I have to caveat: I am not selling anything, nor am I a paid spokesperson for what I’m about to recommend. In fact, the company has no clue I’m writing this post - I just love a product so much that I want to pass it along to anyone who could find it useful!
I’ve written this year about my journey through a deeper commitment to prayer and how I have changed through the process. I have not done it alone. Armed with the Bible, books from wise people, a community, and of course a husband who has encouraged me toward the end goal, I cannot possibly claim credit for how far God has brought me - and I still have so far to go! One resource, the first that I actually dove into, is what jump-started it all for me.
I don’t even remember how I found Val Marie Paper (through Instagram perhaps?) but I have been following her newsletter, blog, and social media feed for many months. I love that her words are honest and real, not overly negative or shying away from the truth, and ultimately they all point towards her goal: to help people establish a better and richer prayer life, whether or not they buy something from her store.
I downloaded worksheets, read so many posts, and gained wisdom before I decided to invest in her original product, the Compose prayer journal. It is an undated six-month journal that just makes it easy to start. Once a month (because I can’t handle daily journaling right now!) I write down prayer requests in her pre-written categories, and add in a few of my own. Throughout the month I add to this list and, most encouragingly, write down all the answered prayers.
So how has this specifically helped my prayer life? Here are just a few ways.
1) When I sit down to pray, I know exactly what to pray for. New things come up, which is completely fine, but I’m never at a loss for words. I have a list before me of things happening in the world, in my family, and in the lives of my friends. I can go through the list in one sit-down or spend a long time on one category or person.
2) When I tell someone I’m praying for them, I actually pray for them - a lot! I had the habit of promising prayer at times and not fulfilling that. Now, when I see a need, I write it down and then let people know I am praying for them - because I am, consistently, throughout the month.
3) I am constantly reminded to pray. Having requests written down in the prettiest little notebook honestly spurs me towards prayer. What a beautiful thing that is!
4) I can see answered prayers. This. is. huge. It is truly amazing to visibly see how God answers my prayers, whether I wrote them down in the journal or whispered them in the middle of the night during a moment of sorrow. My faith has been strengthened, my prayers have increased, and I realize anew every day that God is at work.
Honestly, I could go on and on - and I would love to in person! - but when I received Val Marie’s beautiful catalog asking us to pass those resources onto a friend, I thought there was no better way to do that than to share with those who have walked with me along this journey. Do yourself a favor and go read what she has to offer, even if you never buy anything from her - it’s well worth the investment.