Want to add a new dimension to your prayer life? Want to be able to concentrate better and daydream less when praying? Consider writing out prayers as part of your devotional life.
Many saints in times past expressed their hearts and laid their requests before God in writing. For example, many of the Psalms were written prayers. For example, Psalm 17 is called “A Prayer of David”.
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! (PS 17.1)
The Valley of Vision is a collection of prayers from the journals of puritans (these are great for devotional use).
I have found that writing prayers has a number of benefits: Writing helps me concentrate, focus and keep my mind from wandering. Writing slows me down and helps me quiet my heart before God. Writing also helps me keep from praying the same things every day.
When I write out prayers, then I have them to use again in the future. Often, reading a prayer I’ve written before helps me jumpstart my prayer time.
Also, writing out prayers helps me better remember specific things I want to thank God for or ask him for.
Writing out prayers of thanksgiving for specific blessings is a good way to look back and see ways God has worked in your life. One man said that he writes “Yesterday” at the top of a page each morning and writes things he’s thankful for from the previous day. What a wonderful record he’ll have after years of recording God’s blessings.
You don’t have to be flowery or long-winded. Most of the time I only write one page. It takes maybe 5 or 10 minutes at the most. Try it!
photo by Lost in Scotland