Type “prayer journal ideas” into Pinterest, and you’ll see a billion women’s takes on the best prayer journal style. I created a “War Room” style prayer journal a few years ago, but it was too detailed on the front end and didn’t allow enough organization on the back end, so I abandoned it. I like to read old journal entries – it’s fun and educational – so I kept it, of course. But now I’m looking for something with staying power.
I gathered some of my journals – daily, sketches, that War Room model (I love journals if you haven’t guessed) – before I started the Pinterest inquiry. As I watched videos and read articles, looking for ideas to inspire my own creation, I made notes in my daily journal of the section topics that may work well for me. Then I came across Edith, and I fell in love. See if you don’t do the same…
What an inspiring woman she is, truly. A blessing for sure. Some of her time-tested techniques will definitely be incorporated into my Prayer Journal 2.0. I’m also going to watch more of her videos. If you watched to the end, you were prayed for by Edith. I adore her!
Edith’s video also made me realize that I need to get my dear and wise grandmother, Barbara Branscum, recorded. She created a Revelations study that she’s presented many times in multiple churches over the years, and I want it recorded so that generations after her will hear the presentation first hand from her own lips. Social media can be a time waster, but it can also be awesome.
I’m reading Tony Evans’ Spiritural Warfare study right now, and this morning was day 3 and 4 (oops – got behind) of the Breastplate of Righteousness. As I prayed, I realized there’s an underlying sin of self gratification in my life, and God wants me to deal with it. Specifically, I waste time in the name of unwinding and relaxing. My son took Facebook off of his phone, as many people do, because he felt it was a great time waster in the evenings, when he should be talking to God after work. I do Facebook, but I don’t believe it is interfering with my productivity and spiritual growth. Netflix, however, is another story!
I love stories. I’m a writer and avid reader. However, after writing, editing, and talking on the phone to clients all day, I want to just watch a story unfold. I don’t want to have to read anything by the time eight o’clock rolls around, most week days. I prefer historical fiction and all kinds of documentaries, but I’ve been drawn in by crime and mystery shows — particularly historical crime fiction. Murdoch Mysteries (Canada) and Dr. Blake Mysteries (Australia) were two of my faves, but I loved Bones, as well. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I’ve watched all seasons of these (probably a hundred hours or more – that’s the embarrassing part). The saving grace is, most were pretty pure in spirit. I’ve also wasted time on shows (even Downton Abbey) that weren’t so pure. In season two of Reign, I realized I was allowing my story watching to become smut watching. The last episode I watched was even blasphemous, in addition to being wrought with the glorification of sin. I was not making sure my little eyes were being careful, and my big God told my heart so.
Because life is such a precious gift, and I’ve wasted hours and hours “unwinding” with television and allowing smut to sneak into the picture, God said: “STOP.” He says different things to different people. In fact, I think it was when Peter learned of his ultimate fate on earth, he asked Jesus, “What about John?” Jesus basically told Peter to mind Peter and leave John out of it. So, I absolutely do not think that everyone should stop watching Netflix! That is so not the point I’m trying to make. God told Shauna to stop watching crap before bed. That’s the long and short of it.
So this morning, when God said, “STOP,” I wrote 10 things to do instead of watching Netflix, and I vowed not to watch one more episode of Reign, even though the story line is enthralling. It’s trash to my spirit. If God convicted me to stop, continuing would be sin, even though Netflix isn’t once mentioned in scripture. The truth God knows is that I will be influenced by what I see and hear. That’s why the bible tells us to guard our hearts and minds. Satan is a stealthy and intelligent enemy. I’ve failed at safeguarding my mind more times than I can count, I confess. It will surely happen again, but hopefully not with Netflix.
Now let me bring this full circle. One of the items on my “What to Do Instead of Watching Netflix Before Bed” list is to start a prayer journal. I do bible study and worship in the morning, which involves prayer to be sure. It would be great to end the day with prayer journaling, though. I’m talking about serious, focused prayer for not only those people and ministries I currently pray for, but for my church leaders, country leaders, the unsaved and prodigals that Edith mentioned. I’d like to have a section specifically for all of the pregnant and new mothers I pray with at Pregnancy Help 4 U and Mercy House, including those who are now in the thick of motherhood. I can say with all confidence, moms need all the prayer we can get!
Unlike Edith’s journal, and spring boarding off the ideas of ladies on Pinterest, I think I will create sections for:
- Letters to God (my prayers)
- God Talks to Me (thoughts on my conscience during prayer, like the Netflix issue; visions and dreams; people God put in my path; songs/art/literature; favorite verses)
- Answers I’ve Witnessed
- People to Love (family, friends, church and ministries, government, sick and imprisoned, prayer requests, unsaved and prodigals)
- I may add a calendar to the front, but I’m not sure.
On May 19, 2018, I hope to look back at this post and have a completely current and well used prayer journal in my hand and a video of my grandmother’s Revelation study on YouTube! Come to think of it, that will be my first prayer.
Peace and love,