I have too many journals laying around the bedroom. One was started to carry me through my last pregnancy (which I’ve since torn out all the entries so I’m not reliving them), one is a workout journal, one is just a random journal and another is a prayer journal. The idea behind the prayer journal was that I would actually PEN the prayer intentions down so I could see how and if God actually answered my prayers. We all know God answers prayers but I wanted to do the exercise so I could look back and actually SEE.
I only kept this activity up for a month, writing in it a couple times a week only adding new ones but reflecting back on the old ones. What I found recently was astonishing. While the answers to the prayers weren’t quite what I had in mind when I wrote the prayers, the prayers were still answered. For example, say the prayer was “God, I am hungry. Please provide me food.” In the back of my mind I may have been envisioning a steak but instead he delivered grilled chicken. I still was fed, no?
There are a few variations of a prayer that I’ve been praying for over a decade that I like for a few reasons. 1) It is humbling and 2) it is centering. Essentially it is this:
God, please use me to show Your love to “X.”
That’s it. It’s that simple. There have been times where I’ve had to say, “God, please move me so you can show your love to ‘X'” which meant I needed to get out of the way but didn’t know how (and “X” could be my husband, people in my family, a friend, co-worker… It doesn’t matter). The other thing that I often round out with is
… if it’s your will.
See, while I think that my requests are perfect because they seem to make sense to me, I’m also not a complete idiot and know that His plans are way better than my best laid out plans. So, I may make a request to Him for something to go a certain way but am also humbling myself and asking for acceptance of His plan. I try to model Mary’s statement to Angel Gabriel, “Be it done to me according to your word.”
Anyway, I grabbed this prayer journal and opened up to a month very early in 2015 and was floored. ALL of my prayers were answered. Every last one of them. No, they didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned but the prayers were, in fact, answered. I’m so glad I wrote them down so I could see His work in my life.
How often do we get down on our knees and just plead, cry, beg, etc. Worse off, how often have we pouted in a corner with the idea, “He’s going to do whatever He wants to do anyway, why should I bother to pray?” We can be AMAZED to see Him working in our lives. No, He may not cure your loved one. No, He may not give you that specific job you are after. However, we should be able to see Him working in our lives in different ways if we make a conscious effort to try to see it.