Today is #livefreeThursday. Women from all over the world are connecting to talk about “a love letter.”
I shared a story on Encouragement Today nearly three years ago. It was about an unexpected love letter I received from my dad. It helped me see inside the heart of a man who didn’t know how to share his feelings. Today’s post is a throwback post related to that love letter and how we can write our own love letter to God. ~ Suz
The love letter from my dad was rare and precious. I still have the tattered pieces of that letter with me today.
I have other love letters, not as tattered.
Years ago I sat with a group of teens and issued a challenge, one I wanted to take with them: to begin a very personal journey spiritually with God.
I handed out a black notebook and markers and said, “This is our opportunity to share everything we’ve ever wanted to share with God. . . but to also hear from Him.”
For the next few weeks I asked them to place that notebook beside them as they prayed and studied the Bible. To meet with God for a few minutes, with no time limit, just to carve out a small portion of their day.
“Just like you would with a friend,” I encouraged. “You might stop by for five minutes and it turns to thirty, or you pop in for five and it is five. But don’t focus on the time. Focus on the relationship. Just be You. And let God be God.”
I know that this impacted the teens, but it began to change me as well.
Each day, instead of talking to God verbally, I talked to Him through writing. I told Him about my day. I shared my excitement. My hurts.
Sometimes I shared my grocery list.
Because at the back of the notebook, that’s where I wrote down distracting thoughts. If something popped up, like “you need to pay bills,” or “why is that sock lying under the couch,” it had a place. If it needed action, I attended to it later.
That way, it wasn’t in my brain anymore. I could go back to me and God.
Each week we brought our journals to class. The teens shared thoughts with each other. Prayers that were answered — or when a devotion or scripture leaped from the page. Together we hashed through the harder portions and they felt free to ask the harder questions. We looked at scripture in context. We dug deeper.
When that class ended, my prayer journal continued.
It became my love letter to God.
Somehow my fingers loosened my heart as I sat with a Bible, a pen, and with Him.
When my dad wrote that letter all those years ago, it became a treasure. It wasn’t the eloquence of his words, but that he took the time to be real with me.
One day someone might look at my journals and they won’t find them impressive. They’ll see a mishmash of prayer, prayer and study, and an occasional grocery list.
But it’s my love letter to God, the one that shows God the real me. The one where I speak to Him and He — like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants — speaks back.
What about you?
Do you long to write your own love letters to God?
Why don’t you begin today?
If you don’t have a prayer journal, it doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple notebook, a pen, and your Bible. That’s all that you need.
Underline scripture that speaks to you. Write down your questions. Pen your prayers. And yes, write down your grocery list if you need.
Then come back here every week. This is a safe place for you to share your thoughts or questions.
I’d love to hear what you’re discovering as you write your love letters to God.
I have tried to start a prayer journal, but it never seems to work. I think I get caught up in trying to get it right and tracking answers, etc. I don’t keep it a simple conversation. I guess that is a challenge for me.
You’re right, the prayers that I have journaled have been a blessing. I have a blog that I write scripture, thoughts and prayers in, but I need a prayer journal that is all my own. Many of my prayers are just between me and God and wouldn’t fit in my blog.
I have kept a prayer journal since becoming a Christian almost three years ago and every now and then I look back at the prayers I have written and check off the ones that God has answered. It is such a joy looking back at the many prayers that have been on my heart and seeing God’s Grace, God’s Mercy, and God’s Blessings among the pages.
I am on the same page as Sara. I love the idea of a prayer journal, but each time I try to start one, I keep getting caught up in the little details. But then each time one of my prayers is answered, I think to myself of how I should make a note of this because God is so good and sometimes I need a reminder of that. Maybe I’ll start again…
Thank you for sharing this! I did use to write prayers down, it was always very meaningful and a time that I was more focused than by not writing, I love the list of distractions! I will be looking today for journals to distribute to the ladies in my bible study tomorrow. We have spent the year studying prayers, those of Jesus, Sarah, Hannah, Paul. Tomorrow I will be wrapping up for the summer and could not think of a better way to conclude!
I have tried one too but I only seem to be able to make it work for a couple of days before I don’t “have time” anymore. 🙁
I have been journaling off and on for about 25 years now. My journal is actually where I write my prayers. Some prayers are 2 pages long, some half a page. Some people have expressed discouragement that they don’t keep up with journaling. I have found that there are times when I am diligent and journal everyday and then put down my journal and leave it for months without a single word written. That’s okay! Pick it up again when you’re ready and just begin again on the next page. Take a little time if you can to read some of your past entries. You will be amazed at how many prayers have been answered!
