A journal is the written or recorded account of our journey in life. It is our story. Many famous people have recorded their journeys. Presidents, kings, military and religious leaders and common folk have all kept an account of their life experiences. John Wesley, for example, kept a journal that consisted of many volumes. The early Christian mystics such as St Augustine, Fenelon, and Madam Guyon, as well as contemporary God seekers, have recorded their intimate encounters with God. These priceless volumes are guideposts and handbooks helping us to discover the reality of intimacy with God and the transforming power of His presence.
Much of the scripture must be considered as a personal journal. While it is true that the Torah is history, we cannot dismiss the fact that it was written like Moses’ personal journal. Consider the entire book of Revelation. What John saw on the island of Patmos was his personal experience on a spiritual journey into heaven into the presence of God. He had difficulty at times describing this God encounter. Words were inadequate to express all that he experienced. What he heard and saw he wrote about in his journal. It became the last book of the Bible, The Book of Revelation.
We live in an age of information where keeping records and recording events is a part of our every day lives. What could be more important than keeping a Spiritual Journal? Whether it is written with paper and pen or digitally recorded, this personal record is a travelogue of your prayers, dreams, prophetic visions and God encounters. It is the annotated dialogue of your conversations with God. The questions you ask and the answers He gives are all a part of your life’s’ journey.
After arriving in Sydney, Australia, my driver asked me a pointed question as we drove toward the hotel. “What is your story?"
I replied, “What do you mean?” somewhat shocked by his straightforwardness.
He answered, “Everyone has a story. Our lives are stories to be told and discovered. Tell me about your journey in the Lord.”
His response has remained in my heart ever since. He was genuinely interested in my spiritual journey…
For the next several months I will be posting some quotes from my new book, The Secret Place Journal. I know you will want your own copy.
This new publication is the perfect companion to our bestselling book,The Secret Place. It is designed to help you keep a journal with specific teaching on the why and how of recording your spiritual journey along with specific information about personal prophesy and dreams.
The Secret Place Journal will be available for purchase before Christmas. Keep checking our website for updates as we await the first shipment from our publisher.
Jesus loved to be with His Father. It was not only a necessity for Him; it was a loving honoring relationship. It is a picture of Jesus’dependency upon and devotion to the secret place. His life is punctuated by a well-established consistent discipline. He loved to be alone with his Father. Wouldn’t it be incredible to read His Secret Place Journal?
May these scriptures encourage you to get alone with God.
Matt 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness...
In the presence of God there is life and joy and peace. Establish the passionate discipline of being alone in His presence. He is waiting…
On one of my Enoch walks, the angels led me to the entrance to the throne Room of heaven. Once the door was opened I was stunned by what I saw. The entire room was filled with different urns and vessels filled with the incense of the prayers of the saints. They had all been stored in His presence just waiting for Him to answer each request. At the front of the room next to the throne was a very large urn, so tall that it was at least 4 feet high. It contained the prayers that Jesus prayed while He walked upon the earth. It had never occurred to me that Jesus’ prayers were also incense that was collected in heaven and that the Father would answer every one of them. (See, The Secret Place, Chapter Fourteen)
A passionate desire to study all of the prayers of Jesus stirred deep within my spirit. I determined to study the scriptures concerning the prayer life of Jesus and to pray in agreement with His prayers.
The disciples only asked Jesus to teach them one thing: how to pray. Since learned behavior is easier caught than taught, it would do us well to observe the prayer practice of Jesus and what he prayed about.
Here is a list of 27 Recorded Prayers Of Jesus
1. Praying prior to Bethlehem (Hebrews 10:5,7)
2. Praying at His baptism (Luke 3:21,22)
3. Praying before His first preaching tour of Galilee (Mark 1:35-39)
4. Praying after the healing of a leper (Luke 5:12-16)
5. Praying before choosing the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12,13)
6. Praying after being rejected by certain cities in Galilee (Matthew 11:25)
7. Praying prior to the feeding of 5000 people (John 6:11)
8. Praying after feeding 5000 people (Matthew 14:22,23)
9. Praying as He healed a deaf man (Mark 7:32-37)
10. Praying prior to feeding 4000 people (Mark 8:6)
11. Praying before Peter's great confession (Luke 9:18; Matthew 16:14-17)
12. Praying during His transfiguration (Luke 9:28-35)
13. Praying after hearing the report of the seventy (Luke 10:17-19, 20, 21)
14. Praying before teaching the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1; Matthew 6:9-13)
15. Praying at the grave site of Lazarus (John 11:41, 42)
16. Praying over little children (Mark 10:13-16)
17. Praying in the temple on Palm Sunday (John 12:20-28)
18. Praying over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-44)
19. Praying in the upper room prior to His death (Matthew 26:26-28)
20. Praying for Peter (Luke 22:31-34)
21. Praying His great High Priestly Prayer (John 17)
22. Praying in Gethsemane prior to His death (Mark 14:32-42; Matthew 26:39-46)
23. Praying on the cross (Luke 23:34; Matthew 27:46; John 19:30; Luke 23:46)
24. Praying at His resurrection (Hebrews 2:12,13; John 20:17)
25. Praying at Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
26. Praying at the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)
27. Praying today for the believer (Romans 8:34; I John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24)
The first thing we need to do in regard to the matter of prayer is establish its true meaning. The idea of prayer carries with it so much religious baggage that even the mention of praying turns many people off.
When I was in seminary we studied prayer. We tore the bible apart to determine all of the different types of prayer. We even discovered that David prayed what are called imprecatory prayers. These are prayers that call upon God to destroy others; ‘to smash their teeth”, as David would say.
Then there were the infamous Wednesday night prayer meetings. As a young Christian I can remember well those boring prayer gatherings. We spent about forty minutes taking prayer requests and then finally got to praying after we had discussed the latest juicy piece of information about others who ‘needed’ prayer.
And lets not forget the prayer Agenda. That’s when the pastor prayers his sermon mentioning all five points so that the congregation doesn’t forget what he preached about. I am sure God heard it the first time he said it. Prayer has just become a reiteration of the sermon. Just listen to the pastor’s prayer when he’s finished preaching. He’s really not talking to God; he’s talking to you and me. Or how about the prayer at the political gathering or the sporting event? You won’t convince me that within the heart of the person praying there is an unspoken desire for God to help them prevail or win.
My understanding of prayer was dramatically changed many years ago as a fairly new Christian. Some kindly saint wanted me to grow in my relationship with Jesus. She gave me a book that changed my life. It has become one of the most formative books in my spiritual journey. The book is Prayer, Conversing with God by Rosalind Rinker. This is a must read if you want to really understand what prayer is about.
Prayer is engaging in conversation. It requires listening as well as speaking. When God created Adam and Eve it was not because He needed a gardener. It was because He wanted someone to talk to. The only difference between conversation with other people and conversation with God is that we call the later‘prayer’. It is conversation with the most precious, best, wonderful friend you will ever have in this life and in the next.
Jesus said, “When you pray” not “if you pray”. That is why he instructed us to go into the secret place. So we could have a conversation with Him.
He is waiting for you there right now…. (Matthew 6:6)
Dr. Dale Fife has served the Body of Christ for over 50 years as a caring pastor, insightful teacher, gifted musician, and best-selling author. His wisdom, maturity, and genuine spiritual concern for others have caused many to regard him as a "spiritual father" in the Lord. His insightful teaching has inspired and blessed thousands around the world.