponge. Max takes the intimidation and fear out of prayer and replaces it with a refreshing take on conversing with God. If you feel like you’re in a bit of a prayer, this is the book for you!