In a sense, it’s the only way I pray. My prayer life is really mostly a running snippet of, “Oh, Lord about that…” and “Oh, thank you for…” rather than the chatty conversations with the Lord that I’ve always desired. I look at David, Mary, and Paul and think of their amazing ability to pour out their hearts to the Lord, and I envy it.
I’ve tried prayer journals, and while I like them, I don’t like the sense that they aren’t private. I do cherish my privacy, particularly in connection with my time with the Lord. Let’s face it, I’m not going to hide a journal from everyone. I’m not going to cover it in weird rubber band mazes that only I can detect. I’m going to leave it where I can grab it and write. That means anyone can pick it up and flip through it. As much as I believe most of my family and guests would open, see it was private, and close, the fact is, who knows what might be seen before that closure happens. I don’t have deep dark secrets between the Lord and myself, but even my confessions are between He and I. Period.
Tonight, a friend and I were talking about how we both express ourselves best through the written word. When writing what is on my heart, I’m most likely to communicate what I truly think AND feel. When speaking, I tend to stick strictly to the facts. For whatever reason, writing helps me concentrate and say what I often struggle with verbalizing– particularly if emotions are involved.
This is why a prayer journal is something I gravitate toward, but who wants to write out their heart to the Lord and then shred it? Seems kind of wasteful on many levels. However, it occurred to me that I could easily create a password protected prayer folder on my laptop. Actually, I doubt I’d need to password protect it. Opening a folder on someone’s private laptop takes a decision to read what isn’t meant to be read. Picking up a journal off a shelf or the couch is much less intentional and more random. I even, if I chose, could simply type out my prayers, reread them. Pour out anything else I have to the Lord, and hit the nice delete button. No hours of writing wasted, no paper tossed, no journal ruined. Just a simple exercise in spending time with the Lord that is comfortable for me.
Sure, I probably should learn the discipline of concentration during mental prayer times. I don’t plan to ignore that forever. I don’t plan to stop my running prayerful commentary to the Lord throughout the day. However, until that discipline is learned, I’d rather spend some time in deeper prayer than I have been. This works for me, and considering the Lord made me as I am, I think He understands.
I’m quite excited about it. Quite.
Off to make my folder. Lord, please remind me to open it frequently.