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Category Archives: Prayer

Writings and reflections on prayer. The prayers section at prayerscapes features over 100 original contemporary prayers.

Prayer for Pentecost 2020

Sailing Boat on the oceans

It is so important to nurture the presence of God’s Spirit within us.  The Holy Spirit is our comforter, the one who wraps wings of protection around us when we are vulnerable. He is our teacher, illuminating truth so that we can see and understand his beautiful ways. And He is our healer, binding our wounds and covering us in His restorative power. As we become in tune with the ways in which He is moving, we learn, we grow, we rest, and we see more clearly. As Jesus said “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God.” (John 14:16-17)

Receiving the Holy Spirit Is a life transforming moment yet walking in spirit and truth is a conscious choice we make each day.  Our mission in life is to find out where the Spirit is at work, and to join in! Let our passion be to create landing space in the world around us for Him to minister the grace and peace of Christ. As we do this we become the very hands and feet, the voice and touch of Jesus to a needy world. What a remarkable invitation God offers each of us! May your celebration of Pentecost this year be a beautiful reminder that we go not in our own strength but empowered by the very one who sent us. As we invite the Holy Spirit afresh into our lives and hearts, may we fan into flame the gift of God which longs to be at work within each of us.  

Come Living Lord

Come living Lord, live within our hearts,
For you are welcome here.
Come like a gentle dove, settle us with your grace and peace.
We welcome your Spirit’s presence to calm us.
Come like a mighty wind, roaring with power from on high.
We welcome your Spirit’s freedom to move deeply in us.
Come like an untamed fire, raging with holiness.
We welcome your Spirit’s beauty to burn brightly through us.
Come living Lord. Come this day, this hour, this moment
For you are welcome here.
Come living Lord. Come this day, this hour, this moment
For you are truly welcome here.

(Prayer by Neil Haydock © Copyright 2020

An Easter Prayer

Easter Prayer

This is a very different Easter time for many of us across the world. Just like Jesus’s disciples after they had witnessed his death, we face uncertainty, fear and sorrow. Yet as we take time to pause and reflect, we shall unearth new treasures of Kingdom value. They will hold a fresh message, anointing and significance for us all. Everything changed the day when Jesus rose from death to eternal life. The same Spirit that released Christ from the grave is now available as a free gift to us all!

This Easter prayer film seeks to capture that truth, that miracle, and that promise. We hope that faith will arise within your hearts and God will hold you safe in your sorrows and lift your eyes unto heaven. We ask for unity to strengthen us all at this time and create new ground for God’s Kingdom to flow in fresh and amazing ways:

It’s possible to download this film in HD for a small sum by following this link.

Here are the words to the prayer in this film:

Easter Prayer

Loving Lord, today we remember

the veil of darkness

transforming to the brightest light.

The most dreadful end

becoming the most beautiful beginning.

We remember with trembling hearts

the depths of despair

fading to reveal hope everlasting.

The curse of death

defeated by eternal life.

Today we remember with thankfulness

your willingness to be pierced for our sins.

We sing with abounding joy,

of your miraculous rise,

from death’s tomb to resplendent life.

Thank you for the promise of heaven

and your generous invitation of eternal life for all.


(prayer by Julie Palmer copyright © 2020

Prayer for Peace and Comfort

A beautiful and peaceful lake

Peace is so important to our hearts, our minds and our bodies, so coming before God will always bring more peace into our lives. It’s important that we take time with our prayers, because God knows that we need to slow down, we need to still our minds, we need to our rest hearts, and then we’ll enter into the inner sanctuary of His love. So let’s prayer together now:

Short prayer for peace and protection

Dear Father, we come before you our Lord, Saviour and friend. We journey with you through every season of our lives. Thank you that you hear every prayer and petition of our hearts. We lay out before you the great trouble we feel, the stresses we are under, the losses we have endured, the burdens we carry and the doubts and fears that can consume us. You hold each of us in your care. You remain, you abide with us and within us. We are always safe in your care. Amen.

Prayer for peace and comfort

Come dress us Lord in comfort. Give us new shoes, so that our feet might tread steadily across this difficult life terrain. Give us new clothes, so that our vulnerabilities are covered and our souls protected at this turbulent time. Give us a new crown, perfect to our size, unique and real, one that reminds us of who we are in this season.

