I take time out each morning to pray. Lately there's been a number of challenging things happening to quite a few of our very close friends and family members and if I'm honest it's felt a little overwhelming.
I've also noticed that I easily lose track of some of the situations I've prayed for and often don't remember that the prayer has even been answered! Take the other day - my son Joseph has had some problems with settling down to sleep at night like many children do with autism. It was getting quite bad and I was really worrying to know what the best way forward for him was. So, eventually the 'penny dropped' and I prayed about it (duh - when will I learn!). The upshot was that I got some help really quickly for Joseph and it's now really turned things around for him.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)
So to keep my thoughts and prayers really focused, I'm now combining my 'normal' journal with prayer cards (index cards). To start with, I wrote out a card for each of my three children and my husband. Then cards for other family members and a few specific people to pray for. From there, I wrote cards for short-term and long-term requests. Then one for answered prayers. Finally, the last three cards are for my business, self-improvement and 'arrow' prayers (for any immediate need).
I've found it's really helped me to organise my thoughts and monthly dreams to not get too over-burdened with stuff flying around in my head all the time - which is no help! Each day, I just move the cards to the next day in my journal and I'm all set. I no longer have to look back in my journal or leave someone out of my prayers simply because I can't keep it all in my head.
Meanwhile, in my journal, I still write down general day-to-day stuff and also any inspiring quotes, poetry or something I've read that's really resonated with me. I also like to write down my three favourite moments of the day (when possible).
This time of prayer and reflection is so worthwhile and I sincerely encourage you to try it for yourself if you don't already. For me, it's my way of acknowledging my faith and to feel His presence within me. This makes all the difference to my day and how I interact with others.
Some of you may already have your own prayer practice, meditation, mindfulness, reiki, visualisation etc. Please reply in the comments below if you have a thought you would like to share.