I am like Lauren. I have tried many times to keep a prayer journal or even just carve out a time for myself to read the Bible and pray. But alas, life always creeps in and I give it up. Why is it that I can read the paper daily, with all the trivial and inane and bad news, yet not make the time to read the Good News?? I am challenging myself today to read the Good News and journal with my morning coffee, rather than read the paper. The distractions page will be a great tool for me;I am always making lists in my head and my 3 school-age kids always seem to pop in when I am trying to have some alone time!! :). Thanks for the great inspiration today!!
I have always enjoyed writing & mostly keeping a prayer journal and I find it soooooo helpful or just a plain journal cause I’ve always found it great 2 write down my thoughts & feelings. But I stopped & reading ur blog has given me the mindset 2 start back jounaling. I know God knows all things but its good 2 write things down 4 myself. July 16th I’m starting a Christian Woman’s Book Club called “Sista’s In Christ” & what better way 2 end the 1st meeting then passing out journals 🙂 please pray 4 me cause I want these woman & myself 2 gain whatever God want 4 them 2 receive & including myself. So thanks a lot 4 this blog today :). Have a stress-free & blessed day 🙂
I had a journal in my time of suffering. I was going a very difficult time in my marriage, and as I try to figure out why this was happening to me, I began to write to Gid in my desperation and he spoke to me thru His word. Today I am amaze as I read my journal. I would ask God a question and He would answer me thru His word. It might sound crazy, but I would open the bible I had which is a devotional and He would answer all of my question. I encourage everyone to start a journal because God will talk to u..
I get so caught up in trying to do it ‘right’. In having the ‘right’ journal, should I make a list, or should I just write paragrpahs. This is so frustrating for me. I want to do it. Would you be willing to share some more tips and encouragement?
Thank you for your blog! 🙂
I started journalling about 15 ago when I was going through a very rough time in my life. My journals are where i started to grow in my personal relationship with the Lord. They made our relationship real! Through journalling I have found Jesus to be the Perfect Friend that I have been longing for my whole life. I am able to share first what is going on in my day or life and am always amazed that by the end of my writing either through scripture or a devotional or even a thought God has spoken to me.
I, also, had to learn that I didn’t have to be perfect in my journalling with what I said or how often I journal. I learned that it’s not about being perfect. As Leah says, I at times will journal faithfully for days or weeks at a time, and then not get back to it for months. It’s not about perfection. It’s about being real in a relationship that is awesome!
Hey friends, I will take time and answer these questions on my blog this week. Such great questions! But I hope to answer some of them right here. One, please don’t make this a ritual. There’s not a right way to talk to a friend. You simply go prepared to spend time with that friend and allow it to unfold. Some days you talk to a friend for hours. On other days, minutes. It’s the act of going to that friend that is the key.
Second, my journal won’t look like yours, but I write down the passages I read that day (the scripture references) as well as any questions I might have, or thoughts that come up as I read. I “talk” to God as I write down prayers for friends or family, or just write down a scripture that spoke to me that day and I thank Him for that, or open my heart to Him about that subject.
If it’s approached as a duty, it becomes a duty. Approach it as an opportunity to know Him, and to grow in your knowledge of Him.
I’ll share more later!
I want to pray. I can’t. My mind wanders. I am a christian. I just can’t keep focused and I start thinking about other things, perhaps a journal will work.
What a blessing to have read this today. I was just asking in prayer that I would have growth and I think this will be perfect for me. So, thank you for sharing and God Bless!
Suzie … thank you very much! You have answered a prayer I had asked God for. I keep trying to have a prayer journal, but I now realize I had no idea what it really was. I have a listing of all the people I want to pray for and I was calling that my “journal” and it has gotten to be so overwhelming that I just don’t do it like I want to. Do I need to pray for the ppl on my list (there are 5 typed pages) everyday? I think I’m stuck on the “right and wrong” mentality. Reading your post has shown me I am making it a “duty” to pray for these entries on the list. I hardly ever pray for myself. I do have a notebook I write in when reading scripture, for when God talks to me and shows me what He needs me to see in what I’m reading. I then take those notes and work thru them and put them on my blog. But I don’t do the “notes” and “praying” at the same time. I look forward to your next suggestions on how to meld this together.
Thanks for the encouragement to once again start writing in my journal. Back in college I was continually filling the pages of my journals with my conversations with God. Even when my journal wasn’t at hand I would just grab up a piece of paper and write letters to GOD telling him of my days. I kept up the journal for a while after graduation from college, however in the past 5 years there are more blank spots then actual writings. I miss those days of inspiration that I felt when communing with God through those letters. It was in those moments with God that I found my love of writing poetry. Today I plan to begin again my journey of writing to God, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Thanks for the reminder of what prayer journals are really about. The relationship we are building with the best friend we could ever have.
