We all have days where we struggle to pray.
Whether you’re distracted, overwhelmed, or just don’t know where to start, it can be hard to come up with words to say.
But have you ever tried writing down your prayers?
Writing letters to God can be a surprisingly effective way to jumpstart your prayer life.
The thought of writing God a letter might seem strange at first. After all, you usually mail your letters, and you can’t exactly send a letter to Heaven!
But it can be more helpful than you might expect to write down your thoughts and address them straight to God.
Here are a few benefits of writing letters to God.
1. Writing letters gives you a starting point for prayer.
When you write a letter to someone, you’re sharing some of your most recent and pressing thoughts. You’re telling them about your day or your week and letting them in on your activities and feelings.
Have you ever written a letter to your parents? Remember that your letter to God is addressed to your Heavenly Father, Who longs to show you compassion and love (Psalm 103:13) if you’ll only come to Him with your troubles.
When it’s hard to speak some of your prayers, writing down your struggles and joys helps you see your requests as they are and feel more open to sharing them with God.
Writing can help you untangle your thoughts, and putting words to your feelings can help you surrender them to God.
None of your prayers are new or unexpected to Him, but they might be to you. Seeing your current needs and desires in writing may clarify a lot of things for you and drive you to prayer.
2. Writing letters gives you a record of answered prayers.
If you write your letters in a journal or keep them together in an envelope, you have an easy way to keep track of your prayers and the ways God answers them!
It’s important to remember what God has been doing in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Just as the Israelites were called to erect “memorial stones” (Joshua 4:1-9), we are called to set up reminders of God’s work and love in our lives.
When you write down your prayers, you automatically have a way to remember your requests — and you have an opportunity to record God’s answers as well.
As you write prayer letters, consider writing thank-you letters too. Remember to praise God for what He’s doing as you continue to ask Him to fulfill your needs!
Then, whenever you’re discouraged in your prayer life, you can look through your past letters and be reminded of how God, in His wisdom and kindness, has addressed your requests.
3. Writing letters reminds you that God is really listening.
Since we can’t see God, it can be hard to remember that prayer is a conversation with a real person. Sometimes it may feel like you’re speaking into a void rather than talking to a loving Father.
Not to mention, it’s easy to get distracted when you’re praying silently!
Writing letters — with a physical pen on a physical piece of paper — reminds you that there is a real person on the receiving end of your prayers. You may not be able to mail your letter to God, but you can remember more easily that He’s there to read it.
When you’re writing letters to people, you may be writing because they’re far from you, but you never doubt that they’ll receive and read your words.
It’s the same with God. The Bible promises that God “is near to all who call on Him” (Psalm 145:18) and that He delights in our prayers (1 Peter 3:12).
So even if you feel like He’s far away, you can know that your letters — and your prayers — are always on His mind.
Not sure how to start writing a letter to God? Think about how you’d write a letter to your parents or your best friend.
Start by telling Him about your day. Tell Him what went wrong, what went well, and what discouraged you or lifted you up.
He’s eager to hear it all!