Do you journal? Do you have a prayer journal? On Wednesday evenings, I teach a class called Funky Foodz at our church. This class is for kids and yes, we cook! We have about 45 minutes, so we cook a recipe, then move to another room to do our lesson. Missions is our focus, so we incorporate that into our lesson. We offer several different "tracks" that the children can choose from every 6 weeks. I always teach Funky Foodz, so every 6 weeks, I have a different group of kids. It is a blast!!
At the beginning of this session, my co-teacher brought everyone notebooks like this...
We are teaching them how to keep a prayer journal. To tie in "missions" to the prayer journal, we have given the group photo cards of our local missionaries to add to their journal so that they can pray for those missionaries. I have noticed that when I am teaching someone how to use a prayer journal, I use mine more. Which is a good thing!
Here is a quick glance at mine...
I date my prayer requests so that I can go back and add in either answers or additions to that request. I also include praises. I think it is very important to be thankful when we see the answer to a prayer!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "16 Be joyful always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Am I always joyful? Do I pray continually? Do I thank God in all circumstances? WOW, those are tough questions to answer. Joyful...I think I am joyful, maybe not always happy, but there is a difference. Happiness comes from our surroundings and ourselves, JOY comes only from Jesus! It is very possible to have Joy and not be happy at the same time, I've been there! I'll share more about that in another post.
Pray continually...what does that mean? I think it means to always have a prayerful heart. I told the girls in my class on Wednesday, if the Lord brings someone to your mind, say a quick prayer for them. God lays people on our hearts for a reason! I do not think that pray continually means to be on your knees every minute of the day in deep prayer. However, I do think that it means to pray about things as you think of them throughout your day. Just quick prayers like, "God be with my husband today as he travels to Columbus for the day". Then, later on, I may think of another thing to add to that prayer.
Thank God in ALL circumstances...this is a tough one for me! Notice that it does not say "thank God FOR all circumstances", rather it says "IN all circumstances". That is a huge difference! Can we be thankful during difficult times? Absolutely! Even if we are not thankful FOR those times, God promises to work all things together for the good of those who are called, according to His purpose. That means that even in the difficult times, if we have a personal relationship with Him, He promises to work it our for our good. There will be a blessing out of the difficult time. I learned from a dear friend, that it is important to look for God's blessings during difficult times. We may want to wallow in our troubles, but if we look around us, we will see God's hand working wonders!! Journal those times!
Journaling can be a very fun, exciting, healing, thought-provoking time. Try it! Take this verse and use it as a guide to journal your prayers.