When our daughter, Gigi, was just 6 years old, I came across her passionately writing something out. It was a Prayer…that reads like a Poem…that comes straight from her Heart. Little did Gigi know that she was significantly participating in her Spiritual Growth! Here’s what she wrote…
“A heart is faithful, but a life can be hard.
But love always finds a way.
Memories can fail,
But God brings new ones.
You may seem lost,
[insert tears here]
But God is always with you.”
I LOVE Gigi’s heart! Jeanne and I have been convinced since she was 3 years old that this little girl hears from the Holy Spirit.
But what I also love is that Gigi was participating in an Ancient Prayer Practice that has the power to significantly grow her faith.
Putting Prayer to Pen has been practiced by people of faith for 1000’s of years. In fact, the largest book of the Bible (Psalms) is exclusively dedicated to this Practice!
My wife, Jeanne, has been practicing this kind of prayer for over 25 years. She has boxes that are full of journals that are full of prayer.
Me…not so much. I’ve never been much of a “Journaler” of my prayers (or anything for that matter). This practice doesn’t come easily to me. It never has. And I take great comfort in the fact that we have no record of Jesus ever Journaling…but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important for my growth.
In fact, just this last weekend I found myself really stuck on a decision / direction. I had prayed “out loud” about it countless times and found myself stuck in the same place…so…I decided to write my prayer out. And the process of doing that brought greater clarity to the decision and greater alignment with my heart’s desire.
Here’s what the Practice of Putting Prayer to Pen does for us:
1) It Forces You To Focus
I’ll be honest, at times when it comes to prayer, I’m a Rambling Man. I sort of pray until I figure out what I’m trying to say. Maybe that’s true of you too. Putting Prayer to Pen forces you to focus. Your words become more deliberate, more thoughtful, more connected.
By writing out your prayers, you have an incredible option that you don’t have when you’re simply “saying” them…you have the power of Command Z! You can EDIT! You can reread and rewrite what you’re trying to say to God until you truly get to the stuff of the soul. Allowing the Holy Spirit to be your Copy Editor is one of the best things you can do for your Spiritual Growth!
2) It Internalizes Your Prayer
Neuroscience has proven that one of the greatest paths to internalizing / owning your understanding is to WRITE THINGS OUT. When you do, you are learning on 3 different levels – 1) Tactile (physically writing) 2) Visual (seeing what you write) 3) Audible (reading back to yourself). This is one of the fastest ways to take your prayer to the deepest levels of who you are. You are able to internalize your prayer so that it becomes a prayer that stays with you, in the recesses of your soul, long after you write it down.
3) It Leaves Mile Markers
This is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of Putting your Prayer to Pen. One that continues to be a gift for years to come. When you write down your prayers, you are essentially writing a letter to your future self about the faithfulness of God. I can’t tell you how many times Jeanne has gone back to those boxes of journals and found Faithfulness overflowing. These prayers are a gift to you and to your spouse and kids. And they serve as reminders not only of how Faithful God is, but of how much you have Grown! This little poetic prayer of Gigi’s is going to be a gift to her in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years to remind her of her pure passion for God and how much she has grown in Him!
Just ask Jeanne! There are a lot of Jeanne’s prayers in the journals from her teenage years that are about boys. A LOT. And it always gives her an encouraging laugh to see how much she has grown and how God has been faithful to answer each and every one of those prayers…in ME!
Can you see how this little practice can have a huge impact on your faith and growth? It is a very real and very simple way for you to grow how you pray, today!
If Putting Prayer to Pen is a practice that you keep,
how has it shaped your growth and relationship with God?
Is this something you would be willing to try this week or maybe even today?
Maybe you’d even be willing to post one here in the comments
to help jumpstart this practice for you…and for others.