A few of you said things like this on Friday after reading my Encouragement for Today devotion Love Letter and then my blog on Friday over prayer journaling. . .

I’ve tried, but I give up.

I started and I liked it, but it phased out.

I don’t know what to write.

I keep getting caught up in little details, like how to do it the “right” way.

I hear you. But let’s look at what a prayer journal isn’t:

  1. It’s not homework
  2. It’s not a duty
  3. It’s not a formula

It’s simply putting your prayers on paper. Today this is my prayer on paper:

Father, this weekend blew me away. I’m amazed at what you can do. There was a moment when I was anxious as I stepped up to the podium, but then I realized all over again that this wasn’t about me. It was about Your Word, and the heart that you have for those sitting in the auditorium. Thank you for meeting me in that anxious moment.

Thank you for touching the hearts of women who were hurting. Thank you for challenging women to know you more. Thank you for healing relationships, and for speaking through Your Word to a church who wants to make a difference. I love watching you work.

Another day, it might look like this:

Father, I am hurting and I do not have all the answers. For today I trust You. I know that You see me, and for that I’m grateful. Show me what you desire in this situation, rather than respond with my feelings.

A prayer journal is simply communication with God. Maybe it comes out of that alone time in the Bible. Maybe it’s a verse that hit home with you. Or maybe it’s just being vulnerable with Him and sharing the treat, the good, the bad, and the ugly of your life with your Heavenly Father.

Why do we give up?

The same reason we give up on anything. It’s not easy at first, and even if there are benefits, it can get squeezed out by things that are more demanding for our time.

After nearly 35 years of loving God, I still have to make a conscious effort to meet with Him. Why? I don’t know, but it shows up in my life when I do. . and it shows up in my life when I don’t.

So, begin. Do it in your own way. Be artistic if that is you. Be concise if that is you. Write pages and pages if that is you. Just be real and honest as you talk with Him.

Then go back a few weeks later when your desire is waning. Note how God took care of you during one prayer time. Note how He answered, or sustained you, or you felt encouragement or strength. You’ll be surprised at the answers to prayers we often miss.

Remember, it’s not a formula. It’s not homework. It’s simply connecting with a God who loves you and transforms you as you draw closer.