Come shower us Lord with peace. Cleanse us with grace, may it fall softly upon each moment, bringing restoration in these harsh days. Come shower us Lord with peace. Refresh us with hope, may clean dew pour into every shadow of despair that we endure. Come shower us Lord with peace. Refill us with faith, may it overflow in our souls and rise high in our hearts.

Lord, thank you that you are our comfort and our peace. Amen.

(prayer based on “Prayer for Peace and Comfort” © 2020

Prayer for Comfort in Difficult Times

God, I am crying out for help in this difficult time.
Help me to find some light in this darkness.
Lift my eyes to see even the faintest glimmer of hope
And hold tight to you.

Lord, you are beside me, stay close today.
Surround me with your love.
Help me to remember your goodness and trust in your saving grace.
May my tears turn to joy
And may your light flood this soul.
For surely you are my saviour,
My friend, and my guide. Amen.

Prayer for Peace and Comfort

Lord God, You promise the peace of a still lake
Even in the midst of a storm.
You promise the peace of a slumbering child
Even in the middle of tension and disagreement.
You promise the peace of a poppy field
Even in the place of heartbreak and devastation.
Your promise is a peace that surpasses our human understanding.
So I choose to rest by the still waters, to lie down and rest amongst the poppies.
Your resurrection declared peace over trauma, power over death, and life everlasting. I trust in you.

It’s been a real privilege to join with you in prayer. Please do leave your prayers in the comments below so that others can join with you. There are many more films and prayers on this site about receiving God’s peace. Here’s one you can watch now:

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands.

(Lead image photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash).

Prayer for Protection at Work

walking to work

When we work, we serve God. No matter what our occupation we contribute daily to the ongoing work of His Spirit. It can be daunting when we feel the stress of responsibility, the fatigue of physical tiredness or the fear of the unknown and yet God longs to journey with us, to help us through our daily working lives.

Here is a list of prayers to help when we need protection at work:

Short Prayer for Protection in the Workplace

Abba Father, you are the author and creator of life. It is all held within your care, from beginning to end. We thank you for Your presence, for the strength it brings and the protection it gives us. We pray now as we anticipate our working day. We give you our concerns, our anxieties and responsibilities. Please come and bring reassurance into our hearts, minds and souls. Amen.

Prayer for Protection at Work

Lord God, come be our protector as we work today. Enfold us with wisdom as we seek to serve. Cover us with gentleness as we engage with each situation we face. Fill us with courage to solve the problems and negotiate the difficulties. Shower us with hope, that we might go boldly in your strength, knowing you are behind us and before us. Lord, come and walk ever closer by our side. Thank you that you are our guardian and protector. Amen.

Short Prayer before Starting Work

O Lord, meet me today in the ordinary rhythms of my working life. I invite you to come and breathe your life into mine. Come, may your love fill this heart and may it overflow into the lives of others. May your hope well up inside me and bring new vision for my life. And may your truth light up my reactions and decisions. May this ordinary day become extraordinary because of you. Amen.

Prayer for Peace and Comfort

Lord God, you promise the peace of a still lake even in the midst of a storm. You promise the peace of a slumbering child even in the middle of tension and disagreement. You promise the peace of a poppy field even in the place of heartbreak and devastation. Your promise is a peace that surpasses our human understanding. So I choose to rest by the still waters, to lie down and rest amongst the poppies. Your resurrection declared peace over trauma, power over death, and life everlasting. I trust in you.

It’s been great to join together in prayer with you today. I know that God would want to say “thank you” for the work that you are about to do. Here is another film which you might want to watch before you begin work:

If you’ve not subscribed to Prayerscapes, then please do! But until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands.

Lead photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash.

How To Hear From God

Dramatic sSunset in mountains

We all need vision. We all need to be able to look forwards and feel hope arise in our hearts. So if you are in a place where your vision has faded a little, where you are not sure of the next steps, or if you are finding it hard to look forward with certainty and hope, I stand alongside you today and seek to help you in bringing about change and renewal. Life is multifaceted, it is complex! We live in the beauty of God’s intention for us but also the fall of the world. For some of us, we are seeking God for a specific area of our lives but for others there may be a significant reason for a general loss of vision. This can occur for many different reasons such as illness, grief, disappointment, hurt, conflict, confusion and doubt. These are all vision suppressors. So how do we pray to God at these times? How can we move to a place where there is revelation, renewal and change? I thought I would share with you a three-step creative exercise that I find useful in these times. Hopefully this will help you to hear from God for your life as well.