I have been doing this off and on for awhile. I like to write my prayers down and its amazing what comes out of my fingers and heart. I think I should do this more often.
Thanks for the guidance and direction. I need this now more than ever.
The times in my life when I have journaled my prayers are the times when I heard the Lord most clearly. Thank you for challenging me to get back to it:)
I loved your devo today and I love you!!!!
I like your idea of writing your distracted thoughts in the back. That is so often what gets me. Thanks for the encouraging reminder of how simple it should be to build our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I think we so often complicate it. I am going to give journaling another try.
Thanks so much for this devotional. I’ve had a prayer journal in the past and it was a great blessing. We’ve been studying prayer in our Sunday School class for the last several weeks. I’m feeling led to start my prayer journal once again. I like the way you describe it as “memory stones” because too often I forget how blessed I am in any situation that comes along.
I would love to read this book, I am not the best at praying. I have recently been put in several volunteer leadership positions at church, giving me more people to pray for and many times that I need to pray in front of people. This book will be will be an awesome resource!
Thanks for reminding me that this doesn’t have to be complicated and edited for the world to see, but simply my heart willing to spill out to a loving heavenly Father who wants to speak to me and help me to grow in my walk with Him.
I enjoyed today’s devotional and would love to start a prayer journal.
Prayer is such a struggle for me. My mind is constantly running a 100 miles an hour. I love the idea of a prayer journal! Especially the part where you said to write down distracting thoughts in the back and get to the later (great idea!). Thank you for sharing your story today it was such a blessing.
Thank you for writing about the prayer journal. I have done this before & it really was a great idea, I need to get back to doing it! Thanks!
This was a great devotional. I’ve tried a prayer journal and it hasn’t worked for me. I’m going to try again. I think it would be great if I ever got it going. I had a regular journal during college (a few years back!). I wonder why I have such a hard time with a prayer journal. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Bless you!
Thank you for the great devotion. It inspires me to pick up where I started several times. I love the suggestion to jot the distractions in the back (or on a piece of paper) to take of later! Thanks for sharing your story. It gives hope!
I have started a few prayer/devotional journals over the years and have failed to be consistent.I do believe they are a very helpful tool to communicate with God and to better apply His Word to my life. I would love to read Making It Real. It sounds like a great book! This devotional has challenged me. Thanks for sharing!
I would love to win your book and share
It with my two teens!! Thanks for a great devotion today:)
I am currently fighting a battle and growing weary of the fight. Your story about your father’s letter and the impact it had on you revived my spirit. Remembering that what we do as youth ministers can help provide a safe place of the kids and can lead to the healing of families is the boost I needed. Thank you so much. I’m off to a mission opportunity this weekend. Thanks for boost.
Thanks for this posting, I have found it so hard lately to be consistent with my journal and prayer time. I am going to take your idea about scheduling an appointment and stick to that on a daily basis and share this with my teens also. I would love to have a copy of your book and share it with my teenagers!
Thank you so much for your devotion today. I have needed to start a prayer journal and just never get around to it. TODAY will be that day. I’m also very excited about your idea of handing out notebooks to the youth. My husband and I are youth leaders at a new church with new kids. What a great way to start them off. Maybe if they get in the habit as teens it will be easier for them as adults. Have a blessed day!
I really appreciated your devo today…thanks for sharing from your heart…then we see Jesus in you, the hope of glory. Thanks!
I would love to win this book and give it away to my nephew who is in a rehab home. He knows right from wrong and knows there is Jesus to redeem him , but needs to know it in his heart too.
Thank you for the challenge. I’m like the others, you start out with great intentions and get sidetracked. It’s a hard thing to do in this fast-paced worl. Thanks for the reminder that carving out a little time, be it five minutes or 30, goes a long way.
Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been convicted of this so much lately and your devotional was just what I needed to nudge me forward. Thank you!!!
I visited your blog today via the Proverbs 31 devotion, “Letter of Love”. Today I was blessed by God’s confirmation the He knows me by name. Your reminder that the Holy Spirit marks God’s Word with my name is so true. Some days I can hear him whisper my name and other days, it’s a shout out to me to listen up. Thank you for that reminder. Blessings.
Thank you for your devotional today. I have a prayer journal but I haven’t touched it in years. I’m going to pick it up today and meet with and talk to god. I also have a prayer box. When I become really overwhelmed, distracted, upset, or too taken over by worry I write it out in a prayer and hand it to God (place in the box). The act of giving it to God has helped in those rough spots and also in my grateful moments too. I write the prayers on any peice or scrap of paper I can find. Looking back through them I see when God has answered by prayers and comforted me. Thanks again for your encouragement.
