Years ago, I read about a woman missionary who was frustrated by her inability to connect with people. A fellow missionary came to visit and encourage her, and within a week, he had won over many of the locals. Embarrassed that her own efforts suffered by contrast, she humbled herself enough to ask him, “How did you do it?!”
He answered, “By teaching them how to hear the Lord speak.”
“Teach me!” she begged, because she had never heard God speak to her directly. So, he did. It changed her life… and her ministry.
What he taught her is what I call prayer journaling. It has been life changing for me, and I believe it can be for you, too.
In essence, it is three simple steps: 1) Find a quiet place to be alone, 2) Write down what you want to ask God or talk to Him about, and 3) Wait patiently and quietly until you sense a response in your spirit that is not your own; when you do, write it down.
This morning, I wanted to talk with God about a crushing disappointment. We had invested time, effort, money and hope in a deeply-desired outcome… and then received the news that what we had hoped for was not to be. The implications were many — and all discouraging.
Why? I wanted to know. Why, if we believed for the best, did everything we could do to bring about a good outcome, and saw all the ways in which it could be a blessing? Why, if we were convinced that this was God’s best for us? Why, if the outcome we experienced seemed full of harm and not good? Why did this happen? Why this bad news?
I took my questions straight to God, pouring my heart out on the pages of my journal as tears coursed down my cheeks.
When I finally paused to listen to Him, I sensed this answer in my spirit, “Trust me. All will be well. Do not be afraid. I AM in control.”
Can I tell you exactly what that means about our situation? Unfortunately, no. So, now I have a choice: 1) Dwell on where things are and give in to despair, or 2) Believe that all things are possible, and that this is not the end of the story. I choose believing.
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” – Psalm 5:3
God sees. He knows. He cares. And, He loves me.
That will tide me over until He acts — or speaks again.
Want more encouragement? Read Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.