“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” John 13:7
Squirrel! In the movie, <a href="http://<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=hopelesslyhop-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0055B7K7A&asins=B0055B7K7A&linkId=96fd1a05441b323d00199945bc67ffad&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff"> Up!, the dog is distracted by squirrels. He’ll be talking full speed when—Squirrel!—he sees an animal high in a tree and has to pause before moving on.
I find myself in the same patterns. “Lord Jesus, I’m going to take some time to be with you today. (I wonder if I should keep it short so I can still make it to the Post Office before work.) I’m grateful for your sacrifice. (Did I remember to turn off the coffee maker? I should check before I leave.) And I’d like to lift up my friend. (I should buy her a card. Maybe I can do that before the Post Office? I think my prayer time should be over if I’m going to do that.)”
Part of the tragedy is evident. I miss out on some seriously beautiful intimacy. However, I also miss out on seeing God at work.
I started to journal my prayers. When I wrote them out, I was undistracted. Then, when a moment of urgency arrived to do something else, a squirrel moment, I kept another pad close by. I jotted down the note, and returned to my journal and my prayers.
Years later, I am able to look up prayers and remember the outcome. If I hadn’t written down the prayer of gratefulness, I may never get around to thanking him properly. If I hadn’t written down the prayer about whether to change jobs, I couldn’t see the proof that I can listen to him on which job to accept. If I hadn’t written down the prayer of emotional confusion, I couldn’t see him weave that into my faith.
Jesus says that we don’t always understand what is going on, but sooner or later, it will make sense. I love reading a past prayer and saying, “Ohhhhh, now I get it.” But if I didn’t journal those prayers down, I would have never seen his goodness.
No one said the written prayer had to be in perfect handwriting. It doesn’t have to be long, or formal. The spelling doesn’t matter. You’re the only one who will read them. It also helps—squirrel!—to keep distractions at bay as well.
What distractions keep you from a fulfilled prayer life? What squirrels contain your attention when talking to the King? What prayers of thankfulness should the Lord hear from you today? Share your answer onFacebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.
This devotion was featured on Bible Love Note’s Journal Blog Hop. Since 2012, it’s been removed. Please do visit Bible Love Notes for a 1-minute devotional.
© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com.
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Mollie, this is an excellent post. I can so identify with the distractions in prayer journaling, and I’m so glad you mentioned keeping another pad close by for those “squirrels.” This is not only practical, it’s well-written and your squirrel analogy is excellent. Thanks for sharing it on Bible Love Notes. I pray many will read and benefit from it.
Thank you, Gail, your kind words are appreciated! The journaling blog hop is wonderful and I—squirrel!