A great friend of mine once told me when I was feeling especially blue to keep a thankful/prayer requests journal.
Every day, I’d force myself to find at least 5 things to put in the ‘thankful’ column and then my prayer requests. Whatever was on my heart that I was struggling with.
At first, I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea….maybe for someone with a lot of time on their hands. But not me.” So, I put it off. And again, she encouraged me with patience to keep a journal. Finally I did.
I cannot even begin to express to you how that simple act has completely changed my attitude. It was hard at first, when you’re going through something difficult, to find anything to be thankful for that is genuine and heartfelt. I mean…you can list off a bunch of random ones.
- I’m thankful for salvation
- I’m thankful for my kids
- I’m thankful for my home
- Blah, blah, blah
But to REALLY take it seriously, to impress it upon your heart in a genuine and intimate way, to consider it wisely. What are you thankful for?
Each day, as I pondered that, it got easier and easier. And while at first my prayer list was CLEARLY longer than the thankful side, now the thankful side is longer! I’m thankful that God gave me thankfulness! What a true blessing to see things through HIS eyes and not my own selfish, fleshly eyes. It’s amazing.
But get this. This is what I was REALLY impressed about.
After a few months, I started noticing a theme. See, after a prayer request was answered, I’d cross it off my list. Every day, even if it was the same prayer as before, I’d re-write it again. So each day was current, filled with tons of requests.
👉 Here’s what I noticed over time. Out of over 200 prayers, there were only a FEW (3-4) NOT crossed off! 😮
I knew that God listened to me. I knew that He was always with me. I knew that He cared about me. But I had no idea that He worked so hard to answer each and every single prayer!
I was stunned.
His answers to my prayers may have been yes, maybe no, some were wait and be patient, but almost every single one answered in one way or another as I have kept my journal. It made me realize two things…
1) God cares about me a WHOLE lot more than I care about Him.
Do I really get to know each one of HIS words in the Bible like I should?
Do I really study HIS words out to the depths that He studies MY words? 😬
Do I take Him as seriously as He takes ME?
Do I spend as much time in concern over HIM, as He does me?
Do I invest as much TIME with Him as He does with me?
Pretty powerful, huh!!!! 💣
2) Every single word that I speak, whether out loud or in my head, He hears.
So, if I pray some random prayer without thinking and He takes me up on that offer, woah, I better be prepared. I had no idea our words were so powerful. Not in that we control God, because we do not, but in that, what we say is a direct reflection of what we think (Proverbs 23:7).
I realized that laziness on my part with my own speech, could very well be a very grievous error. You see, I had prayed a couple things and when they happened, well, I had to suffer the consequences. It was like God was showing me, look, I’m in control, and if this is what you want, okay sure, I’ll give it to you, but you may not really like it. I’m doing this because I want you to know that I’m listening to you.
👉 Good or bad, I’m listening.
I’ve learned to be more careful with my prayers.
I’ve learned to stop using blanket prayers (lazy prayers like God bless my family, thank you for our food, generalities, etc.) and I learned to have a more deeper fellowship with a God SO big, He created the whole universe and everything in it in only 7 days, and yet small enough to fit all that power and majesty and love, all inside my soul and heart.
So, I encourage you, the next time you are tempted to think God doesn’t care about you or your problem, start a journal.
Consistently write in it every day for a few minutes and ask yourself that same question 3 months later. I promise you, you will SEE God listens and cares!
To make it super easy for you, here are some prayer and thankful printables that you can use below!!!
Fill them in each day of the week and have fun coloring them to! 🥰
Download the free printable thankful and prayers sheets here.