Thanks for your thoughts today here and at P31. I have written prayers in the past and if an online friend asks for prayers I usually just write them out and send them instead of saying “I’ll pray for you” as I would almost immediately forget as I went about my day. I have started writing my prayers out before communion at church as I find the worship music that is played beforehand is distracting and loud. I think writing prayers is a good way to be able to express the core feelings that are sometimes lost in verbal/mental prayer. Thank you for your encouragement and the chance to win your prayer journal.
My heart is in tears after reading your devotional today. I grew up in a very similar household … except I never got a love letter. I have tried to start journaling several times, but lose the desire after only about a week. As a mom of 2 girls, I want to be an example to them that my mother was not. Perhaps today is the day that I can change my own habits!
I have tried the prayer journal before and failed. I certainly pray that if your book can help me with that that it will be put in my path. I love stories like yours that show me by example their walk with the Lord to victory.
I…like the rest it seems have a very difficult time being consistent with a prayer journal….I have a few of them from various classes and states of mind…I know its important yet I can’t seem to stick with the program….I guess that is part of my walk and growth …..I’m gonna get one out know and work on sticking with it…its like spiritual exercise!!
I have tried jounaling in the past but what you wrote in the devotional today made sense to me. I would love to try it again. Thank you for giving me the chance to win your book, “Making it Real: Whose faith is it anyway”
Your devotional was a blessing for me this morning, Thank You!!
I feel like I might be able to relate more to your mom – I am struggling with some things and am getting on the road to healing. Prayer has always been a huge struggle for me and sometimes I wonder if that doesn’t drive me to feel the way that I do. I grew up in a Christian household, though, and rode on the coat tails of my parents. Making my faith my own has been a very hard journey. My daughter is beginning the same journey and I want to encourage her, too, but find it hard when I am not solid in my own. Thanks for the deco and the challenge.
This sounds like just what I need to do. Thank you
Thanks for sharing this…I’ve always loved journaling. It got me through some really hard times as a teen and in my 20’s when I didn’t have a relationship with Christ. Everytime I try to have a prayer journal, I do it for a few weeks and feel so lifted but then life gets in the way. I will dig out my prayer journal and give it another go…I love being in that place where I am when I’m journaling. It helps me feel so personal and close with God. Thanks for the encouragement!
Suzie, you have spoken to me today with your blog. I have never been to your blog before but what I have read touched me. I want to write a prayer jounal. Thank you for showing me this is another way to get closer to God. I have struggled with my prayers. My mind wonders way from what am praying about and then I forget what I was saying to him. Maybe writing a jounal will help me. I will be tring it. Thank you again for touching me today. I cant wait to get and read your back also..
Thanks for this great idea!Sounds like a great way to deepen your walk with the Lord. I would love to win your book also!
I love what you say about not putting a time limit on your time with God. I think in today’s world we all feel pressured to get it just right – no time limit seems less daunting and freeing. I also love that you had a tab in the back of your journal for distractions – it’s nice to know that it’s normal to get distracted when trying to have a quiet time. You’ve encouraged me to start journaling. Thanks!!
Years ago, during my first separation & divorce, I started a journal to write down my thoughts from the day – every night before I went to bed. I sure helped me sleep during those trying times. I also prayed in that journal, for my ex and my family, and for myself. What a world of difference it makes!!! Thanks, Suzie for your devotion today – both on P31 and here. God Bless!!
I’ve tried starting prayer journals, but never seem to have success keeping up with them. I love your idea of writing those distractions in a special place to come back to and attend later – that sounds like it would be a great help! Thanks. Today’s was the first devotional that I received via e-mail – very timely. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story in your article for Proverbs 31!
I’m glad you chose your relationship with God over the dysfunction of your family! Our God is such a right on time God!
God bless you as you continue to reach out to women! You are doing an amazing job!
I am now a Mimi of 4 precious little girls. I’m still in need of help in my daily walk with the Lord. I have used a prayer journal off and on for many years. I love seeing how the Lord answered prayers. So why don’t I do this all the time? The devil tells me I don’t have time. I must defeat the devil and stay focused on God. Thanks for your ministry.
Thank you for this article. I have been living with so much pain, self-doubt and heartache for many years because of the dysfunction of some close family members and have wondered why my prayers for them go unanswered. I recently started attending a new church and after some talks with my new pastor, I am feeling much better about my relationship with the Lord and His with me. A prayer journal sounds like the perfect idea for me and I plan on beginning one this evening. Thank you so very much.
God Bless you,
I too struggle with making the time for Him every day. I do good for a while, then get “busy”. Today I will begin again! Thank you for sharing your story.
