Ask any of my family members and they will tell you that I’ve always been what you call a talker. I made good grades in school, but all of my teachers, probably even my college professors, always had one complaint- she talks too much. I knew that my parents would come home from parent-teacher conferences with a report card full of A’s, but I would still have to sit and listen to the “you are a good student Dana, you just need to learn when to keep your mouth shut” talk. Never failed.
When I was younger, I used to get upset about being teased for talking too much, vowing to go days without talking and being as quiet as I could. Since I'm an adult now, I see my ability to talk as a blessing. I can still remember my grandpa telling me, “It’s okay to talk as long as you have something to say.” And usually, my friends, I do have something to say.
Weirdly enough, at times it’s hard for me to talk to God. I know, I know, I talk all day, why not just throw a few words up to God? I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the pressure of sounding formal enough, or not too formal, that trips me up, but at times I find myself shying away from an actual conversation with Christ. I tell myself “I need to have a good talk with God” and then days will go by without me actually having much more than a “please and thank you” conversation with Him. You know those “please help me with my patience” or “I offer this up to you Lord” type conversations that often come with being a mom of young kiddos. It’s talking, but, in my opinion, not truly conversing.
Prayer is something that’s different for everyone. That’s what I absolutely love about it. There’s no right or wrong way to pray. Your relationship with Christ is what’s important, not the means in which you talk to Him. I’m a talker, but when it comes to prayer, I’m a writer.
I love to write, I always have, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with my love of talking. I think I always have something to say, therefore I usually have something to write. Sometimes expressing my prayers through spoken word is hard, but when I journal, when I write to God, my thoughts pour out more easily.
Now there are a few ways to prayer journal- I chose the easiest. I got a notebook, one with a pretty cover or something that would instantly put me in a good mood, and I wrote. Sometimes it was a letter, sometimes it was random thoughts, sometimes it was Bible verses, but whatever came to my head I wrote.
When we were trying to conceive our first child, I wrote to God a lot. I was nervous, anxious, upset and didn’t know how to convey that all to God without feeling like I sounded ungrateful for the many blessing He had already bestowed on us. I would sit with my notebook and let the pen do the talking. I would cover page after page with my emotions and feelings, and tried to just remain very true to how I felt in that moment. Now that my daughter is almost four, that journal provides such an intimate look into my heart that I love looking back on it.
Another way to prayer journal is much more creative- through art. Just type "prayer journal” into Amazon and you will find numerous Bibles, journals and books that allow you the opportunity to focus on a scripture, and color a beautiful picture at the same time. It’s therapeutic for many and I personally love this. I even received a prayer coloring book for Christmas that has a scripture, along with an intricate coloring page beside it.
Sometimes it’s easiest to talk to God, when you don’t talk. When you focus your attention on His word instead of your own. When you allow scripture and His teachings into your heart.
Reflect: If you were to pull out a notebook right now- what would you write to God? What feelings have you been holding on to that may need to be released?
Act: Take at least 30 minutes this week to prayer journal. Whether it be as simple as writing down a scripture on a notebook and talking to God about how it makes you feel, or coloring a page in a journaling Bible, spend time in reflection with His word.