I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God. (vv.3-6, 9-11)
Several years ago, I was challenged to write down my prayers. I found it was much more difficult than it sounded. After several failed attempts, starting and stopping and starting and stopping again, I finally succeeded in doing it for a period of three months. You may be wondering, what did he learn from the experience?
Here is what I learned. First, within a few days, I discovered my prayers were mostly about me. I spent a lot of time asking God to give me stuff. I don’t think I am super self focused, but those first several prayers had a lot of “God, I need…” in them. Second, I realized I didn’t spend much time listening for God’s word back to me. My prayer time was very focused on what I had to say. Third, I saw I needed to learn how to worship God. It was a very good thing for me. Now, from time to time, I pick up the pen (or tablet), and record my prayers, again.
Paul’s prayer would be a good starting place for your own practice of writing out your prayers. Let him be your guide.
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