Journaling has proven to be the best way for me to focus on God and communicating with Him. My mind is less distracted and I can be intent on the scripture I have read that day. I just need to be much more diligent in carving out time to do this on a DAILY basis.
Thanks for sharing and reminding me of the growth that comes from this. 🙂
Suzie, Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I am so bad about spending time with Him and struggle with this. Your devo helped so much. God Bless. 🙂
I think this is very enlightening, i too from time to time use a journal and write down my thoughts to cry-out to God and I knows he listens. Keep up the good works.
Love your story! I have tried many times to start a prayer journal and then it goes by the wayside. I really like the idea of going back to see how God has answered those prayers and questions. Thanks for sharing!
I’ve been deleting the Proverbs 31 morning emails because I just didn’t have time to read them… or that is what the enemy wanted me to believe. This morning, sitting here quietly, I opened it to your devotional. Your words are straight from our Father’s Heart and just what I needed to read. Thank you… my morning’s will begin to look a little different… better… time with my Father. <3
I really needed this today…prayer journal is something I need to try. Thanks.
In your devotion today, Letter of Love, you said “Though I prayed often for my family, my home was the same old mess day after day. Thoughts of running away flooded me. Instead, I ran after Jesus, all the while longing for my parents to discover what I had found.”
It was exactly what I needed now. (Isn’t God just great that way?)
I’ve long ago moved out of my parent’s home and my kids have left home but my family is still in chaos. I can see that God has done wonderful and miraculous things in some of their lives. Those I thought were hopeless, but when faced with other loved ones who don’t know Him and struggle through life I found myself doubting. Thank you for the reminder to just continue to run after Jesus myself and holding up my family in prayer…and trusting Jesus.
I started a journal 2 yrs ago, but since we moved I haven’t done it regularly – actually hardly at all.
I can say that when I go back and read some of my writings and read what God was saying to me, I am amazed at how spot on it is – how He has guided and challenged me.
I think your post is my Papa God calling me back to him.
My teen daughter and I used to share our journals with each other, but haven’t in a long long time. I hope we can get back to that one day.
I cried when I read your post at Proverbs 31 today. I too had a difficult home growing up. I remember journaling my prayers to God back then. I too try at times to get back to that. God is faithful and He has given me a beautiful family of my own. When I get discouraged I just need to remember what God has brought me out of! Blessings and thanks for your blog!
Thanks for the encouragement. With Fall here and Winter coming, maybe I can get into the habit of journaling again.
Loved your testimony today. I have a desire to dig into God’s Word and like your journal ideas. Thank you for sharing!
I have a prayer journal. But I never thought of writing down my questions or verses and what they meant to me or what other questions they brought to mind. I just write down what I am gratefull for and what pains me and what I would like if it pleases God to provide me. I will start journaling about my questions too from now on. Thanks for the idea.
Thank you so much for sharing! This devotional was truly inspiring and encourages me to continue to P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. I am a youth sunday school teacher and a few months ago my class created prayer journals and it has been and continues to be a blessing to us all. God Bless You!
I always remember getting up for school to find my mom reading her Bible. She made it seem so easy. But now, as I struggle to get out of bed by 9:00 only to homeschool my three children, I never seem to find or make the time to read my Bible. I just want to set a good example for my children, so they have the same memory as I do about Bible reading. Thanks for sharing your story, and pray that I can make the time to read my Bible again.
Thank you for this post today. I believe this is the encouragement that I have been looking for to look to God with my problems and share them with him. Lately I have been thinking that if I could find a close friend that I can share my problems with that I will feel better. I believe you have made me understand that the close friend that I have been seeking is God and that he will always be there for me and always has been I just need to reach out and take His hand. Thank you!
Thank you for your timely message. As always God is trying to get his point across to me in many different avenues. This time his focus is on my prayer life. I, like many of your readers, have tried to journal without success. I hate to write! It takes to long and it a only leads to frustration. I do like your suggestions though and feel I may be able to apply them to my everyday time in prayer. I will give it a try! Thanks again!
Kim, Thanks for the P.U.S.H.!
Wow! I have never thought of a Prayer Journal. I keep a journal… writing in it every night about my day. But, a prayer journal might be the best way for me to have a closer, more intimate relationship with God. I think I will start one of these. I also like the idea of having a section in the journal for “distractions”. Thanks for the post!
I needed that devotion so much today. I have never done a prayer journal but i will start. I sometimes feel the world is crashing in on me, but then I realize how much better off i am than so many people. God bless you and thanks so much.
I love to journal. I’ve been doing it for many years. My middle daughter (college age) does the same. I find it easier to stay focused when I write out my prayers.
I love the idea of putting those “thoughts” that pop up extra in the back! I’ll be trying that!
