“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask
anything according to His will, He hears us.” — 1 John 5:14
When I was in high school, my church small group leader gave me a prayer journal. The concept was simple— I would record the date and my prayer request on the right side of the page, then, when my prayer was answered, I would record the date and how it was answered on the left hand side.
My prayers were simple.
I prayed to do well on my next test. I prayed for sick family members. I prayed about inviting friends to my youth group.
My prayers told the story of my life.
Almost 20 years have passed since high school (gasp!) and I still keep a prayer journal of sorts. I have a five-year journal: each page has the date at the top, and every day I write a few sentences about my day. The following year on that same date, I record what my family did that day on the same page. In five years I’ll be able to look at any given date and see what we did that particular day.
I’m in the third year of this journal, and it’s eyeopening to look back and see how my life has changed. Three Mays ago, my husband and I were at a loss for what to do about school for our oldest child. He was very behind academically. His asthma was so severe he had missed almost two months of class. Looking back at my entries, I can see the hopelessness in my words. As the story unfolded and my cries to the Lord became more urgent, God guided us to a prayer night at our church. That night was the first night in two months we didn’t have to do breathing treatments. And the next day our specialist was shocked to see our son’s asthma episode was completely over. God became real to our son after that prayer night, and he was baptized the
School was still a huge struggle for our family, and again we sought the Lord’s will through prayer. And again, God brought just the right people into our lives. Now I’m running a thriving homeschool co-op! And that’s one thing that was most definitely NOT at the top of my prayer requests.
Not only did God use our son’s asthma to bring us closer to Him, He changed the course of our family’s life. Through prayer, God directed our path and wrote our family’s story according to His will!
I want so desperately for my children’s life stories to be guided by their prayers.
I want them to look back at the twists and turns in their stories and see God’s mighty hand in each situation.
I want them to see that they are part of a bigger, more important story—God’s story.
God has walked my family through difficult times and answered our prayers in ways that have created the most beautiful stories. I often wonder what the next chapter will bring, but I know one thing: it’s a better story than I could ever write!
Help your young children see how their prayers are part of a bigger story by creating a Picture Prayer Journal. Weekly, have your child draw a picture to represent their prayer requests, no matter how big or small. Then write their prayer on the back of the picture and pray together. Every week, revisit the requests as you make new ones. Don’t forget to write the date for each prayer request. Older children can write their prayers in a special journal. Then watch as God answers their prayers and lets each story unfold in His perfect way!