1. Firstly, it’s important to be really honest before God. Come to him just as you are, you need not pretend to be anything. Find a time where you can be self-aware and God-aware, a peaceful moment in the home, a long walk or a drive in the car. Be truthful and admit to yourself and your heavenly Father how you feel! Talk to Him about the areas of your life you need new vision in.  Allow the Holy Spirit to help you unpack your feelings, your uncertainties, and your options. Take your time, be gentle and kind to yourself. It might be a while before you can search out what you are really facing or asking for direction in. One helpful way to record these feelings is to draw out a big question mark, then write how you feel, your confusion, the possible different pathways or just the words ”I need to hear you!” on the inside. This helps to frame our reality not in stone but as a question. I find this opens the door to the possibility of revelation and of change, and new vision.

2. The second thing to do is to draw a dream cloud, then write or draw in there a picture of where you hope your life could be. God works with us and through us, not despite of us or by force. We are taught to pray Abba Father, and like any dad would, God wants us to dream! However, also like any father would, he wants our dreams to move, evolve and change, so that they come alive with His kingdom heart. He wants our dreams to be real and achievable, so that we find contentment and peace. Sometimes we hold onto an ideal in our minds and will not let go! We allow ourselves to compare our lives to a dream ideal, always falling short. It’s only human to measure our lives in this way. However, we are taught by Jesus “do not worry about tomorrow”(Matthew 6:34). We are taught to take each day as it comes. The truth is God can give us vision wherever we are, whatever the landscape looks like, whatever the time or season is in our lives, and whatever obstacles lie before us.

3. Lastly, write in multi-colour! You have a chance to dream afresh at this moment in your life, so lay out your question mark, and your dream cloud. Now take some coloured pens, pencils or paint and get ready to put down afresh your Fathers’ insights! In this moment listen to your heart and thank God for your life! Listen to the sounds around you and thank God for the place you are in today. Now dwell upon all that you hold, every aspect of your life and commit these things to God. The truth is that our dreams are the vehicle for God’s dreams! So, begin to write in colour this time for your hopes in work, in relationships, in finances, in leisure time and in ministry. For those who have been robbed of vision by a life storm this might be hard, so just begin by writing in colour one thing that might be a small hope for tomorrow, even if it’s just a nap! Or maybe it’s just a moment to relax, watch telly, a hug, or a new novel to enjoy. It’s OK to both start small and it’s also OK to go big! Get a promotion, fall in love, feel well! Now ask God what he would want for you……sense his peace, let yourself see what God sees. See your life illuminated by hope and possibility!

I must confess, I’ve not always been able to do this when in a dark place. Just wait it out…. give yourself grace…. then the moment you feel things clear a little have a go at waiting on God in this way. We are children of the living God. He will lead us through our lives and through death into new life so don’t allow vision to leave you for too long. Come as you are to the Creator of the universe and ask for renewal. I often pray ahead and ask that when I am near to the end of my earthly life, that I would be given a vision for my life in heaven. I imagine there will be all kinds of new colours to paint and new instruments to hear, and so many wonderful things to turn my hand to!

So to sum up, try these three steps out. Begin by being honest with God and try writing a question mark and making a note of how you feel and anything that you find confusing at the moment. Then draw a dream cloud and write in it what you are dreaming for. Finally, change your pen and write around this cloud in multi-colour the different things that you are hoping for.

Do feel free to comment below on your experiences on hearing from God. We would love to read them and for you to share them with this community here. Don’t forget to subscribe to us if you haven’t yet, and until next time, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

The Serenity Prayer Meaning

The Serenity Prayer

This week we’re going to be looking at one of the most famous and inspiring prayers of the 20th Century – “The Serenity Prayer”, and I’m going to be exploring what the full version of this prayer means and how we can use it in our lives. Often known by its first line “God grant me the serenity”, this inspirational writing has guided so many on their journey towards drinking in the peace of Christ. In an age full of self-help, mindfulness and searching for inner peace, these words carry a message that has resonated with many, particularly those who are caught in addictions or who are in a difficult place in life , especially through the work of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). There are of course some very practical ways to feel at peace. For example, the tranquility of a restful day, the practice of meditation, the comfort of a massage, aromatherapy or exercise, or the wisdom of self-care. Yet this prayer poem highlights the gift of peace given to us by the Holy Spirit. And this is a special peace that is only found in Him.

