PICTURE PRAYER JOURNAL
A few years ago, I was given a special gift – a homemade prayer journal. It was a simple composition notebook decorated just for me. Typically prayer journals are used to record prayer requests and the answers to those prayers. Later they are filed away or thrown away.
But I had a special idea for this one.
I wanted to make this prayer journal more meaningful by placing photos of my family in it, then journaling alongside the pictures. I listed scripture verses, declarations and decrees, heartfelt words, dreams and more. The concept was to create a generational type of journal or a legacy book--one where promises are listed, not problems.
As I prayed for each person, I would often times lay my hand over their picture -- symbolic of laying on hands. I enjoyed the concept so much that I added photos of my extended family also. As the journal grew, I decided to lay one hand on the top of the journal and the other hand on the bottom while I prayed, as though I was touching each life.
One morning, while praying over my journal, a photo fell out of it, because it was becoming rather worn. I mentioned to the Lord how I wished there was something on the market like this, because I needed it.
It was during that moment that He began to speak to my heart,
“That is a good idea. Others would enjoy this method of praying and the whole concept of the Picture Prayer Journal. Expedite It!”
In the following weeks, I prayed about it and began to get counsel from respected mentors, my pastors, family and friends. I was blessed to receive strong encouragement to move forward. I heard comments like, “This is not just a good idea, but a God idea.” I was also blessed to hear repeatedly, “If it was on the market, I would buy one today!” The last ‘yes’ was from Glory Haus, a national faith-based home décor company that shared my vision. After months of work, getting the details just right, the Picture Prayer Journal made its debut at the Atlanta mart in January 2015. It is now available for purchase at Lifeway, Family Christian Bookstore, Hallmark stores and various gift shops. It can be found online at gloryhaus.com, and amazon.com. I am passionate about presence, and it is in this place of worship and of prayer, that I feel the love of God, and he speaks to my heart.
It is a blessing to share the story of the “Picture Prayer Journal” with audiences, because I am so grateful for all God has done.
Physical Attributes of the Journal
As I prayed about the design of the journal, and the ideas came, I felt the details were divinely inspired.
The Linen Cover:
Although the linen cover is a stylish linen look, it has biblical implications. Linen is mentioned in over 50 scriptures in the Bible. However, there are a couple of verses that stand out to me that apply to the journal itself.
Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them...
Revelation 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for good deeds or righteous acts of Gods holy people)
Front/Back Collage of Prayer Scriptures:
Next was the idea for the collage of "prayer scriptures" to be on the inside front and back cover. (Be sure to read the blog post titled "EVEN WHEN" to hear the story of a special prayer time one night)
Cord of three strands:
Finally, the closure for me needed to be a “Cord of Three Strands”, representing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Also, when two or three are joined together, there is power and strength in their prayers.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Click below to see a "HOW TO" video
Picture Prayer Journal Testimonies...
When I first heard about Donna Hyder’s idea for the Picture Prayer Journal I thought,” what a great idea”. I had already been laying my hands on pictures of my kids and praying for them quite often, but to have a special prayer journal where I could put their pictures and have a place where I could write my hopes, dreams and declarations for them was so appealing to me.
When I received my journal I couldn’t wait to use it. I immediately started going through my pictures to pick out each person’s photo for their page and made copies for the journal. I started with my husband and moved on to my children. This testimony is about my oldest son, Matthew and his wife Regan.
I felt like the Lord wanted me to first write the meaning to their names to start their page. Matthew’s name means “Gift of the Lord”. Children are truly a gift from God and there is nothing Matt and Regan wanted more than a child of their own. They have been married for over 16 years and have been trying to have a child for 13 years. They tried everything you can imagine to conceive a baby. About 3 years ago they actually got pregnant all on their own and we rejoiced! It was a miracle, but at about 9 weeks the baby died and we were all devastated.
So, back to the Picture Prayer Journal. After hearing Donna’s vision for the journal and that it would be more of a way to speak and declare God’s word and His promises over our loved ones, I realized using this journal as more of a prophetic way to pray would be speaking more in faith than in just petitioning God over and over, so now I pray and ask God for scripture. I open my bible and listen to Holy Spirit, and when I come onto a scripture for them I will write it on the page by their picture, but I personalize it.
I believe the things I declare must line up with His word. For Matt I wrote things like…I declare Matt is a father, his desire will be fulfilled. May God grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Prov. 20:5b. I also declared healing, that his mouth would be satisfied with good things, God would set his feet to dancing and God’s peace, His Shalom would be over him. A child was sure to be the good thing, that would set his feet to dancing and give him peace. Losing the last baby was so hard on Matt, that seeing God was faithful and loved him enough to give him what he desired would surely do all of these things.