I had just a general journal once and someone took it and used it to try and hurt me so it’s difficult for me to do a prayer journal. I try to overcome that fear but it keeps getting in the way. I know that it won’t happen again because I have different people in my life now, but it still seems to limit how much I write. I started a journal but haven’t used it very much and I know I should. I know the kind of power prayer has and I know how important and amazing it is to see prayers answered. I love the idea about distractions!
Would truly like to do this in conjunction with my 13yo. He plays in the youth band, etc yet askes me how I know God is real. I am a single mom with 3 kids(all adopted, 2 with some special needs) and could use all the help and prayers I can get!! Thanks!
Suzy, I thank you for your uplifting, sweet P31 devotion today. My heart has yearned to be successful in “making it real” since I decided I didn’t want to be a lukewarm Christian going through the motions as a new adult. I love that you not only suggested the prayer journal (something many have suggested), but that you also gave an example of how to keep one and use it properly. It’s a great guidance to start us off on the right foot!
Thank you for sharing your experience and helping with my spiritual journey with God.
I USE MY DEVOTIONAL BOOK AND WRITE MY THOUGHTS IN THERE,AFTER I HAVE READ MY DEVOTION FOR THAT DAY.AMAZED AT HOW GOD SPEAKS TO ME. SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS A BIG HELP AND I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE SPEAKER CREDIT, BUT I CAN’T REMEMBER WHO IT WAS( long time ago )WE MAKE APPOINTMENTS ALL THE TIME AND KEEP THEM OR CALL AND GIVE REASON WHY WE CAN’T KEEP THEM AND RESET THE TIME. SET A TIME AND PLACE IN YOUR HOME WHERE YOU WILL HAVE YOUR DEVOTIONS.,THEN IF YOU MISSED THE TIME,EVERY TIME YOU GO BY THE AREA IMAGINE GOD SAYING “PAT,I WAS HERE TODAY,WHERE WERE YOU?” SOMETIMES BECAUSE OF A HEAVY SCHEDULE AS I WALKED BY I WOULD MENTALLY TELL THE LORD “I WILL BE BACK AT SUCH AND SUCH A TIME.”(FILL IN YOUR OWN NAME” AND THEN LATER GO AND HAVE MY DEVOTIONS.HOPE THIS HELPS….
Thanks for this devotion. I have been saying to my husband that I really want us to have do a prayer journal. We have been praying together every night for a little over 2 weeks. I was anxious about finding the perfect book to journal in. I especially am grateful for reading about putting a distractions part in the back. I think this would be perfect. I would love to hear more.
I love your idea of setting an appointment. Simple way to make sure i keep my special time with God 🙂
Thank you for your Prov 31 Devo and blog today. Your words brought tears to my eyes as I felt the pain of your childhood and as I remembered my background. My Dad and Mom were not walking with the Lord as they raised us, but they both came to know Him later in life when we kids were grown and no longer at home. Our family never communicated very well, and we still struggle to be real and open with each other. Journaling has always been my way of talking to God – especially when there was no other way “to get it out”. Thanks for your tips today on how to make the most of that time with God. God knew what I needed to hear!
When I read this I felt I read my story…I lived in this house all my life. My saving grace was a Church my parents joined and a Church family that could see through the windows of my world. They were my safe haven…and although for many years I struggled and wondered through the wilderness God protected me and kept his promise to be faithful to me, keeping me safe as I tried to escape what I felt was a terrible reality. My father too wrote me a letter to this day I still have it and every once in a while pull it out. When I first read it all I saw was the negitive… years later I was able to read through the pain and see the love of a father. They were my foster parents and could have let me be shuffled from home to home or be instutionalized due to my many handicaps. But somewhere deep inside of the pain they suffered they had a faith in God that held us together. Right before my Dad died he was taken off all medication and stopped drinking… a present from God to my mother…She had the gift of seeing the man she fell in love with many many years before. It was tough…but she got the better after the worse even for a short time. I am grateful for them even in their brokeness. I am more grateful that God has shown me through Jesus that it is in the brokeness we find his goodness and mercy…all the days of our lives…Thanks for sharing this story today.
I value my prayer journal so much. Not only to be able to talk to God so openly through written words, but also to look back and see the answers and blessings He has provided, is a treasure to my heart. My journal was also a way God used to show me my love for writing. I hope you do not mind, but I did share the link to your devotion on my blog today. It went so well with what I discussed just yesterday. Our time spent reading the Bible will be blessed by God, and we should treasure every minute we spend learning more about Him. Thank you for the devo and post!
Thank you so much for todays devo. I have tried keeping a journal but had trouble with distractions. I will try your suggestion of writing the distraction on a back page. That will get if off my mind and I can continue.
