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An open journal, ideal for writing your prayers

3 benefits of writing your prayers

When I was a brand new Christian, I wrote almost all of my prayers. I had stacks of journals laying around my bedroom. Every page was filled with praise and petitions, all in my signature chicken scratch that even I can barely read.

I don’t know why, but eventually I wrote in my journals less frequently. I still prayed, but most of them were out loud. Looking back, I can see that was a mistake. Speaking my prayers is a good thing, of course. But writing my prayers was (and remains) one of the most beneficial practices that helped my faith grow. So today, I wanted to share three benefits to writing your prayers if you want to give it a shot:

Writing your prayers can help focus your thoughts

Some people are naturally (or perhaps supernaturally) articulate. They have a way with the spoken word that the rest of us do not. This is why I preach from a full manuscript, for example. Writing out every word helps me to focus and clarify my thoughts in a way that I cannot always off the cuff. So when it comes to prayer, writing down my words creates clarity for myself where I might otherwise be stammering, “Ummm, yeah—so Lord, you know what’s going on here…”

God will respond to that prayer to be sure. We don’t need to focus our thoughts to help God along. He knows what we need before we even ask. The Holy Spirit—who is God—even intercedes for us, praying on our behalf (Romans 8:26). But clarifying and focusing our thoughts does absolutely help us to know what it really is that we’re asking—where we need to see God do what only he can do.

Writing helps you recognize patterns in your life

When you write and reflect on your prayers, you can start to see patterns emerge. Sometimes this can reveal an area of growth—perhaps some sort of sinful behavior or a not-yet-sinful character weakness that needs to be addressed. Other times, this can help you discover a particular passion, whether at home, in the workplace, or in ministry.

This is something that has been so helpful to me in the past. It’s what ultimately led to me being here in the United States. It also gave birth to I’m a Christian—Now What? and, Lord willing, will drive whatever comes after it. Our prayers help us see these things in a way that we may not recognize. So write them down.

Writing gives you a record for seeing how God answered

I’ve shared about this in the past, but it bears repeating. When we write our prayers, it gives us something to look back on and see how God answered. And make no mistake, God always answers our prayers—he just doesn’t always answer the way we expect. His answer might look very different than we hoped. It might even appear to be a “no” (at least for the moment). But no matter what it may seem, these reminders will spur you on to continue to pray, knowing that he will answer.


Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “3 benefits of writing your prayers”

  1. Pingback: Saturday Breakfast Bytes – DECC Men's Group

  2. Coming to KNOW Christ in my early 30’s started me on a journey of reading, writing and praying Gods Word. Over the years I have filled my book shelf with many beautiful journals and raggedy tattered composition books, the outside doesn’t matter it’s what is inside that is my precious conversations with the Father. I try to reread the previous year every New Years Eve and am at times astounded at how Jesus has met me, led me and taught me new truths. A wonderful addition to your sharing Kelly.
    Blessed Christmas,
    Lin

  3. Couldn’t agree more. I teach theology to approximately 140 students daily. I have been teaching prayer journals with my students for decades. It is amazing to watch how the students, many of whom couldn’t stay focused praying verbally or silently for 30 seconds, when combined with a Biblical reading, can pray for 10 minutes straight. In most cases I have to tell them to stop so we can move on to the rest of the lesson. It has been a tremendous blessing in my life as well.

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