I know it is Tuesday, but God has been rocking my world the past two days because of the sermon this Sunday. I used to be all about journaling my prayers. I have two journals that are about halfway full that have prayers to God in them. At some point I stopped actually journaling, but without them I feel like I have no way to measure how God is answering my prayers. So after we moved I pulled out the journal and began to write down my prayers again. Every few days I try to go back through the week or so and see what I have been praying for.
Well I don't know how many of you heard Pastor Furtick's sermon, but one key point was about being specific with your prayer life. We tend to say, "Be with my parents," but God is already with them. How can you pray specifically for them? We also say, "God if it is your will we ask that you allow us to get this new job." It is like we are giving God an escape clause if he doesn't want to give us the job. If it isn't God's will he won't give you what you are asking for. We have to say what is on our heart and trust that God knows how to answer us. But ultimately both phrases are limiting our vision of God. How will we ever know how God is answering our prayers if we ask for something, but then give the "out phrase" or if we aren't specific enough to have any measure of an answer.
So as I looked through my journals I saw all of these "Be with...." and "God I only ask this if it is according to your will" and it was hard to measure the answers of my prayer life because I was never very specific. I figured if they were gray then I would be happy with whatever outcome happened. So I am now trying to make an effort to pray specific prayers. So when I flip through my journal after a few weeks or months I will see exactly how God answered my prayers. I will then become sensitive to what prayers aren't part of His plan for me and what prayers I wasn't ready to have the answers as yes. It is a journey that I believe is going to make me a stronger child of God.