  • To begin with, let’s think about the meaning of first words “Grant me”. God is the source, the very beginning of peace and the giver of peace. This peace is granted to us by the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus. So the words “Grant me” preface the other lines here, “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”! I see it as the “wall of the fall”, for we are all fallen, and this causes a huge barrier in our lives. I can’t change my age, I can’t change my family set up, I can’t change my physical body, my humanity, my humanness! But God can grant us the serenity we need to handle these things. This is an endless process of confession to God of the feelings around this “wall of the fall”, and an endless outpouring of the Holy Spirit who brings love, peace, joy and hope into our souls!
  • Secondly, we find that the third line also has the prefix of “grant me” the courage to change the things I can! The Holy Spirit gives us the “keys of change and renewal”. I can change, how I feel about my age…. I can change my family relationships and dynamics…I can change my feelings about my physical body and care for it well and I can change my human responses. How? By constantly walking with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, to renew and to restore. And then “grant me” the wisdom to know the difference between those things I can’t change and those that I can! This is also a gift of the Spirit. It’s about stepping in time with the Spirit and being prompted by the Spirit to pray. Sometimes we can start accepting things that God would want us to change, and other times we can seek change in an area that requires deep acceptance. In an ever-changing confusing world, it is often hard to see these things, which is why we need the Holy Spirit to guide us.
  • Thirdly, let’s focus on that word “time”, living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time. This line carries an important meaning for us in an age of career ambitions and achievements and with increasing leisure time and medical science extending life expectancy. Look for a moment at your watch or clock and just watch those hands turn. Allow God to highlight your time concerns. “Grant me” is the gift we receive so that we are really pausing, really resting, really allowing peace to reign! We rest in the timeless connection to heaven. It is only by connecting with eternity that we master time rather than being overwhelmed with “saving time”, “holding back time”, making sure that I’m “not wasting time”! You see as children of the living God we have an eternal purpose, a destiny and a home where time is not relevant…. only the present which continues…. so again, the words prefacing this prayer “grant me” leads us to receive the ability to live with “time”. it’s a gift!
  • And finally, Jesus came to earth and walked here. God Incarnate through the rubbish of anger, hate, bloodshed, abuse, robbery, sickness and pain. Yet he had the “wonder of heaven” in his heart! How did he endure the pain, the shame, the suffering? Was it not the knowledge of eternity that he carried, knowing the love of the Father and the presence of this divine love in His life? This is what carried him onwards! And so again the words “Grant me”, suggest we will need help from the Holy Spirit to accept hardships as the pathway to peace, taking as he did this sinful world as it is, not as we would have it and trusting that he will make all things right. So again, “Grant me”, “the love I need to walk through the rubbish”. What we need is the love of the Father, His divine gift of love and vision. It is imparted to us through the Holy Spirit into our very souls, so that we might be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever and ever in the next.

When we call out deep within for God’s help with these four areas of the serenity prayer, the Holy Spirit living within us will be our help! It is a moment by moment prayer, powerful in every way because we are not alone, Jesus is with us by the power of his Holy Spirit. That is good news!

We have a short meditation on the Serenity prayer which you can watch below. Do subscribe to Prayerscapes if you are enjoying these reflections on prayer, and until next time, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

The Serenity Prayer (full version)

(attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr)

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever and ever in the next.


How to Bless A House

beautiful home

How can I pray for my home? Perhaps you have just moved into a new property and want to give this new chapter of your life to God, or home life is currently very stressful and you would appreciate some ideas on how to pray into this.

Our homes are significant places of sanctuary and shelter, growth and provision! Praying for our homes is not just about the physical bricks, mortar, clay or wood, but about the relationships, peace, comfort, adventure and community that happen within them. I thought I would give you three creative ideas of ways in which I have prayed for the homes I have lived in. Hopefully these might inspire your own prayers:-

