Exercising The Praying Scripture

After a few weeks of discussing my reasons for prayer journaling, I thought it would only be right moving into putting that into practice. So let us get into it!

There have been so many times I have sat down to spend time with God in prayer – and my mind just seems to go blank. Other times I feel like a broken record, bringing the same things over and over before God.

One day, I was reading a verse out of Psalm 119 that said His word is a “Lamp for our feet, a light on our path.” At that moment it hit me. His word is the “LIGHT” that will GUIDE MY PRAYERS! Honestly guys, this got my brain spinning about some helpful ways I could use scripture to pray and I want to share them with YOU!

First though, let’s talk about “the WHY?”…

WHY Pray Scripture?

It helps you focus on what is important

It is easy to fill my prayers with issues we are mainly concerned about such as illness, money, anxiety, relationships, etc. Well, it is not wrong to pray about things we are concerned about, but scripture helps guide me to pray for things that God is really concerned about”  For example, anxiety is something people pray about often. It is easy to pray again and again for Him to take it away, but His word challenges us to develop a thankful heart in Philippians 4:6.

So for example, let us say anxiety that something of a worry for me. My prayers might be shaped, by not just bringing my desires for anxiety to subside before Him, but filling my prayers with thanksgiving. Maybe it is what I am thankful for in that day or aspects of God’s character that I am thankful for, but He is trying to orient my heart towards something greater than my anxiety. His word helps us pray towards growth and maturity as disciples, not just outcomes.

It helps you pray the TRUTH with confidence

I can feel confident when I pray scripture because I know it’s the truth. It is firm ground to stand on during my prayer time because it expresses God’s will, character and promises to us. I feel so much more confident asking for things when I pray with scripture because He tells us in His word what he has promised to us and how He wants to transform us.

It keeps your prayers fresh

Like I said earlier – some days I have the same prayers on repeat! & that is fine. I can be a creature of habit and sometimes my creativity is lacking when it comes to what to pray, but I have a whole Bible full of verses I can use to pray! Psalms alone feels like a never-ending resource of prayers that I can turn to and use to help me form what I want to say to God.

There are several other reasons praying scripture is a great idea, but these are just a few that I have found to be helpful for me!

Practical Tips for Praying Scripture

Find a Prayer Guide

Find a prayer book or devotional that you can use to support you in prayer. I would highly recommend Fervent by Priscilla Shirer – A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer. It is amazing!

Make a Scripture prayer journal

Well, you must have known I was going to mention this one! One great use for this would be to write down sentences or phrases you see in scripture that will help you build up biblical ways of speaking when you pray. Having these will help give you language to pray with. Your journal is also a great place to record all of your scripture-inspired prayers. I sometimes read through a passage and then write a section of it I would like to pray through at the top of my journal page. Then I write my personalised prayer below it.

Pray using the 3 R’s! Rejoice, Repent, and Request

With most verses in scripture, especially the Psalms, we can use one or more of these to pray. I have included an example of this below:

Psalm 51:1 (ESV) “ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

Rejoice – God, you are so generous in your love and mercy towards me. I am so humbled to call you my God. Thank you for sending Jesus to rid me of my sins and take away my guilt and shame.

Repent – Forgive me, Father. There are so many times I take your love and generosity towards me for granted. It is so easy for me to rush through my day without acknowledging how grateful I am for you.

Request – Give me eyes to see all of the many ways you extend your grace and mercy towards me. Help me to also extend that love and mercy to others so they will also know what a loving Father you are and how much you care about your children.

***

These have been easy ways for me to start using God’s word in my prayer life! It has been so effective and honestly made praying a lot more fun! The Psalms are a great place to look for scripture you can use to pray because they are meant to be used for just that! I would love to hear if you start using any of these in your own prayer life and how they are working for you!

Let me know your thoughts!

P.s – Something amazing is coming on 1st August, make sure you look out for it!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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How to Make Journaling a Habit

One quick thing to note about journaling before I dive in with my tips on how to make it a habit is to know there is no wrong way to do it! Journaling can be so personal, so just make it yours! Don’t worry about rules or how I do it, just get started, ok?

Buy a journal that gets you excited

This is an enjoyable part of journaling if you ask me. I am a planner and journal queen! I recently just finished my Paperchase journal, which did me so well & lasted just under a year before all the pages were filled to the brim. I do love a pretty & good quality journal. Anyone else!?

But even if you do not get as excited as me about picking out your journal, try to have some fun with it. Get something that reflects your personality. Maybe that means getting a neutral colour, or maybe it means something bright. Make it your own!

Pick a time dedicated to journaling

If you want journaling to become a real, daily habit, the best way to do it (at least for me) is to pick a dedicated time for it. You know I love to journal during my quiet time most evenings. I use my journaling time to connect with God but also to write out all the things that my brain will not stop trying to remind me of. Getting it down on paper really helps my brain calm down so that I can focus on more important things like what I am learning in life, my intentions for the day/week, etc.

However, I know some of us prefer & also have more time in the mornings. Especially during this lockdown season where a majority of us have the privilege of working from home. If you have the luxury of fitting it in first thing in the mornings, try it then!

Do not stress about what you are going to write

This is why buying a guided journal or one with prompts can be very helpful for some of us. Journaling should not be something that stresses you out! Although I do prefer to be free-flowing with my journals, like I said above, there is no wrong way to do it. If you are are unsure, here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • Do you have any current fears?
  • What are your wildest dreams? Sky’s the limit!
  • How do you feel? What is upsetting you?
  • What is bringing you joy right now?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is stressing you out?
  • What do you want out of life?
  • Write a letter to the future you
  • Write a letter to the teenage you
  • List out all the adventures you want to go on in the near future
  • List out all the things that make you happy

As you can see, there are NO rules to this! Find a pen and just let the words start pouring out of you. And as much as some of you might want to, resist the urge to edit what you write! Misspellings, grammatical errors, etc. – let it all go and just write, Lord knows it works for me.

