prayer journal

When Your Praying Knees Get Lazy, Turn To Your Writing Hand

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

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Praying to God is one of the most intimate parts of a Christian's relationship with Him. It is a direct communication with our Father, made possible through Jesus Christ and the cross.

Despite this gift, so often I forget to go to Him in prayer. I say I will do it to end the day, only to fall asleep midway. I vow to start everyday conversing with God, yet my mind is still yawning for the first hour that I am awake.

When I do pray, so often I fall into tangents that guide me away from the original point at hand. My mind wanders, and before long I am ten thousand miles away from God.

How can I go about refocusing prayers on God? How can I be more intentional about making time to pray?

Recently, I found a handy little notebook laying around. I wanted to find a way to fill it, and so naturally, I turned to Google. I stumbled upon the idea of a prayer journal and after a few clicks, I was hooked on the idea.

Why keep a prayer journal?

First, writing down your prayers allows you to stay more focused. Including another sense into the mix allows you to be more conscious of what you are thinking and writing. This is perfect for people like me that tend to go down rabbit holes.

Second, it is physical evidence of your prayers. This is great to look back on. It allows you to see what you were going through in the past, as well as see how God answered your prayers (whether it's the way you wanted or something even better).

Third, you can keep a list of others to pray for. Recently, I've been trying to really pray for my loved ones more, as well as national and world events. Having a physical list is a great reminder, and I've even seen people who recommend rotating one or two people per day so it's not super overwhelming and you can thoroughly pray for those few people.

No matter what method works best for you, I encourage you all to take advantage of the awesome gift we have as Christians and pray to God. He is the one true comforter.

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you're at that age where you're not exactly an adult but also no longer a child.

You're somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You're going to get hurt, you're going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you're even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It's all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you've asked of me, the things you've told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking.

The future, though bright, isn't all sunshine and roses.

The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you're not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion, and doubt.

But with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You'll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You've read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to.

Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you're crying and stressing about what job you're going to land after you graduate, if you're going to marry that person you've been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you're currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don't do. So here's what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That's the reason you became a Christian, right?

Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I'm here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you're pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me.

Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you.

All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I've got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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7 Bible Verses For The Insanely Stressed Out College Student

Bible verses to bring peace of mind as finals rapidly approach.

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As finals quickly approach and the academic year begins to wind down, it's easy to find yourself becoming bogged down with stress. Despite your religious background, these verses can provide solace and peace to those most in need of it during this stressful time of year.

1. Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

2. Psalm 34:19

"The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from all."

3. John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

4. Psalm 42:5a

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God."

5. Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

6. John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

7. Philippians 4:6-7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And in the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

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