When I began Bible Journaling several years ago, the very first page I worked on was the inside of my Bible’s cover. An experienced Bible Journaler several years further down the road in the process of connecting to Scripture through art and visual mediums, strongly encouraged me to begin my learning experience by giving myself permission to be just that: a learner. It meant acknowledging right out of the gate that I was going to make some mistakes along the way—that there would be artwork I would be disappointed in, spills on pages I had wanted to keep clean, and interpretations of Scripture that I would look back on with more maturity and be embarrassed that I had chronicled.
“But the most important thing these pages declared over my journey into journaling in my Bible was that my emphasis was going to be on the process and not the end product.”
It was declaring that I cared more about the time I spent in the Word, than I did about the quality of my artwork; that I wasn’t about to let my insecurity as an ‘artist’—a glorified ‘copycat’ at best—keep me from drawing closer to God through this exercise.
And that’s where we have to start with intercession—by giving ourselves permission to be learners. Very few to none of us have found that we’ve arrived in this lifetime at the place where mistakes don’t happen and things don’t get spilled on the ‘pages’ of our attempts at prayer warfare. Lucky for us, the One we are communing with in prayer, does so with an intimate knowledge of our limitations and an infinite grace for the same. His heart is delighted by our efforts, in the same way 2-year-old scribbles of “Daddy” are proudly displayed in the high-powered offices of the world’s most savvy businessmen. We all have a soft spots for our offspring’s attempts at creating beauty in spite of their developmental limitations. Our heavenly Father feels no different.
So as you join us from wherever you are in the journey of intercession, do so with your permissions pages firmly in grasp.
“Give yourself permission to fall asleep mid-sentence, to miss a meeting, to struggle to connect on a heart level with those you never have and never will meet, to feel repetitive and disingenuous, to lose the battle against distraction or discouragement some days, to pray for things you later find conviction over, to run out of words or enthusiasm, and show up sometimes from a place of pure discipline.”
It’s only when we push through those things we discover the moments of breakthrough and connection, of heart alignment with our Creator, of Spiritual impact in the heavenly realms, of every fiber of our being humming with participation in the activity for which we were created for. It’s ok to be a mess of a learner as you press into prayer. Your heavenly Father delights in your attempts to align your heart to His for the nations. And as He does in every other arena of our lives, our precious Savior stands in the gaps of your prayers and intercedes for you as you lift the lost before the throne.
Join us in the messy, hard work of intercession with grace for yourselves and for the journey. Not a moment will be wasted.