Stay consistent

Like building any habit, you have to be consistent with it. Even on the days where it really feels like a chore, I challenge you to still do it and then take a second to think about how you feel afterwards. It is kind of like working out – you might not want to do it sometimes, but you will never regret it. Tell yourself you are just going to write the date down and one word to describe how you are feeling. And then I am sure you will end up writing more. But even if you do not, that is OKAY. It is always better to keep showing up regardless – that is the hard part.

One of the biggest tips I have on the consistency front is to keep your journal with you 24/7! Get one you can fit in your handbag (it can be separate from your everyday journal at home or it can be the same) so whenever a mood or feeling hits you, you can immediately write it down. I have found that doing it in the moment like this also helps it feel less like a to-do and more of a habit.

Reflect on it

This might feel like something you can skip but do not! I have found reflection to be a crucial step in making anything a habit. It gives me a chance to remember why I wanted journaling to be a habit to begin with. It can be really fun to look back at all that you have written in the past, too. Sometimes mine look like craziness all mashed together on a page, but other times I feel like I can see the personal growth between whatever I wrote and where I am in that moment, which is honestly an amazing feeling.

And with that, I want to add that reflection also allows time to recognise your accomplishments. This is something I do not think I personally take enough time to do, which is why I wanted to mention it. Celebrating small milestones and moments of personal growth is important and having a record of them in your journal is an amazing opportunity to reflect back.

Do not overwhelm yourself

Journaling is meant to be helpful so do not turn it into something stressful by aiming too high too soon. If journaling every day feels like too big of a commitment to start out with, then go with every other day or even just a few times a week for a quick 5 minutes. There is zero shame in starting small and working your way into it.

At the end of the day, do not overthink it! There is no wrong way to journal, I promise you that!

Enjoy your quiet time my lovelies & let me know how it goes for you!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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3 Reasons Why I Love Prayer Journaling

Happy New Month my lovelies!

We are officially in JULY! & I WELCOME this month with open arms because not only has God kept me by His safe and by His side to see the middle of 2020 but He has given me the grace to see my 27th birthday month!

I decided to do something different this month of July. Each week this month, I will be discussing all things relating to Journaling specifically Prayer Journaling.

Why?

It has been such a blessing in my life & by God’s grace, it will give you some great ideas if you are in a journaling rut or want to incorporate journaling into your own faith journey!

I mentioned how you can incorporate journaling into one’s week in a previous post. Check it out here.

Three reasons I find journaling helpful:

Journaling Helps Think It Out

There are some days where I just need process what I am thinking properly, get it all OUT of my head and put them somewhere else. Sometimes I talk it out loud, go on my prayer walks but I have really found that writing it down is more helpful for me.

My journal is a sacred space where I can get all the good, bad, and the ugly down on paper and sort it out with God. I try not to filter myself when writing and let my mind go where it needs to. And sometimes writing it down, helps me see that my feelings actually do not align with what I want or with reality even. And sometimes, I realise they do not make sense and something about that feels freeing at the moment. Other times, as I write things down, I am able to uncover lies I am believing, which is a starting point for turning things around.

As I am writing, God often brings scripture to mind that helps me take all the things I feel and think and process them through the perspective of His truth.

This is important because my feelings can go all over the map, but to process them through truth on paper makes sure I land in a place with less of my human perspective of more of a God perspective.

Journaling Helps Me Have A Record Of What God Is Teaching Me

I am often so encouraged when I look back in my journal and I am reminded of what God was teaching me at particular times. When I am on the other side of specific prayers and can see his faithfulness, it encourages me to trust Him more. Also, I am reminded He is working even when I think He is not!

Through my journals, I have a record of His faithfulness to refer back to when the present feels difficult or when I lack hope. I also use it to write down scripture I am reading through or how certain verses are specifically impacting me at that time.

I mentioned in my first ever Honey Luxe post (3 Ways To Give Your Prayer Life A Boost) how journaling can support one’s prayer life.

It brings me joy just simply writing out scripture – just picking a verse and then writing it down in my journal. I have found that when I am really struggling to focus, it is helpful for me to write a bit of scripture down. As I slow down enough to write it out, I am able to focus on it more and really let it sink in.

Journaling Helps Me Remember

When you were a child you probably could not tell if you were getting taller from one day to the next because growing is a slow process, but from one year to the next you could see a big difference! It can be the same in our spiritual life.

I do not see what God is doing from one day to the next all the time because spiritually maturing can also be a slow process, but when I look back at a journal from a year ago I am honestly blown away! I have a reference point through my journal to see all that God has done and how I have matured in my faith and in my relationship with Him.

It reminds me that He is producing character and good fruit in me when day to day faithfulness feels like I am trudging through mud. I need that reminder that growing little by little each day will eventually yield noticeable growth in my life and I love having a record of the process in my journal.

Well, there are definitely more benefits to share, but those are the major reasons why I find journaling helpful in my faith!

Do you journal?

If so, how has prayer journaling helped you in your relationship with God?

Stay tuned for my next post in this series that will give you some different ideas on WHAT you can journal when you spend time with God!

Let me know your thoughts!

Love Always,

Liz Fashanu

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