  1. Gathering together with friends, family or church community to pray around your new home is a great idea! This is the first and most obvious thing to do – try to do this soon after you have moved in. It might be it’s your first home adventure, a new home brought about by growth or change, or a new season that sparks a change of location or downsizing in later years. You can download a resource sheet on how to hold a house gathering blessing by clicking here. To begin with, ask those who are living in the new home to share their vision for this place. Ask them about their hopes and dreams for it and any concerns or anxieties they or their family may have about the move. The top priority is always to be real and vulnerable.  I suggest if there are number of you then lay a sheet of paper in each room, split into two or three groups and move around the house praying in God’s provision and presence into each room you encounter. The paper can be used to write specific blessings and to note scriptures or pictures that God gives you. It is always lovely to have prayers written down to look back on at later times. Then gather together at the end, share the prayer sheets with the group and pray into anything that has come out of this as you feel led.
  2. The second way of praying is by using oil or water to anoint various parts of the new home. This way of praying is often used when the homeowners are going through a hard situation or time. It could be a neighbourly dispute, trauma in the home, the homeowner experiencing fear or nightmares, or family conflict. A suggestion for this type of prayer is to take some oil and then move around the house praying and making the sign of the cross on the doorways and windows and the entrances and exits. As you enter each room ask the Holy Spirit how you should pray. You could place a visual blessing. For example, stand a picture in the room, or a vase of flowers or a blessing that is written up on the wall, or even written down and stored like a treasure in a secret place. A lovely idea if you are renovating a home is to tuck written blessings and messages of blessing into little places like under floorboards, or to write blessings on the walls beneath wallpaper. You are blessing the fabric of the building and leaving blessings for others to discover in future generations! The truth is that we stand on holy ground as children of the living God. Our homes will be blessed and our boundaries will be protected as we welcome the reign and love of God into these places.
  3. The third way of praying is helpful if your life is quite transient due to studies, jobs, family or finances. Sometimes “home” is in multiple places and we need to carry God’s blessing freely from place to place. I went through times like this as a student. Here it can help to have a “house blessing prayer” that is spoken out, and then placed within each residence, be it a hotel room, digs, lodgings, guest homes or in different countries or locations. Try to develop a routine of carrying this prayer with you and laying it faithfully out as a blessing every time you lay your head down.

So that’s it! There are three ways that you can bless the place that you live – invite others round to share and pray for your new home, take some oil and bless the room and have a prayer written out in a visible place.

It’s great to share these thoughts with you – maybe you have some creative ways of praying for your dwelling? If so, please do leave them in the comments below and share them with the world. If you haven’t already, do take a moment to subscribe to Prayerscapes, and until next time, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

How to pray at night – bedtime prayers

Woman peacefully asleep on bed

Today I’m going to be sharing with you three things that I find really helpful to remember when I pray at bedtime.

Personally, I always try and pray to my Abba Father at night. I guess it evokes that security and protection you can feel as a child drifting off to sleep. I’d like to say that there is routine and consistency in the prayers I pray before bed. However, I have many ways I use depending on how things are for me. So here I’m going to share three different ways that I pray before sleep and you can pick and choose the ones that work for you. Our Abba Father won’t mind!

  • I have found that writing a prayer journal at this time of day can be a great way of connecting with God. I don’t date it like a diary or keep to a page a day! I guess if you are the kind of organised person you might want to do this. I find that as I pray this way, God then leads my heart. Sometimes a scripture or word comes into my mind that releases me, other times I allow God to remind my heart of others who need my prayer. Prayer journals are a lovely way to see the many ways God answers as you look back on them. We have a blog and video that you can watch on how to keep a prayer journals – follow this link to find out more.
  • The second way that I pray at bedtime is by praying as I drift off to sleep. There is a risk here as once the light is off and you snuggle down sleep might overtake you! When I pray this way, I tend to find that my prayers reflect my needs. If I have lots of worries, I won’t get to sleep early anyway. To be honest I think I generally pray this way when I am tired, exhausted or feeling overwhelmed. Much of this time is just spent allowing feelings to surface, asking for God to help in these areas and sometimes a little tear or two falls as well. Remember that in these times releasing your emotions is not a negative thing. It’s healthy for you, and the Holy Spirit will minister to you. He is our comforter! Just remember to keep being completely open to God. Give him your concerns, your hopes, your fears, and your dreams. God hears you and will respond to your prayers.
  • Lastly, for some reason or other I sometimes find I can’t pray. If this is so, I imagine myself falling asleep in God’s hands, curled up safe and secure. He holds all of me, His love enfolds me. This is enough in very broken times. Sometimes when we are feeling down or shameful we feel we can’t possibly connect with God. But this is a lie. God always wants to take time to embrace and love us, regardless of what has happened or how we are feeling.
Parent cradling infant - original artwork in pastels by Julie Palmer
“Held” – download a higher resolution version by clicking here

So in summary, remember these three ideas before bedtime – try keeping a prayer journal, or try starting one, it’s a great way of connecting with our living God. Try just pouring out your heart to God as you drift off to sleep. And if life is especially hard, just remind yourself that you are always in God’s care, regardless of how you feel, or what you have done or not done. God loves you! We might not always be able to talk to God, but God is always there for us.

