Do you ever want to pray, but feel super distracted. Your mind may be traveling a mile a minute with all sorts of thoughts. Or perhaps negative thoughts that you cannot get to go away.
Do you ever want to pray, but you end up falling asleep. You’re probably exhausted in bed at night, or maybe just waking up in the morning. There is nothing like those precious moments in bed.
Do you ever want to pray, but you feel pulled in multiple directions. You have responsibilities within your home that need to be done. Your family is calling you to come help them with something, or just spend time with them.
I know the feeling, oh so well. Those examples were my story. I also know that when I fall subject to one of the distractions above and miss out on my prayer time, I don’t feel the greatest.
As you can probably already tell, I love writing. I always have, but I hadn’t realized that this gift could be helpful in so many ways in my life. About 5 years ago while doing journaling in my quiet time, I decided to write God a letter. I have no idea what was going on at the time, it may not have been anything super serious. I just recall wanting to find a way to connect to him that was different than before. I began feeling more connected to God than ever before.
Praying in written form can be done anywhere
I use my early mornings for my prayer time. It helps center me and give me direction for the day. I also do my reading in the mornings, so sometimes my prayers reflect what I read. However, praying in written form can literally be done anywhere. I’ve done it at my desk at work, on an airplane, on vacation, wherever. Just be sure to bring your journal, or have a note ready in your phone to write.
Praying in written form allows for increased focus on the subject matter
As I mentioned at the start of this post, my mind can go a mile a minute, especially in a state of heightened emotion. Those are the times when I know I need to pray! By writing the prayer down, I am able to collect my thoughts in a more succinct manner. They become organized, and much of the time it helps me to make sense of the situation. Sometimes it helps me to see that perhaps I caused a difficult situation, and helps me take the steps to rectify it.
Praying in written form allows you to reflect and see your progress over time
The awesome thing about journaling your prayers is that you are able to look back and see all that God has helped you to accomplish. There are things that I prayed for years or even days ago that God has answered. It gives me the optimism that things are working out, in whichever way they might be. This helps my faith to be increased because I can see in black and white that prayer can change my life.
Praying in written form helps you to connect more deeply with God
This is the greatest benefit to me! When I am writing to God it literally feels like I’m having a conversation with Him. I write my letter to him just like I would speak to my husband or client. It feels so personal. I also feel him speaking back to me much of the time as I write. I say I feel him speaking to me, because it isn’t an auditory experience but something inside. I will be writing a question, for example. While I am writing it, a thought may come into my mind that answers it. The answer may be something I never thought of before, or perhaps something I may have considered. Either way, I just know it is God. It feels right, avery special.
How to Journal to God in Letter Form
Write down the date
Writing down the date helps you to chronicle specifically when you wrote the prayer. This is important to me because it is a marker of for progress, as well as a way of being able to see if and when your prayers were answered.
Start with “Dear God,”
I start with that opening because it helps to set my intentions with Who I am communicating within the prayer. My mindset starts to shift towards turning my prayer into true dialogue with someone who I am unable to visibly see.
Express gratitude for your blessings
Overall, I think that a good letter starts with some form of gratitude expressed towards the recipient. This could be expressing thankfulness for the simple task of waking up that day, or a gratitude for God’s help during a difficult situation the previous day.
Ask for forgiveness for your sins
This element of the letter is the most important element to me. This gives me the opportunity to be realistic with myself [and God] on where I’ve fallen short in my actions. When I am asking for forgiveness, it takes me to a place of humility and pushes me to be mindful of what I could’ve done differently.
Share with him
Sharing with God is simply that, talking to him about whatever you would like. This part of the prayer is cathartic to me as it helps me to process through whatever I might be experiencing in a deeper way. I tend to have my ‘ah ha’ moments during this time.
Ask for his assistance
This is where I come to God with my requests. If it is a time when I am particularly struggling with something, this is where I am asking God to meet me in my need. Oftentimes I try to remind myself that his lack of assistance could be because I don’t really need what I am asking for. Other times, I believe that he is building faith and patience within me by withholding my request.
Close with “Amen”
When I close with Amen, I feel that I have truly combined my letter with a prayer and it makes all the sense to end this way.
Have you ever journaled your prayers, be it in letter form or not? If you are a non-Christian, have you ever done so to your higher power or even to the universe? I would love to hear your thoughts.