I was a freshman in college when I first started keeping a prayer journal. Merging my love for writing with my love for God was exactly what I needed to take my faith to another level. My prayer journal became a collection of love letters to God. My prayers became poetry and suddenly God was everything and everywhere. God was a post-workout smoothie. God was the sun kissing my brown skin when I would lie on the quad reading. Once on New Year’s Eve, I felt God with me on the dance floor of a night club.
Prayer has not made me immune to crises of faith. These crises usually happen when so-called Christians are being racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic in Jesus’ name. I stop going to church and I start questioning everything – until I remember the God I fell in love with so many years ago.
But this time things are different.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 24, 2020, while I was in the middle of 21 days of prayer and fasting. I was fasting sweets, chips, Cheez-Its, and alcohol. I was going to church at 6 am every single weekday, 9 am every Saturday, and 8 am every Sunday to pray. And God rewarded me with cancer.
Then, after being told for months that my treatment plan would only include surgery and radiation, I found out that chemotherapy might be necessary. My oncologist ran extra tests to be sure. I prayed fervently while waiting for the results asking for God to remove this cup from me.
But that didn’t happen.
So, these days it’s hard to pray bold prayers.
Sometimes I feel that asking God for anything is a waste of time. Sometimes I’m afraid to pray, worried that God will give me the exact opposite of what I want.
In addition to my prayer journal, I keep a journal that’s all about my dreams and goals. In it, I write about the things I desire for my life, but I write about them as if they’re already my reality.
This is a powerful practice! It gets me so excited about the future. And I’ve noticed that as I’m writing my dreams as if they’ve already come true, the path for how I will actually achieve them starts to download in my brain!
Related Reading: This Journaling Practice Could Change Your Life
So, one day I got to thinking and I wondered if I could use a similar practice to help restore my faith in God?
Minister and Christian author Priscilla Shirer says that faith is acting like God is telling the truth.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
If God is telling the truth, then even cancer and chemo will turn into something good for me.
So, I challenged myself to write in my prayer journal as if I had already seen this come to pass.
Here’s a snippet of one of those prayers:
Thank You for your faithfulness. Your Word says that You will work out all things for the good of those who love You and Your Word is true.
Even things as dark as cancer and chemotherapy have been turned around to better my life.
You have restored everything that chemotherapy took from me. My body is strong and I take better care of my body than ever before.
I appreciate every person and every little thing in my life in a way I never could before cancer.
And all I managed to accomplish while in active treatment is a testimony to your goodness and your grace.
I suppose I should end this post with “To Be Continued.”
I don’t have my happy ending, yet. I can’t tell you I tried this once and my faith was magically restored.
But every day, with every word, I feel myself growing closer and closer to God.