Do you ever wonder what it means to "walk with Jesus"?
We read about people who really walked with Him - the miracles they witnessed and the persecution they faced. But what does walking with Him look like in today's fast-paced, modern world, especially in the West?
It can be challenging to navigate the complexities of life while maintaining a close relationship with Christ. Most of us will ride waves of closeness and feeling distant from Him. Thankfully, God has and continues to provide access to so many ways to connect with His Holy Spirit and "do life" with Him.
Reflecting on Jesus' journey to the cross can provide us with valuable insights into how we can better walk with Him in our daily lives. By taking the time to ponder His incredible sacrifice and the trials He faced, we can learn how to face our own challenges with faith, courage, and perseverance.
Below are 6 prayer journal prompts, inspired by Jesus' journey to the cross, to help you engage more deeply with the Spirit of God.
Take time to prayerfully engage with each prompt, using your prayer journal to record your thoughts and conversations with God. Remember, God is always present and listening, ready to guide and strengthen you on your walk with Him.
1. In the Garden of Gethsemane: Submitting Our Will to God
Bible Verse: Matthew 26:39
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Journal Prompt: God compares us to gold refined by fire. How does it make you feel to know that He expects you to endure trials? What difficult situations are you facing that you may or may not have prayed about? Tell Him what you hope for and then ask Him what He wants you to do. What challenges or fears do you have about surrendering to God's will within those difficult situations?
2. Betrayal by a Friend: Forgiveness and Healing
Bible Verse: Luke 22:47-48
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him,
but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Journal Prompt: Think of a time you were betrayed or attacked by someone close to you. How does your response to that person compare to how Jesus responded to Judas? Judas was ultimately crushed by the weight of his sin while God used his offense to glorify Christ. In what ways might God be glorified in your situation?
3. Jesus Before Pilate: Standing Firm in Truth
Bible Verse: John 18:37
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Journal Prompt: Think about circumstances where you struggle to stand firm in your faith and convictions. What feelings come up when you think about standing for truth in those situations? Walking in God's truth in today's world is challenging. Do you want to? How can God help you?
4. Carrying the Cross: Bearing Our Burdens with Grace
Bible Verse: John 19:17
And he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.
Journal Prompt: Contemplate the burdens you carry in your life. Are you bearing your burdens with grace and humility? Do people around you see you as defeated or triumphant? How can you avoid being depleted and instead be filled, through your relationship with God, with strength, hope, perspective, and peace?
5. The Crucifixion: Experiencing Rejection
Bible Verse: Matthew 27:46
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Journal Prompt: It's hard to fathom the separation Jesus felt from the Father on the cross at that moment where He bore the total weight of our sins. He cried out to our Father and completed His mission, being "obedient even unto death" for which He was given a "name above all names." Think about a time you felt rejected and isolated. Did it drive you to cry out for God? Christ was willing to endure separation so that we never have to be separated from God again. No matter where we are and what we go through, He is with us. What can you do to increase your awareness of His presence?
6. The Resurrection: Embracing New Life
Bible Verse: John 20:11-18
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.
And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Journal Prompt: Consider an area in your life where you need a fresh start or transformation. Sometimes we focus on what we lack instead of looking and listening for God's guidance to the abundant life available to us in Christ. How does Jesus' resurrection inspire you to embrace hope for new beginnings? What can you do to show up to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered by God in transformation?
Be encouraged. Be equipped. Be empowered.
By incorporating prayer journal prompts into your time of reflection, you'll be able to engage your heart and mind in a more meaningful way. As you consider these questions, remember that the ultimate goal is to grow closer to Jesus and develop a deeper understanding of His love and sacrifice. In doing so, you'll be better equipped to face life's challenges, lean on His strength, and share the hope of the resurrection with those around you.
So, go ahead and grab your journal, find a quiet space, and start reflecting on Jesus' journey to the cross. As you write your thoughts and prayers, allow the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and transform your life. And don't forget to share this article with friends and family, so they too can experience the power of engaging with Jesus' journey to the cross through these prayer journal prompts.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for the example of Jesus, whose life and sacrifice on the cross show us the depth of Your love and grace. Teach me how to rely on your strength and trust that you are prepared to help me through my weaknesses. Help me to walk with Christ daily, surrendering my desires to Your will, and seeking Your guidance in every aspect of my life. Empower me through Your Holy Spirit to become more like You and trust in Your promises.
In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.