Several years ago, a man named Dean Trune came and preached to the Northwest Church about prayer. Trune is passionate about journaling prayer, mostly so you can look back and see what’s happening and what isn’t. His system is pretty extensive, and frankly, I tried to do it for a few days, and it was simply overwhelming. So I gave up his system and went to my own, which was little more than to create several different categories and write prayers if and when it seem right to do so.
Someone asked me not long ago what’s happened to me, that I seem different these days. Another person told me there was a light in my eyes she hadn’t seen before. From a subjective point of view, I can tell you that something is definitely afoot in my life, and there is a settled sense of joy and anticipation about the future that is hard to explain. There are certainly things surrounding my life that I have grave concerns about, but in the end, they are things I cannot control, so I yield them to God’s wisdom and action, as well as what action I know I can contribute, and the results belong to Him. For a man of constant crisis, of whom it has been said that Jeff is not Jeff if he is not tortured about something, it is an interesting place to be.
This morning, I was looking back through my prayer journals, reading various attempts at praise, at personal prayer, at moments of listening for what I thought God might be saying, as well as various intercessory prayers for the people in my life, and I can only conclude that over the past several years, God has been in a process of rescuing me from my own corruption, a process that has reached a certain time of “harvest”, if you will, in the past several months. Like a small bud of a grape praying to be grown, and all along the way not being aware that it is indeed doing just that, not knowing the answer to the prayer until the day he is “picked”, so to speak, revealing his profound “grapeness.”
So for the moment, Jeff is out of crisis, and I can only say I’m extremely grateful. I was talking with a friend yesterday about our shared sense of daily, ongoing gratitude, both of us knowing how easily we could have destroyed our lives with our various madnesses. It’s all grace, and somehow it makes life much clearer and yet more adventuresome to say, “God, whatever You want,” trusting that He really is all about the “good of the other.”
All things work together for good…
One Reply to “Prayer Journals”
I needed this today. That 3rd paragraph was awesome. Thank you for your influence in my life. Ironically, even in your tortured moments, God has used you to shape me.
I want that time of harvest too. I feel like I’m not really there. I’m in more of the “tortured” phase. 🙂 But, it makes sense that you reap what is sown. I would love–LOVE–to be in your presence for 2-3 days to share, laugh and pray. I’m still wanting to make that happen with you, Stephen and me.
Love you, man