Yes, you can pray by writing. Psalms is a whole book of the Bible that is filled with written prayers and songs of worship. God does not despise the prayers that we write down.
The goal of prayer is communion with God. It is meant as a channel to connect with our heavenly Father. It is where we offer up praises, thanksgiving, requests, songs, and it is where we seek counsel and guidance from Him.
This is true whether our prayers are spoken, sung, or written down. The important thing is we are connecting with God through language.
Jesus made it clear that it is not the outward things that the Father cares about, but that He cares about the heart in which we do it.
“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)
Jesus is quoting Isaiah in this passage, and He said this to the Pharisees when He found them exalting their traditions above the commandments of God.
He says that they draw near to God with their lips and with their outward works, but yet their heart is far from Him. The Pharisees truly had no desire for God, they just wanted to appear to be spiritual.
This applies to this topic of praying through writing because God is not after all the outward works. God is after the heart that is sincerely obeying what He has said through His word. And God has never condemned writing down a prayer to Him.
The only thing He wants from us is to pray with sincere hearts, full of faith, and at times lift our hands in worship. If you do this while you write your prayers to Him He will be pleased.
Does God listen to/hear written prayers?
God hears all prayers that meet His requirements found in His word. If you are actively following Jesus, walking in love toward others, praying with sincere intentions and according to His word, and if you are praying in faith then God hears you and will answer your prayer, whether that is a written or spoken prayer.
The requirements found in the New Testament for God to hear our prayers are as follows:
Must be abiding in Christ
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
If you do this one thing, you will fulfill all of the rest of these requirements. Abide in Him through prayer, worship, and His Word. Remain close to Him by consistently drawing near to Him and everything else will grow in your life.
Pray in faith
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.“ (Mark 11:24)
Pray with selfless motives
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)
Must be keeping His commandments
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” (1 John 3:22)
Here is Jesus’ version of His commandments…
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
In fact, Jesus’ whole sermon on the mount that we read about in Matthew chapters 5-7 where He gives many commands, can be condensed into these two categories – love God with all that you are and love people as yourself.
But it is important to mention it is not the world’s kind of love that we are supposed to obey but His kind of love that is found in 1 Corinthians 13.
Must pray according to God’s will
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:7)
How to write a prayer (Step-by-Step)
Step 1 – Write in something safe
The last thing you want to do is lose all of the prayers that you wrote down. So find a journal, notebook, or computer that you know you won’t lose and keep it somewhere safe.
This way you can look back on your prayers and see how God answered you and spoke to you during different seasons of your life.
Step 2 – Write what is on your heart
Be open with God like you would if you were speaking to a best friend. Don’t get caught up on grammar, handwriting, or how your sound. This is not about that. This is about time with God and connecting with Him through fellowship.
Step 3 – Take time to reflect on your words
Don’t write too quickly, getting all your requests and thanksgiving out as fast as possible.
Pause. Take your time. Think about what you are writing. Ask Holy Spirit to speak to you. Write down what He says. Muse on His voice and His word.
Think about what you are saying and writing as well. Ask yourself, “Is what I am writing according to God’s word?”
Step 4 – Talk to God about your written prayers
Finally, as you write your prayers be sure to talk with God without writing. Acknowledge the fact that He is right there next to you.
In fact, theologically and in reality He is inside you. There is no possible way that He could be closer.
Talk to Him with an open heart. Ask Him questions and listen. Thank Him for things in your life, for Jesus, for Holy Spirit, and for what He has done for you.
Then write down what you said, what He said, and what you remembered.
All of the prayers that were written down in the Bible were byproducts of the prayers that already took place, and then the men of God wrote them down.
This is important because if you try to pray while you write you’ll get distracted by your writing. So to remedy this, combine the two. Switch back and forth between writing and praying.
Benefits of writing down prayers
There are many benefits to writing down your prayers. Here are just a few…
You’ll remember what you prayed.
You’ll remember when you prayed it.
Answered prayers will be more apparent.
You can share it with your children when you are older.
You can see how your prayer life has grown.
You’ll be reminded of God’s goodness.
It can help you focus during your prayer time.
I hope you all enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God. Here are some articles on prayer that I think you’ll enjoy:
God bless you all!