For at least the last 3 years, I have journaled my early morning prayers. I'm not sure how I got started doing that, but it is so much a part of me now, I cannot imagine going even one single day without doing it. There's something very exciting about documenting the prayers I pray for myself and others and then being able to look back and see how God showed Himself faithful through it all.
Up until a couple of months ago, each journal entry would have the date (duh!), a quote I especially liked from the particular devotion I read that morning, a list of things I thank God for, a confession, and a list of people with the prayers I prayed for them. I was happy with that, but I also kept a couple of other journals--one where I documented answers to prayer and one where I tried to write down things I felt God putting on my heart.
Then I met fellow blogger--and Christ follower--Sandy, whose blog I came across a few months ago and have been enjoying ever since. I knew she and I had a lot in common when I read the article she wrote about one of her favorite things--her notebook. She shared how she breaks her journal down into different sections for things like scripture she's trying to memorize, answered prayers, keeping track of quiet times, etc. I immediately loved the idea! I decided it was time for me to put all my notes together instead of trying to keep up more than a couple of different journals.
If you are someone who likes to journal, I recommend you try this too. Just as my notebook looks a little different from Sandy's, you may find that different categories work better for you. For instance, I LOVE making daily to do lists and so I have incorporated a section just for that in my notebook. In fact, the sections in my notebook are: Daily To Do Lists, Quiet Time Notes, Answered Prayers, How God Speaks to Me, and Scripture (that I want to memorize). It started out differently, but after I used it for a few days, I figured out what "categories" worked best for me.
Here's why I'm sharing this with you...I cannot tell you how much encouragement I get from this journal of mine. I already mentioned that it is totally cool to be able to look back and see how God has answered prayers, but I have discovered something else that's exciting. In that section "God Speaks", I make notes when I feel God impressing something on me. If I stumble across a devotion or a sermon or even an email from someone that confirms what He puts on my heart, I photocopy it and stick it in that section as well.
Oh my goodness! When you actually take the time to do that, it is amazing to see in black and white, right in front of you, how often God speaks. Now I realize this is not something a lot of people would enjoy doing, but as I said, if you like to journal, and pray often, and want to be more aware of God at work in and around you, you should totally try this!! My eyes have been opened even more to the faithfulness of God as I look back and trace His footprints all through my day...every day! How encouraging is that??
"Lord, heighten my spiritual sense to see that which is not visible, hear that which is not audible, sense that which is not tangible, believe that which is unbelievable...Teach me to sort through the noises of this world to hear and discern Your powerful, wonderful, pure, precious voice."
~Priscilla Shirer, Discerning the Voice of God