Since we are at the beginning of a new year, I thought that I would write a little bit about prayer journaling and share with you my word to live by in 2018. First I’d like to talk about prayer journaling. I’ve found it invaluable in my walk with the Lord. It has enriched and deepened my relationship with Him. I’d like to share what it looks like in my life.
I usually begin with a prayer like:
Lord, speak to me through today’s scripture. Show me what you want me to glean from it and how you want me to apply it to my life. Holy Spirit speak to my heart as I read. Amen.
Next, I read the day’s scripture. After the scripture reading, I pray asking God to speak to me as I meditate on the day’s passage and I journal what I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. Then I pause and reflect on what I’ve written and journal my response to the Lord.
I feel that my walk with the Lord has become closer and more meaningful since I have added prayer journaling to my morning routine. I don’t believe that it’s the actual prayer journaling that accomplished this but rather the fact that I’m spending time with the Lord doing something that I love.
I believe that it’s important for each of us to find a way to commune with the Lord and absorb His Word. How we do it will be as unique as the individual. A runner may enjoy listening to scripture on her iPod and talking to Him as she runs. A gardener may enjoy listening to scripture and communing with the Lord as he gardens or a pianist might worship Him through her music. Remember that worship is a lifestyle rather than a time of singing to the Lord. We can worship Him throughout our day in all we do. Prayer journaling is only one of meaningful ways I worship my Creator. You will find your own unique and meaningful ways.
I’d like to share the two poems that I glued to the inside cover of my 2018 prayer journal with you all. Both of the poems come from my heart and give you all a small peek into my journey with the Lord. The first poem, “Walking with the Lord,” is based on Psalm 1:
Walking with the Lord
Susan Witmer Miller
Daily I walk with the Lord.
On Him, I set my sight.
On His Word I mediate:
morning, noon, and night.
Soaking up living water,
so nourishing to me.
The Spirit’s fruit blooms within —
Those who do not know the Lord
life’s winds scatter all about.
Without roots to anchor them
they can not grow or sprout.
I’d rather walk with my Lord
even through life’s pain,
than blow around restlessly
seeking more wealth to gain.
The Lord watches over me
showing me where to go.
With Him to direct my path
stronger my faith will grow.
I wrote “Dancing with Grace” at a writer’s retreat last February. One of the presenters played some music to get our creative juices flowing. This is what I wrote to “Viking Arena” (Viking Dance Machine).
Dancing with Grace
Susan Witmer Miller
Dancing in the arms of Grace
Dirt and grime washed off my face
All of my sins washed away
Night’s no more — belong to day
I am clean — white as the snow
In the stream — away they flow
From my cocoon I appear
A butterfly without fear
To new heights — away I soar
Life’s adventure — I’ll explore
Life is hard. I struggle with fear, depression, and self-esteem issues, but the Lord is faithful. He’s teaching me to trust Him, to see the sun shining through the clouds, to see the roses among the thorns, and to listen to him and see myself as he sees me.
Speaking of learning to listen, my word for 2018 is LISTEN. After the Holy Spirit gave me the word listen, I looked up the definition. This is what I found for the meaning of listen:
~ to give attention with the ear
~ attend closely with the purpose of hearing
~ give ear
~pay attention, heed, obey
~ to wait attentively
May we all become better listeners in 2018. May we choose to put the Lord, our loved ones, and even those we encounter in our day to day living before our careers, electronics, and the other distractions in life. May we take the time to pause and listen to one another — truly listen — to what is behind the words they say. Are they lashing out because of hurt, fear, deep emotional pain, etc? May we remember that hurt people often say hurtful things to others and often speak/type out of their pain. when others lash out at us, may we take time to say a prayer for help, then choose to listen to what is behind the hurtful words, and respond with grace. May we worship our Creator through loving all of his creation even the hard to love hurting ones. Finally, and most importantly may we take the time each day to sit at the feet of our Creator, listen to Him, meditate on His Word, and bask in His presence. It is through this time that we become more like Him and can love our fellow humans unconditionally. May 2018 be a year of healing, listening, relationship building, spiritual growth, and gaining wisdom.
Have a wonderful and blessed week!