We also have a short creative prayer video meditation that you can use before going to bed – click here to watch this. Do you have any ways of praying at night that you’d like to share with us? Do write them down below. And until next time, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

How to Receive God’s Peace

Small Boat on a wild sea

This week I’m going to be looking at God’s peace. What is it and how do we receive it?

Peace is as a gift from God; we hear about peace in bible as the ‘Peace that surpasses all understanding’ and as a blessing exchanged by the early Christians as ‘peace be with you’. So, as humans we can rest assured that when our bodies, minds and spirits are feeling disturbed, anxious or fearful, that God can impart peace by his Holy Spirit into our very souls.

I am going to take you through a step by step visualisation process that can be done individually, in pastoral care or within a small group situation.  Peace comes through being real with ourselves. Only when we acknowledge the storm can the Holy Spirit move to calm it.

  • Firstly, find a quiet moment to focus, and imagine yourself in a small boat, quite alone. How do you feel? What is the sea of your life like around you? I find visual pictures helpful. For me at the moment I feel unsteady in my boat. I know I carry underlying tension that makes it hard to relax. Sometimes it only takes just one area of our lives to become rocky for us to feel this way. My boat feels unstable. For me difficulties with my family and relationships are rocking my boat. For you if you feel unsteady it could be health issues, financial worries, loss or grief. Or perhaps it is disappointment or regret?
Little Boat on the sea
“Little Boat” –download a higher resolution version here
  • Staying with this picture, in that still or turbulent sea, place Jesus into your boat. Jesus is by your side. Sitting beside you is the author of life, the creator of heaven and earth, the Holy One, the Redeemer. Journeying with you is the one who loved you so much that he faced a horrific death yet conquered over that darkness and rose to life.  Feel His presence, the love and light He carries and allow Him to lead your thoughts and heart. Where is the still water? This still water might be the care of friends and family, or it might be the blessing of a focus like hobbies, passions and interests. These are Gods’ good gifts! To find peace sometimes we need to allow Jesus to hoist up our sails and to gently lead us into the harbour. In the roughest times we all need help to engage with rest and sleep, a hot bath, a comforting drink, the beauty of flowers or a sunset! I believe that the Holy Spirit works with us in a holistic way. He helps us engage with the gift of peace.
  • Now look at the cargo in the boat. What are you carrying? It could be precious cargo, children perhaps? Or a charitable work? Or perhaps a role or responsibility? Look further, is there any cargo weighing your boat down? Is there anything you don’t need to carry? In my little boat I do see precious cargo – children, passions and callings, roles and responsibilities. However, if I am honest, I see a great big sack of guilt! I’m going to give Jesus this guilt. You see it keeps arriving back in my boat! And as I pass it into the hand of the Lord it becomes lightweight dust. It’s nothing to Jesus! Why? Because he has conquered my guilt! He has paid the price for my mistakes and failings. Is there anything that you need to give him? Fear of the future? Shame from the past? Hurt that feels as fresh as the day you bore the pain? Disappointment that suffocates your aspirations and dreams? Name it and give it to Him. See it turn to dust……
Sailing boat in stormy waters
“Voyage” – download a higher resolution version here
  • Next, what do you need from Jesus to hoist your sails and move into that more peaceful harbour? There is always a harbour, no matter how turbulent our sea, how damaged the boat is or how frightened we feel! Jesus promises us peace in all places and at all times. What is the sail that will carry you? What does the wind of God’s Spirit need to blow on to propel you into that haven of God’s peace? On my sail I see the words “keep trusting in God’s love”. I allow Jesus to lift this sail high and I breathe in those words. For you it might be words of comfort such as “I am with you”, “you are chosen”, or a request such as  “I need you healing touch, release me from this depression”. It could be so many things. Where will your small boat sail to? Where is your harbour? Breathe in the love of God, allow hope to fill your sails.
Boat in still waters
“Harbour” – download a higher resolution version here
  • Lastly, imagine the boat now in the harbour. Create a picture of this in your mind. I cannot promise that you won’t once again feel the storm, the unsteadiness and fear. However, I can testify that the harbour of God’s peace will always be there. If you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you back into this haven he will. Because God’s love is deeper and wider and more powerful than we could ever fathom or understand no matter how wild the sea around us.    

