Finding solace in spirituality has been nothing short of amazing! Since restoring my faith and rekindling my relationship with the Lord, not only have I been receiving a multitude of blessings, but overall I feel like a completely different person. This new version of me is a woman who lacks anger, bitterness and envy; and now immerses herself in empathy, forgiveness and happiness. However, I’ll be honest and say that this type of self-accountability and self-improvement doesn’t happen overnight. I certainly didn’t accomplish it on my own either. I’ve been using The Prayer Map for Women, a beautiful journal that I found at Barnes & Noble. I’ve had this journal for about a month now and its done its promised job of holding me accountable when it comes to faith and prayer. I know it seems cliche to give credit to a journal since journaling seems to be the trend these days. Trust me when I tell you though, this journal has been the one thing keeping me on track with my spiritual journey, mapping out my route to a stronger faith and becoming the best version of myself.
The Prayer Map for Women is one of the most organized journals I’ve ever purchased. The greatest purpose that it serves me is organization within my nightly prayers. As you know, I talk to God as if He’s one of my closest friends; informal, for lack of a better term. Sometimes, I find myself going off on a tangent trying to tell a story or explain something, that I lose my train of thought and forget what my prayer was supposed to consist of. Having my prayer mapped out for me gives me the opportunity to go down a rabbit hole, but pick right back up where I left off with a peek at my route. At times, I’ve also felt like my prayers weren’t long enough. It seemed like I would just simply ask for things and close it in the name of Jesus. I wasn’t a fan of doing that. It felt superficial and like the only time I could talk to God was when I wanted something. I wanted more than that; I wanted an actual relationship where I could confide in Him, ask for advice and then close it with some blessings that are much needed before sending it off.
Each entry has 2 pages and starts with “Dear Heavenly Father”. This is where I write about my day; what kind of day I had, what emotions I felt throughout the day and what my day consisted of as far as activities/tasks. Then it goes into “Thank you for”, which is where I simply thank God for not only the big blessings, but also the small ones; waking me up in the morning, giving me the strength to be productive or even my credit score increasing. I give all glory and praises to Him in this section. Next up is something that I’m glad to have incorporated in my nightly prayers and that’s People I am Praying for. I used to only pray for those who were in need or in trouble. Now, I’m starting to pray for those in my life just because; praying that they have a great week, praying that they accomplish a goal, that they find happiness within themselves or even that they form a closer relationship with God as I have. The last section on this first page is I am Worried About. This is where I am my most vulnerable self. All my worries that I keep to myself are laid out on the table. I’ve realized that worrying others with my problems isn’t beneficial to me. I can’t expect humans like myself to have all the answers or to be able to console me in the way I need. Only the Lord can do that for me and that’s who I lean on in all situations. I pick 3 things in my life that are worrying/bothering me and as time progresses, I’m finding that I’m worried/bothered by less and less these days. There are nights where this section is blank for me; isn’t that a blessing within itself?
The second page starts with Here’s What’s Happening in My Life. Like the very first section, this is a conversation piece for me. I talk about the things I’ve already accomplished, my future goals and my plans to achieve them. The most crucial part of the prayer comes next, I Need. Finally, I can talk about what I need. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my spiritual journey, it’s that we have to be specific in what we ask for. Ask God for a job, He’ll give you one, but it may not be the one you dreamed of; ask Him for a relationship, He’ll give you one, but it may not be the dream relationship that you wanted so bad to have. I know it seems tedious, but it’s crucial. Be specific and you’ll find yourself finally receiving the blessings that you’ve always envisioned.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.Matthew 7: 7-8
The last section of the 2 page entry is Other Things on My Heart that I Need to Share with You, God; the last conversation piece. Typically this is where I ask for a sign for something; whether it be gaining knowledge on a new topic that I’m learning about or if an event I’m about to encounter is meant for me. I ask Him to show me the path to take in every aspect of my life and to guide me to greatness and success. In my opinion, this is the perfect opportunity for me to wrap up my entire prayer in a beautiful package before sending it off in the name of Jesus. At the end of each map entry, there’s always a scripture to read and it always ties in perfectly to what I just prayed about. No one can tell me there isn’t a God or Jesus.
I can honestly say that I love this journal with all my heart and soul. I pour every piece of me onto this map, my happiness, my sorrows, my plans, my worries; everything. On top of providing a road map for the perfect prayer, it holds me accountable to praying as often as possible. I used to hardly pray at all; fearing that I wasn’t praying correctly or that I would mess up and have to start all over. Although I’ve come to realize that we are imperfect even in the way we pray or how often we pray, this journal provides some organization and keeps me motivated to pray every night, even when I feel too tired to do so. I can’t stress the benefits of this journal enough. If you need some organization and that extra push, you won’t regret picking this one up.