After I processed all these thoughts, I sat down at my desk and wrote a prayer for God to be with my children. It was a way of releasing my children from my hands and placing them into his. Since I prefer to express myself in verse, this is what I wrote:

A Mother’s Prayer

My gracious heavenly Father,
Please hear me as I pray.
I come to you on bended knee
And ask of you today,
To give me wisdom, strength, and love
To raise my children for you,
That they might love and honor you
In everything they do.
I ask that you’ll watch over them
Throughout their childhood years.
Protect them as they run and play,
And calm their childish fears.
And when they reach their teenage years
I pray that they’ll be strong,
To stand up to temptation
And turn away from wrong.
I pray that they would read your Word
And talk with you each day,
So they will know your perfect will
And follow in your way.
I ask that you would be their guide
As they begin to date.
Help them choose, dear Lord, I pray,
A loving, godly mate.
And when they’re blessed with little ones
I pray that they may too
Have the wisdom, strength, and love
To raise their children for you.5

On one simple page, I poured out my heart to God. The matter was between him and me, and I kept it private for fifteen years. Some things are like that, and a prayer journal helped me ponder God’s power and increase my faith.

There’s an additional benefit: writing your prayers in a journal is a good way to keep balance in your prayer life. It’s easy to run to God when you have a desperate need—and God certainly wants you to come to him at those times. But as our Father, God also enjoys our praise and thanksgiving just as any mother enjoys glad chatter or thoughtful conversations with her children.

As you begin listing the things you’re thankful for, you’ll soon recognize your many blessings. Praise God for his greatness, power, and love. Let his nature lift you up and encourage you. Offer him your praise and gratitude; watch him fill you with hope and help to face even the most difficult challenges.

If you want to begin a prayer journal, here are a few tips:

• Choose a time of day when you may have a few moments to yourself. (If you have preschoolers at home, put on a VeggieTales video to offer them positive entertainment while you spend this "alone time" with God.)

• Put on the answering machine so you won’t be interrupted by phone calls.

• Get out your prayer journal and pen, or use the computer.

• Start by writing praises to God for his greatness and love.

• List specific blessings in your life and thank God for these things.

• Confess anything that you need to confess on a separate page or piece of scrap paper. After you ask for forgiveness, tear it up and throw it away.

• Write your requests to God, pouring out your deepest needs, concerns, or fears.

(And remember, moms, if you don’t finish in one sitting, pick it up where you left off at a later time.)

Crystal Bowman is the author of A Mom’s Guide to Making Memories Last: Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Scrapbook and Journal (Revell, 2006), from which this article is excerpted. Bowman is the author of more than thirty books and teacher-resource materials. A mother of three grown children, she is a frequent speaker at writers', MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers,, women's, and parenting conferences.

Used with permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.