For Regan I called her a mother, a child of blessing would be hers. Children are a heritage of the Lord. Ps. 127:3. That the God of hope would fill her with all joy and peace in believing that she would abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13. One of my favorites for her is, the devourer is rebuked for her sake, he will not destroy the fruit of her ground nor shall her vine fail to bear fruit. Mal. 3:11. There is more that I wrote, but I think you get the idea.
Praying this way helped me to keep focused on the possible and continue to believe God would honor his word and his promises. Every time I open the journal to pray for them I seek God for something more to declare. It might only be one word, or one scripture after another.
This past May, a week after Mother’s Day, my kids were over to our house to celebrate a belated Mom’s Day with me because I had been out of town the week before. Matt and Regan gave me a card and a small box. I opened the card and it had a $50 gift card in it for Home Goods. Then I was a little puzzled by the box, thinking and actually saying, “why is there more?”, because the gift card was more than enough! I opened the box and looked inside and there was a wand from a pregnancy test and in the little window it said, PREGNANT! Well, needless to say I went ballistic with joy and began to cry and hug everyone. They were pregnant on their own, no outside help of any kind, and they were already 7 weeks along. It is a miracle. I wouldn’t give up, I kept getting out that prayer journal and declaring and thanking God for a child and that it was coming to pass. As I write this Regan is almost 34 weeks along and her pregnancy has been perfect. I immediately started a new page in my journal for the baby. I put a picture of the pregnancy test in first and declared and spoke…This is a life sanctified, holy and blessed, a promise fulfilled and kept safe by the hand of God. God says, “ before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I sanctified you and ordained you…I spoke God’s protection over the baby and a FULL term pregnancy. I also wrote Ps. 139:14 and 2 Thess. 3:3. As soon as Regan had a sonogram photo I put that in the journal and then the ultrasound picture when they found out the sex, so I have 4 pictures of our sweet one in my Picture Prayer Journal now. I just love looking at them and laying my hands on the pics as I continue to praise and thank God for our little miracle.
Are you ready to know what the sex is? Grin…It’s a girl! Her name is Adelyn Jean-Marie and her name means Noble and Waterfall. I love the waterfall meaning because it makes me think of God pouring out his grace through her life! The Marie in her middle name is also my middle name. I was so thrilled that they chose to use my name, I am so blessed! We will call her Addie for short and I love it and I love her so much already. I am forever grateful to my Lord for giving us this amazing and miraculous gift. He is so faithful and giving!
This story is one of my sisters best friends, and a friend of our family for years and years. She wrote this prayer about her fiance, then it read on stage at her wedding! It was a blessing to be in the audience and see her get married and a sweet surprise to see the "Picture Prayer Journal" used in a wedding ceremony.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving me such a kind, loving, compassionate and caring man that puts others before himself. I pray your blessings on him and am thankful that you have brought him through difficult times and he has come out on the winning end.
I pray that you reveal your Holy Spirit to him as he draws closer to you. I ask that I be a blessing and that I be supportive of him. That I be a comforting shoulder for him as we make plans to journey through this life together.
I pray that we not only be physically yoked but spiritually yoked and that we put you as the core and center of our relationship; that we grow closer and closer.
That we open up more: not only to each other but open up more to you. That you guide our paths, that your word and promises be a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. Bless us to bless others as we go out into the world with your compassion and your love shining in us.
Let us be a light in a darkened world to those who are lonely, hungry, sick or just don't know you. Bless our children and future grand-children. Bless Don with continued good health. You made him a hard worker so we ask that you put people in his work arena that he can bless with his skills, kindness and compassion.
I pray that you open the eyes of his heart Lord that when he calls upon your name...he feels your peace and your love so tenderly that he know that he has a personal relationship with you. And can experience you as a presence in his life. That you come to be such a living presence and friend...that he sees you through new eyes.
I pray that you keep him safe in his travels and in his work. I pray that he prosper and live a long life with health and vigor till you call him home. I pray that you continue to bless him as he goes out every day thinking of others. May he know that his good works are because of you, that he knows that not his goodness but you in him..and your grace and sacrifice is what redeems him because good works “without you” leaves us still hopeless.
Let this be a new season of trusting in you and discovering what you are outside of what we have been told...but by what we discover and how you speak to us individually through our personal relationship with you as we seek you. You are a mighty God and we will not put you in a box...but be open to you and how you reveal yourself to us. So open our eyes Lord, open our ears, open our mouths with loving kindness. We give you our bodies, our hands to do your work, our feet to take us where you need us...Amen!