Try Writing Out Your Prayers
“The Lord gave me this answer: ‘Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance’” (Habakkuk 2:2 GNT).
If you want to hear God speak, you need to withdraw to a quiet place, wait patiently and expectantly, ask God to give you a picture of what he wants to say to you, and then write down God’s responses to your questions.
In the book of Habakkuk, the Lord commands the author to “write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance” (Habakkuk 2:2 GNT).
That’s how we got the book of Habakkuk. In chapter one, Habakkuk wrote down what he said to God. And in chapter two, he wrote down what God said back to him.
That’s also how we got the book of Psalms; many of those psalms came directly from David’s quiet time. David meditated on the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, and then he wrote down his thoughts, and they’re called psalms. In many of the psalms, he starts out with what he’s feeling and then ends up with what God says.
If your prayer life is stuck in a rut, and you tend to pray the same things over and over —“God, be with this person” or “Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies” — then here’s what you need to do: Start writing out your prayers.
“What? You mean I don’t have to say them?” That’s right! Writing them down is a prayer. God can hear it in your thoughts. Just write it down.
Is it okay to write out a prayer and then read it? Of course it is. When you’re writing it, you’re praying. When you’re reading it, you’re praying.
This is called the spiritual habit of journaling, and it’s one that all Christians should understand and practice.
A journal is not a diary. A diary is about the things you did. A journal is about the lessons you learned — the mistakes you made and what God has taught you from those things.
Talk It Over
What are different ways of writing things down besides paper and pen that you’re more comfortable with?
What has God been teaching you that you can journal about today?
Start a prayer by writing down your answers to these questions: What attributes of God do you love? Who in your life needs God’s intervention? How do you need God to provide for you? What can you thank God for today?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.