Welcome back to part 2 in this series! If you missed Part One from last week, you can read it here. I'm doing a series of about three posts in which I'll be sharing some thoughts and verses that will hopefully help you take prayer from being one of the least important things in your life, to one of the most important.
One of the things that has helped me in praying is to write them down. I know, it seems too complicated and like it takes up too much time, but I've learned that it is the best way for me to present my words/thoughts to God. Today I want to share with you three reasons why this works (for me at least).
So many times it's easy to get distracted during a prayer. Unless we praying aloud (and sometimes even then), our minds can wander to other things and suddenly we realize we're no longer even praying so we jump back to God like, "Hey! Sorry! Where was I?" Then of course, there's falling asleep. We wake back up and...whoops. We're busy people with a long list of to do's, so we already feel like we don't have an abundant amount of time to spend during our quiet time, so sometimes when our mind wanders or we fall back asleep, we feel like failures and just rush through the rest of our requests to make sure we get everything in and just be done with it. So writing down our prayers is helpful in keeping our mind focused.
I also find that I typically spend more time in prayer this by writing them down (I know, one of your reasons for not praying in the first place). But instead of a quick little prayer, I usually surprise myself by pouring out my heart to God in more ways than I anticipated because as I write the words continually flow. I think sometimes we don't realize how much we desperately need to pour out our hearts to God. It's hard to get started writing, but it typically ends up becoming something I enjoy and suddenly time doesn't matter (because let's be real, God always allows us enough time to spend with Him...it depends on whether or not we choose to take it that makes the difference).
Usually in writing down my prayers they become less me-centered and more God-centered. I'm more likely to write down a prayer that lines up with God's will than write a little pity-party for myself. It's easier to write down praises to God and thank Him for who He is and what He's done in my life than it is to write down my silly wants and complaints. Of course God wants us to share anything and everything with Him, but sometimes we focus too much on ourselves and not enough on Him, so writing down can help us focus more in that area of our prayers.
4. Prayers to Praises
Writing down prayers also gives us the ability to look back and see how God has answered them. Sometimes we forget we even ask God for things, so when He answers we forget to thank Him. Writing them down we're able to look back and be encouraged at how God is working in our lives and we can turn the prayers into praises.
I hope you'll take the time to give this a try and see how differently it can impact your prayer life!