General CBF

Prayer Journaling

By Hannah Turner CBF Global Service Corps Personnel

“All you people: Trust in God at all times! Pour out your hearts before him! God is our refuge!” Psalm 62:8

Sometimes the biggest obstacle that keeps me from dwelling with God is myself.

Clouds of thought often wrap my mind and heart. The opaqueness and thickness of the fog lead me into storms of comparison, shame, anxiety and restlessness.

 While my soul longs for a moment with my Creator, the clouds and storms of this world distract and tug me from the powerful stillness of abiding in and with Him.

Clouds and storms are natural and common. Whatever it is we feel or think that isolates us, does not have to. In fact, it’s probably pretty natural and common too.

One way I like to center myself is through journaling—specifically, writing down all the clouds and storms that flood my mind into a bullet list. My imperfectly perfect scribble is titled “My Thoughts.” On the other page, I gently create a column with the title “God’s Thoughts.” With a partly cloudy mind—I meditate on a simple question: “What does God think?”

Hannah Turner

The list lingers empty in the stillness.

Declaring the truth I know about God and his promises with my pen helps direct my focus on my presence and God’s—in the midst of a quiet sunshower or a rumbling thunderstorm. And that’s what our most inner beings crave—to be with God and for God to be with us, no matter how we show up.

Pray, practice, ponder: Colloquy

The practice of colloquy invites us to journal our conversations with God. We can practice colloquy with specific scriptures in mind, like a conversational form of Lectio Divina, or in conversation with specific biblical characters. If you have never practiced colloquy, start simply, with a place to write and an open heart. Begin your prayer with a moment of silence and, when you’re ready, write to God whatever is on your heart and mind. After some time of sharing, create space for God to respond. What are you hearing from God? What do you sense God has to say back to you? Write these meditations down as well, following them with your own thoughts, and then again writing God’s response, like an ongoing conversation. Close your time of prayer in gratitude for this time of connection with God.

This prayer appears in the 2022-2023 edition of Prayers of the People, the annual prayer guide of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, edited by Rev. Meg Lacy Vega. Download the digital version or order free print copies of Prayers of the People at www.cbf.net/pray.

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