I want to be transparent in this post. I've been told transparency is the best language to speak. I've never found a better language to build a relationship around. I'm going to share some of one of my journal entries. The day is January 11th, 2018 and the entry reads: "Lord, thank You for waking me up today! I have life, because of You! Lord, help me love others the way You love! Especially, those who are hard to love! Prayers:
- My wife to get pregnant
- My son's salvation
This year I have made a purposeful effort to not just pray more but also journal more. Journaling sometimes has a bad name for men. It's often considered something only women do. That couldn't be further from the truth! I journal often. My pastors journal often. Great men and women of the faith journal often. John Wesley journaled. Billy Graham journaled. Charles Spurgeon journaled. Journaling can be a gateway into someone's life. For example, Ann Frank wrote in her diary and after her death it was published as book (first in the Dutch language in 1947 by Contact Publishing in Amsterdam and then an English language translation Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girlby Doubleday & Company (United States) and Valentine Mitchell (United Kingdom) in 1952). It was also made into a TV mini-series in 2009. Through her words we have a window into her life when she was in hiding during the Holocaust. Journals give you a window down memory lane in your own life, because sometimes we forget things. I know I do. And when we write them down we can go back and reflect on something we wrote on a specific day. We can see memories through our words, we can see answered prayers, we can see God's faithfulness, and much, much more!
I love what George Muller says about journaling1:
"I have found it a great blessing to treasure up in the memory, the answers God graciously gives me in answer to prayer. I have always kept a record to strengthen the memory. I advise the keeping of a little memorandum book. On one side – say the left-hand side – put down the petition, and the date when you began to offer it. Let the opposite page be left blank to put down the answer in each case, and you will soon find how many answers you get, and thus you will be encouraged more and more, your faith will be strengthened; and especially you will see what a lovely, bountiful and gracious Being God is; your heart will go out more and more in love to God, and you will say – it is my Heavenly Father Who has been so kind, I will trust in Him, I will confide in Him through His Son." - George Muller
George Muller, if you didn't know, "was a Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. He cared for 10,024 orphans during his lifetime and provided educational opportunities for the orphans to the point that he was even accused by some of raising the poor above their natural station in British life. He established 117 schools which offered Christian education to more than 120,000 children, many of whom were orphans."4
Journaling can be a record of God's faithfulness. If you're anything like me, I can forget things quite easily. I'm not a fan of making lists, but I've learned that making lists help you remember! Journaling helps you remember the prayers you prayed and the ability to see when God answered a specific prayer. Like I said, it becomes a record of God's faithfulness. If you write down your prayers and what God is saying to you and seek Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind I promise you will become more aware of how active God really is in your life. You will see how certain dots connect that you didn't notice before. You'll see how this prayer was an answer to this prayer. You'll see how God was working in this area of your life only to prepare you for something different in your life. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, or better yet, "prayer-sight" is 20/20.
I shared part of my January 11th, 2018 journal entry at the beginning of this post. A month later, on February 11th, 2018, I wrote this in my journal: "Jesus, I am in awe of You. I thank You for everything You've done for us this year! I don't deserve Your grace and kindness! I'm overwhelmed by the "fearful and wonderful" baby You are knitting together! Lord, thank You so much for Sarah being pregnant!"
These two journal entries remind me of God's faithfulness and incredible kindness. They are a reminder, to me, that God does answer prayers! Yes, sometimes not the way we want or think He should but, nonetheless, He is faithful, kind, and willing to hear our prayers. I really believe many have not, because they ask not.
Prayer equals power. Not selfish power, but rather it reveals the power of God to do what only God can do. Only God could open up the womb and begin to knit together a new life. The process of a baby being born is nothing shy of the power, awesomeness, and relentless love of God. It's my prayer this post encourages you to keep journaling and keep praying. Don't allow the enemy of our souls (or even other people) keep you from seeking, knocking, and asking. God isn't a million miles away. He's much closer than you might realize. Open up His Word, grab a pen and journal, and pray so that you can begin to hear His whisper that was always there. Too often our selective hearing listens to all the voices coming at us rather than the One voice who created us!
This post was first published on Aaron's blog: Aaron-Hall.com
- Hindsight is 20/20: (idiomatic) In hindsight things are obvious that were not obvious from the outset; one is able to evaluate past choices more clearly than at the time of the choice.