“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy….” (Philippians 1:3-4)
It’s called the Wailing Wall, but when we visited the Jerusalem site earlier this year, our experience was remarkably quiet…a serious place for prayer.
The limestone wall on the western side of the Temple Mount is the holiest place for Jews to pray, and they gather there to lift up their laments to the Lord…in silence and in writing. Folded scraps of paper are stuffed into every crevice within reach on the 60-feet-high edifice.
We knew of this tradition before our arrival and prepared our own handwritten prayers—my husband tucked them into a sliver of space high between the stones.
Even though my hubby and I were separated (men on one end, women on the other), it was a meaningful moment for both of us…a tangible touch as we entered the presence of the Lord in silent prayer for our children.
I’ve lost count of the years and journals containing my handwritten supplications during my prayer times with God at home. Each morning, as I’m able, I spend time reading Scripture and turning its messages into thanksgiving as well as intercessory pleas for family and friends. As I write, the words resonate in my heart and infuse God’s peace into my daily plans.
I’m encouraged, too, when I look back through my words occasionally to see how God has answered my requests.
Research shows that writing information by hand has greater memory benefits for the learning process than listening or reading.* When we write, our brains are stimulated by our hand-eye coordination. It’s sad that so many schools have abandoned cursive writing—a casualty of the digital generation. Young people miss out on important intellectual development when they simply type messages.
What can you do, then, to counter this trend? Here are some suggestions—starting with your own prayer life:
- Make a habit of daily Bible reading and writing. Even if it’s only one “verse of the day,” take what you’re reading and turn it into a prayer. Authors like Jodie Berndt and Stormie Omartian have written books using this very practice—great examples you can follow. Put God’s word into your own words, praying them back to Him. The Psalms give you lots of good options.
- Designate a special space for reading/writing. Choose a comfortable chair or desk where you can be uninterrupted. My kitchen table is my favorite spot to talk with God. Nearby is my “prayer drawer” containing my journals, prayer lists, Bible, devotional books, and study books. (See my past blog on it here—https://lightbournecreative.com/2020/01/27/the-privileged-life-the-prayer-drawer/)
- Buy a journal…or two. I love to find inexpensive Christian journals at discount stores and online—look for one with Scripture verses scattered among the pages. Get one with a good binding so it will last. I work through three journals every day—one for my husband and two for our children.
- Create a prayer box. One of my sweet friends, Pam, gave me a “salt box” made from acacia wood, with two compartments. On one side, I have strips of paper with long-term prayers on them; the other side is where I place prayers when they have been answered. I also have a teeny-tiny prayer box on a bracelet…carrying that prayer with me when I wear it.
- Keep a special pen just for your written prayers. A comfortable pen is key. My daughter gave me a fancy ballpoint pen that I love; it fits my hand perfectly and makes me happy! And I use it to write prayers lifted up for her. Best of all, I can get ink cartridge refills!
- Write prayers in your Bible. Don’t be afraid to mark up a Bible—God wants us to dig as deeply into His word as we can, and writing your prayers to Him is an admirable use of the margins. If you’re too intimidated to “mess up” your current Bible, buy one you’re not afraid to fill with underlining, colored pencil marks, and inked prayers (with dates). It will become your most treasured possession.
What I really enjoy most is the way this process anchors my day, just as Sunday worship anchors my week. When you lift up your concerns to the Lord, in writing, you release your needs and wishes to Him—letting Him take care of them for you.
I hope you’ll give prayer journaling a try. Make a short-term commitment to yourself, maybe one month, to get into the swing of it. (Read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, good pointers on adopting permanent habits.) Share your favorite writings as memes on social media, if your prayers would encourage others.
May you be much-blessed and find His joy as you pray intentionally in writing. Let your words and thoughts be pleasing sacrifices in prayer to our Almighty Father—who hears all of our petitions, whether spoken, breathed, or written!
Lord Jesus, how thankful I am to approach Your throne daily, at any time, but especially in the mornings before my responsibilities begin. Make my heart ready to read, absorb, and pray through Your word. Thank you for giving us the unfathomable mysteries and treasures of Your Scriptures, reminding me about Your great love and designs for our world. Thank you for the privilege of meeting You in prayer…please let my prayers be a fragrant offering to You. In Your name, Amen.
To learn more about the grace of Jesus Christ, go to this page: https://lightbournecreative.com/good-news-for-you/
© Copyright 2023 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. #prayer #writtenprayers #prayerjournal #prayerjournaling #handwriting #cursivewriting #prayerdrawer #prayerbox #paperprayers #printedprayers #wailingwall #jodieberndt #stormieomartian #writeandpray
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about The Privileged Life: Put Your Prayers to Pen and Paper—Six Tips!.