When I was gifted my first Prayerful Journal, I was walking through difficult moments and dark days. My mom had just passed away five months prior. She was my best friend, and it has been so hard to learn to live without her. I also was (and continue) to battle depression and recover from trauma I experienced in my past. God has just seemed so far away to me. I long to sit at his feet, but it has been difficult to find my path.
My Journal arrived in the mail as a surprise gift from a dear friend. At that time, prayer and bible study seemed like such an intimidating thing. However, the simple design of the journal made it seem not so scary. The journal also ended up providing me with a special connection to my mom. My mom loved card making, and as such, there are stickers all over our house. I was inspired to take the stickers she loved and use them to decorate my journal. It has just made journaling so much more special.
As I said, writing in my prayer journal has become something very special to me. It has given me the impetus to really dwell on my relationship with God–where I am and where I want to be. Prayer is something I've really struggled with for a long time. I felt like I wasn't doing it right, or for the right amount of time or about the right things, etc. Seeing my words written in the journal gives me something concrete I can look at and know that l am sharing my heart with God.
And I'll just have to say--decorating my journal with stickers just makes it fun and makes me happy. It's been therapeutic as I've been working on finding my way through depression. I never really thought of myself as creative until I started decorating my journal. But more than decorating, having a place where I can pour out my heart out to God and I can clearly see Him answering prayers--that has been indispensable as I have endeavored to restore my relationship with Jesus.
When I first got my prayer journal, it was beautiful and pristine. I didn't want to do anything to mess it up. Now when you look at it, it is stained and dirty (it won't even close properly), but it is more beautiful to me now than I could have ever imagined. It is filled with my prayers calling out to God, and it contains His faithful answers confirming His love for me at a time when I felt so lost and alone.
There are several times in the bible when God makes a promise or moves in a mighty way, and a pile of stones are stacked up as a memorial. The purpose was to remember what God had done. I feel like my journal is my personal memorial where I can look back and remind myself of God's faithfulness. God has answered so many prayers–some big, some little, but I have realized that I would have never noticed if I hadn't been writing my prayers down.
Don’t worry about messing up your journal, or doing it wrong. Perfection is not required. First of all, it's your journal--it's impossible to do it wrong. Do what works for you. Second, don't be afraid to mess up your journal–it's not possible if you are filling it with your honest thoughts and prayers to our Heavenly Father.
If you'd like to see ideas of how to decorate your journal with stickers and washi tape, Click Here.