Today’s devotional is an inspiration for many of us, that we confronted difficult situation as a Christians and just to have the privileged of seen your family following Jesus is rewarding!!!!
God had a Plan!!!
I am thirsting to know God’s word more deeply than ever before. When i read the bible or a passage and it speaks to me – my heart does a little jump. Just now thinking about doing a journal with the bible made my heart jump again and I am anxious to soak up God’s word for me. Thank you for this encouragement. I am doing the bible studay with Renee Swope’s book right now A Confident Heart and love it.
This devotion is near to my heart. I have tried so many times to start a prayer journel however I feel so inadequate. I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what I am supposed to write down. Most of all, I don’t know where to start in the Bible. I feel like I am a “clanging bell”, I say I know the Word but I only know a few verses and sometimes I have a hard time finding time for Him. I want so much for what you talk about….a relationshiip with God. I pray and I ask you to pray for me to begin today….
Your devotion brought tears to my eyes. How I needed this. Thinking of the Bible as alove letter made me feel like God really is there and still cares. We have been on a roller coaster for the past year and am tired. But as I read the devotion I felt Gods presence and peace like I haven’t in a while and know I need to just pick my Bible up and not get tired of waiting for answers but see what else He might have for me. Thankyou for sharing and for your heart. God bless you and your ministry!!!
As I read your devotional memories of my own dysfunctional flashed in my brain. A rageaholic mom and an emotionally distant dad who had ways of making me feel like a nuisance and a burden than a precious gem. But they did teach me about God and He was my saving grace my entire life. Through a lonely childhood and the horrific teen years of being sexually abused by a neighbor that finally made the homely teen in me feel special. Now I am in my fifties and have been recovering from four years of abuse for/the past twenty years. I havekept a journal along the way to vent my feelings of hurt, anger and anxiety to keep the lid from blowing from the pressures of life. As I read your devotion I think I am finally able to turn it into a prayer journal. I have emptied myself of all the putrid infection of my youth and only want to glorify my Father for His magnificent love. A prayer journal will help me see how far I have come and let me grow spiritually. Thank you and God bless.
Hi sweet ladies, I want you to know that I am reading every one of these comments. I am speaking at a retreat out of state, but as I read these I am praying. I am rejoicing. And in some cases, my heart hurts with you as I hear such a longing to reconnect with God. The good news is that He is not far from you. I plan to respond privately to each of you who have commented (if you left your email) and to some of you on this thread. I want to sit down on Monday and read through each, pray with each, and take time to respond to each. You bless me with your honesty and by sharing your life. Suzie
I have been trying to have a personal relationship with God but I guess it’s not working. Your book will help me and the suggestion of a journal is a good idea. I know that a personal relationship with God is the real thing and it will turn my life around. Pray for me Suzie. I would appreciate a personal response from you via my email address sharing tips on how to connect with God.
Have a blessed weekend.
Thank you. i started a prayer journal a long time ago and stopped.
Because i always got distracted. I am going to do what you suggested. Thank you again
Gee, I thought I was reading about my life as I read your devotion today. I, too, had the church as a refuge from my home life as a teenager . You were blessed to receive that note from your Dad, and what a message of hope for you! Thank you for your reminder to take time to spend with our Heavenly Father…the answer to all our problems. God Bless!
I have a prayer journal but I need consistency in using it. I have learned that it is the best way to see God working in the lives around me and it feels me with pure joy. Thank you for your message. Right now, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would help me to consistently use my journal.
I would love to start a prayer journal but have a hard time organizing thoughts, remembering what I’m supposed to write (like prayer, questions, etc.) I had strong chemo 5 years ago and have had nerve damage and short-term memory loss. I’m wondering if your book would get me on track. I keep trying to retain Bible messages, passages, etc. but can’t do it. I pray the Holy Spirt helps me when I work on my Bible studies, church homegroup studies, and listen to the Bible through a smart phone app. God has blessed me to continue life and I love Him so much but would like to get closer to him through the Bible. Your devo was amazing and so are you! It just came on my heart to pray for you, so I did. Keep up the great work!
Wow, this is deep for me!! As a child my parents were divorced at a young age. Time and time again my father didn’t show up for me. Growing up in church I would watch families, and think I want that which included a close walk with God. Everyone says just talk to God like a friend. It’s hard for me as my earthly father abandoned me, so how am I supposed to accept my heavenly father. I’ve been feeling in my heart the last several weeks that I need and want more than just reading the Proverbs 31 devotions that from time and time again I step away from due to not knowing “how to do it”. Is this the more I’m looking for. I really hope that you’ll email me as I’d like to know exactly how to do this. How much do you read in the Bible etc.. What do you write about exactly? I am totally interested in this. I have 5 kids that I’ve been feeling like yes we pray at meals, but we’re not talking about leaning on God etc.. and I want to get there with them. I Home-school them to, so I’m the only teacher to show God to them. Please Help Me to do this!!
