Wow, another beautiful Sunday celebrating life and taking in the moments, giving thanks.. waking up and diving into coffee and God’s word. I have the privilege of worshipping and learning about God in His word. I am almost finished reading through the Bible with a friend again this year. As I have read through His word, the Holy Spirit has led me to pray for different people in my life. I mark the date and name bedside the passage as I pray for them. As well as journaling dates and names, I take notes from a sermon or my own study alongside passages being read. It will be neat to go back and see how God has taught me and answered prayers over the years.
Journaling Prayers and Notes by Sharon Moye
Before heading to church this morning, I removed the Joshua jar from my bookcase. The Joshua jar contains large smooth stones. This past January, our family took turns writing the names of people or concerns to pray for on the stones. The jar with prayers written on the stones is a visual reminder to pray for special people and other requests.
As the prayers are answered, we write the date on the back of the stone and place it in the jar. The other stones are gathered around the jar. The stones in the jar are reminders of God’s faithfulness and provision for His people. The idea of the Joshua jar came from the story of Joshua and Caleb leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Remember the story of God holding back the waters of the Jordan, so the Israelites could safely cross over to the other side with the Ark of the Covenant? The Israelites gathered stones to make a monument to remember the miracle of God’s provision.
Joshua Jar Photo by Sharon Moye
“Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” Joshua 4:4-7
Jordan River photo by Sharon Moye
God is a good provider. He gives us His word and we can pray anytime, anywhere. In fact, He delights in us..
“For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.” Psalm 149:4
Journaling our prayers, marking dates and names of those God moves us to pray for in our bible and making your own Joshua jar are tangible ways to connect with God and care for the needs of others.
A new book that I brought to read at the beach is Listening Prayer by Seth Barnes. Seth teaches us ways to listen to God and hear His voice. I have included the book on my Praise page. (Click the book and it will link you to amazon to purchase the book.) We practiced the discipline of listening for His voice on the beautiful island of Ometepe, Nicaragua while visiting Bekah and the World Race team. During this exercise, I did hear His voice and God gave me a word for one of the racers on Bekah’s team. The same was true of me, one of the moms of the racers gave me a word she had received form the Lord. The word she gave me encouraged me in my journey with the Lord.
Walking with God is a journey of learning to become more and more attuned to His voice and following His Spirit by caring for His people. As we spend time with Him building our relationship through prayer and learning His word, we have more of Him to give away. The relationship naturally develops and we desire solitude with Him. We have more of Him to give away and become more grateful for His unconditional love and care. I know I want gratitude to be my natural default in walking with Him.
Another good nugget from Ann Voskamp in Thousand Gifts this week is,
“The practice of giving thanks, eucharisteo.. this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don’t have to change what we see only the way we see it.”
Staying close by praying and reading His word changes my focus on life. My gratitude for what He did for me is the only thing that is unchangeable and everlasting. He is my King who gives me everything- Eternal life, friendship, love, security and peace.
God is so patient with us: He waits for us when we forget His presence. He is there waiting.. yearning for us to sit in His presence. We have the privilege of sitting in His presence to share, to love and to enjoy Him. The journals, Joshua Jars and journaling prayers and dates in our Bible are tangible ways to look back at God’s faithful friendship and provision. It also is a legacy to our children and grandchildren to share with them God’s love and provision for their families.