CAST your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
CAST your anxieties upon the Lord, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
I’m still working on my prayer journal, and have come up with a simple(r) acronym that doesn’t take up as much space in the binder that is my prayer journal.
Part of praying is talking to God, and part of prayer is listening to Him speak to our hearts. Since I last wrote about adoration, I have been thinking a lot about who God is, who He claims to be, His descriptive names and attributes, and how that affects me, His creation. Looking back, I am realizing how much my little prayer journal system has changed, and yet, remains the same. I find that by focusing on one or two attributes at a time, I can obey the instruction of Scripture to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, and worship Him in splendor” (Ps 29:1,2).
Because prayer is a two-way street, I like to visualize what it looks like from God’s end. Does He call me by name? Does He look at and affirm my own attributes and character when He speaks back to me? I think He does.
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Ps 103:14 ~ For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.
2 Cor 5:20 ~ Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
Eph 2:6 ~ … raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
I find that focusing on what God says about me is a good way to keep a balanced and healthy view of myself. Meditating on Who I am in Christ keeps me from one of two traps that I fall into when I focus on myself; that is either thinking too highly of myself, and becoming proud, or thinking too low of myself, and falling into despair. Isn’t it a balancing act?
And just when we think we’ve arrived at humility, we’ve lost it to pride.
In my prayer journal, I added another A-word to my acronym, Affirmation, and started keeping a double-sided page to record my progress. On the front, I list the attributes of God with their Scriptures, as I had been doing. On the back side, I list the affirmations of who I am in Christ according to God’s Word revealed in Scripture. This helps me implement my newest, 2-fold habit of Ascribing the Lord’s glory to His name, and accepting the Affirmations of who I am in Christ, according to His word. I really prefer to mine them myself, so, when I’m reading my Bible or listening to the Divine Office, and I come across one, I record it, right away on my Affirmations page.
If I get stuck, or am limited for time, or just need a quick reference, I go to my browser, and type in “who I am in Christ”. WOW!!!! There are treasure troves of Scriptures that have already been collected on this topic, it’s easy to get lost in them all. I also still have my old alphabetized list of the names and attributes of God that I have collected (with my songs for worship and adoration on the back) that I also use as a personal resource. By the end of the year, it will be fun to see how my collection has grown. Maybe I’ll do a collage with it and post it here, who knows?