Oh Kelley, I feel your pain. I have been there too. Not in your exact shoes but I have been lost and confused but yearning to spend time with Jesus. My relationship with my earthly father also got in the way of my relationship with God. My pain and my children distracted me, although I knew that my children and I desperately needed the Lord. There is no hard and fast “way to do it” but it did help me to have guidelines at first until my relationship with Jesus grew and I settled into His arms. My first step was to buy one of those read the Bible in a year Bibles and literally kept it on the edge of my bed. I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual to have time alone with Jesus. That way, the first thing I did every morning was reach for my Bible and read the day’s passage. It wasn’t long before the day’s passage wasn’t enough for me. I was reading well ahead of the reading plan. Jesus speaks to us through His word and His words comforted my heart. A prayer journal is also an excellant idea and perfect companion to reading God’s Word each morning.
The other thing I did was to join a small group Bible study that meets weekly. The love, support and encouragement I receive each week from my small group has helped my relationship with Jesus to blossom and give fruit. They have helped with my questions and in return the Lord has enabled me to bless them as well. My church has about a hundred small groups, some provide child care. I’m willing to guess your church might do the same.
My biggest recommendation, Kelley, is to keep doing just exactly what you have done. Reach out to other Godly women. Ask questions, ask for help. Remember, we are Jesus’ hands and feet. He will use us (and other things, too) to express His love for you.
Home schooling 5 kids? I am totally in awe of you. I had a difficult time with 3. Jesus is already walking alongside you and He will bless you through this time. Stop frequently during the day and send Him short prayers of thanksgiving, and petition Him for help. It WILL get easier to lean on Him, it is within His will.
Thanks for the encouragement today! My prayer journals have been a safe haven for years and a great thing to look back thru to see the growth of my faith!
Thanks for responding Karen. Now you’ve ot me on christianbook.com looking for a Bible in a yr. Boy, does christianbook.com carry a lot of them. I’m going to the warehouse sale tomorrow, so maybe I can pick one up while I’m there. Not sure if you’ll see this or not, but I’m wondering if you or anyone else recommends which one of the Bible in 1 yr. as there are a lot of them. Maybe this is the way to start along with adding in the journal part of it. As far as a bible study I’m about to start doing an on-line one. You are very sweet with me and home-schooling. Thanks for replying.
Oh Suzie, did my ears need to hear your words this morning? I have been struggling for so long with prayers and wanting to journal. I love your ideas here – what a treasure thinking of my little journal as my love letter to God. Have a wonderful day!!! Kim
This is a beautiful post, Suzie! It’s true, having our journey with the Lord in written form can be such an encouragement. God has frequently used the words penned during seasons where I was very aware of His presence to bring comfort and reassurance during seasons where it felt as though He might have taken a break with me.
Thank you for sharing!
Suzie. When you were in college in Miami, Ok you wrote me And dad alive letter, how much you loved us. I still have that letter.
To you who are reading this, if you haven’t already written your moms, dads, children, brothers and sisters a little note telling them you love them , please do so today. Like Suzie said that note from her father meant everything in the world to her, even to this day.
We all take it for granted that our love ones know that we love them. That’s not true. Many think the opposite. Since they never heard the words they think that their unloved.
So please today give a loved one a little note telling them that they are loved.
Suzie, you are the most precious daughter a mother could ever have. Love you. Mom. Xxxooo
I love you, mom. <3
Oh Suzie! I love your ideas, so simple, yet so profound! I tend to over-think prayer journaling! But like you, I keep a separate spot for “to-do’s” so that they are off my mind! Thank you!
How perfect, that I was online today ordering notebooks …which I tend to collect, but not use! I have this perfectionism that I need to let go of, and this was a reminder that I need to just write. not make perfect little journals in catagories, but just write. And spend time with God!
And yes, I need to write to those precious people that I love, and tell them.
I keep starting journals and I keep them going for a few weeks and then fail to keep them going :/ It’s something I have a real desire to do more of…I just can’t seem to get there! Thank you for the encouragement to see my journal as a love letter to God 🙂 <3
Wonderful post! I LOVE love letters. My journal is filled with love letters to Jesus and I write down what He whispers to my heart. I especially love writing out Scriptures that resonate. When I share them with others, they come alive off the page.
It’s my way of talking to God. I know it’s not how everyone does it, but it quiets my mind and allows me to share from the heart. <3
Thank you Suzie for sharing your love letter with us. I love your idea of jotting down your distractions. This would help me a lot. I am praying for you and your family.