4 Tips on How to Start a Prayer Journal

journal with ink pen

Today I’m going to be looking at prayer journals. I’ve found them to be an amazing gift in my journey with God, and I wanted to share with you four ideas for them that I have found useful.

I have always prayed in this way, so my home is filled with a variety of journals. I have kept them all as they are quite precious to me. There really is no right or wrong way to begin a prayer journal. How each of us do this will reflect our character, our Christian heritage and the season we are in. If I flick through the journals I kept before having a family they are much more ordered, well set out and creative than say one I kept when my children were young! But whichever is your way, neat and structured or spontaneous and creative, keeping a prayer journal can enrich and change your life on so many levels, so I really encourage you to start one if you haven’t yet.

I have found that writing brings out two differing facets of my soul when I focus on prayer in this way. Firstly, there is room to be very real and vunerable because it’s a private a place. It’s the sacred space between myself and God. It’s also a place where I find wisdom and insight as the Holy Spirit leads me, or as I meditate on scripture or hear Gods voice or vision for a given situation. I’ve found that writing my prayers down can help me to process experiences and sometimes unpack feelings. It can correct a wrong thinking pattern in me or reveal a new way to pray for a given situation.

So today I want to give you four ideas to help you keep your prayer journal with God.

  • The simplest way to begin is to search for a notebook that is personal to you. It may connect with your life circumstances, remind you of your hopes and dreams or have a colour or image that simply draws your attention. Place your journal somewhere where it will remind you to pray. Perhaps by your bedside or favourite chair? That’s really important as it needs to be somewhere you can see it, so you don’t forget to use it!

Just simply open and write the words “Dear God”……then see what pours out….if you are in a good place it might be thanks, or in a worried place an outpouring of thoughts. If you’re in a busy place a petition for help and peace and if a burdened place a prayer for a loved one. Don’t worry, it’s personal, so relax! Then read it back over in your mind or out loud, then simply end with love from ………. I have often signed mine ‘Grace’, it’s not my name but a pet name just between Abba Father and myself!

  • The second suggestion I have is similar but a more varied form of this, for those of us that either like structure or freedom! In your chosen journal you may choose to develop a structure for yourself. A good way to do this is to begin by a meditation on scripture, then thanksgiving and lastly petition. (Petition is a bit of a religious word which simply means something that you are asking God for). Meditating on scripture gives space for God to speak to us. Here’s a great one:-

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

That’s a simple verse but also very profound. It really helps me to connect with God.  Then, let your heart move to gratitude. Become aware of the good things that are in your life and write some of those down. These could be answers to prayer, or God’s provision in your life, or the love of friends or family. When you are in this place, then this is a good time to pray for needs and things that you are worried about. Remember to write those down as well. If you are the organised type, you could write them in point form. I tend to just keep writing!

  • If you are more of a creative free spirit, try creating a doodle. E.g a mix of drawings, colours, words and scripture which weave together to become your prayer to God in your own unique way.
  • Lastly, I keep a “Dream Book”. This is an idea that came out of a prophetic word given to me many years ago that I would be a dream machine! This is all about my big dreams for other people, they are often BIG prayers, for friends, family, neighbours etc…. these big dreams have often been things like finding love, conceiving a baby, healing from illness, release from debt. I just write these prayers once. I often read back through the prayers. Many have come true and some I still wait in prayer for!

So, those are four prayer journal ideas which you can try out now. Remember to keep your book visible. Try starting “Dear God” and see what pours out. Or perhaps you are a more organised type of person. Then start with scripture meditation, then thanksgiving, and then pray what is on your heart. Or make your prayers into doodles and colours. And lastly, don’t forget to try the “dream machine”. Dream big for those you love and treasure. Do you have some other ways of keeping journals? Do comment below and let us know your ideas.

I trust that wherever you find yourself in life that you will find ways in which to draw close to your Heavenly Father in prayer. Please do try these ways, give yourself grace in it all. At times I have used prayer journals regularly and wholeheartedly but there have been other seasons in my life where entries have been very intermittent and fragile. If you are in a desperate place, always speak out your feelings not only in prayer but to other brothers and sisters who can pray with you.  If that is hard maybe share your prayer journal with someone you feel safe with. May God richly bless you as you come to him. Don’t forget to let us know your comments and thoughts below, and until next time, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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