Have there been instances in your life when someone asked for your prayers for a specific intention and you wonder what the outcome of the prayers might have been? Where do those prayers go? Have you promised to pray for someone and perhaps, the busyness of life took over, and you forgot to continue your prayers?
Often, those little scraps of paper I tucked in my pocket, purse, or bible were lost or misplaced, and that frustrated me. Recently, a delightful book made its way to my home and I had to tell you about it. Titled Sacred Intercession, this exquisite gem was designed and written by Julie Rudnick, a wife, mother of two daughters, and member of St. Patrick Parish in Wadsworth, Illinois; and is a tool that will be on my bedside table each night.
Face it; while we all have good intentions, at times, our prayer life becomes stale or nonexistent. While most people desire to deepen their relationship with God, pressure, stress, time and disorganization often play a role in putting prayer in the back seat.
The beautiful Sacred Intercession Prayer Journal is designed to help make prayer a foundation for knowing God, deepening our relationship with Him, and developing a holy and sanctified life through intercessory prayer.
Creating the ecumenical prayer journal was the result of a tug on Julie’s heart about four years ago as she struggled to find an appropriate gift for the five women in her Friday night prayer group.
“I was looking for something that would allow me to collect and organize a series of prayers and have room for a ‘prayer list’ to help keep us organized,” she said. “Every Friday evening, my prayer group would share our intentions for the following week and we all took individual notes on who or what we would be praying for on each day of the upcoming week. So, throughout the course of the week, we would all lift up the person, need or concern on the particular assigned day and ‘soak’ them in prayer.”
After discovering the power of praying scripture and personalizing scripture for the person in need, Julie wanted to include those prayers in the ‘book’ she was looking for. Unfortunately, no such book existed, other than blank spiral bound journals or engagement calendars. Because nothing was available, she handmade her journals the first year by purchasing a spiral bound engagement calendar and pasting in pages of prayers in scrap book style over the pre-printed pages in the spiral calendars she bought.
“This was my Christmas gift for these five women, and we all used this first journal throughout the year,” said Julie. “The following year, we invited others to join us and expanded to 20, and as more people saw the journals, they asked where and how they could get one.”
Throughout her search for a product like the one she developed, Julie recalled the enormous number of ‘new age’ and what she called, ‘light weight’ Christianity books on the shelves and realized that truth was lacking in all of them.
“My heart hurt when I saw all the new age products that had no substance to them,” she said. “One in particular was placed front and center with general style calendars at a major book store-and it spoke of blessings, gifts, and strengths. I was attracted to it, but after reading it, found absolutely no reference to God or Jesus. It had tarot style cards associated with it and it seemed so ridiculous to me under the guise of ‘blessings, gifts and strengths.’ For someone to put so much effort and brainpower to ‘create’ a false system when the truth-Jesus, is just waiting for us to turn and acknowledge Him, was upsetting. I was mad and it was on that day that something in me said, ‘see truth be put on the shelf’ and so I found myself saying, ‘I will publish a journal—I have no idea when or how, but I’m going to do it and I know the Lord is going to show me how’ And He did. Doors began to open as He surrounded me with others to help with the design of the journal and distribution infrastructure.”
The journey towards creating the prayer journal followed a week-long course at the Healing School of Prayer in Jacksonville, Florida a couple of years ago. After the course ended, Julie and a friend began the intercessory prayer ministry at her parish.
“Over the last three years, He has led me deeper into the call of healing prayer and intercessory prayer and I find myself helping and showing others how to pray and how to inspire and encourage others to live their faith by living a life of prayer,” she said. “So many Catholics and Christians in general do not really know how to pray and are lacking depth in their relationship with Jesus. Prayer is how we enter into that relationship and it is how we deepen and grow in our faith journal and relationship with Him.”
Since it’s inception, feedback from the 338-page spiral bound journal has been popular among those who have purchased it, or received it as a gift. Designed to be a personal prayer aid, this calendar-based journal will meld daily life with praying for the needs of others, by recording upcoming surgeries, exams, doctor appointments or special events - such as birthday blessings, weddings, speaking engagements, and more. The weekly calendar pages become a daily prayer list and allow users to plan, as well as look back to track answered prayers.
“I think this journal will help others on multiple levels,” explained Julie. “From beginners to established pray-ers. From those who have a desire to pray and cannot seem to make it a consistent part of their daily life to those who do have an established prayer life, the journal can enrich their faith and prayer life.”
If you or someone you know would appreciate a prayer journal for Christmas, Sacred Intercession is available for $24.99 with a discount for three or more:
Sacred Intercession is also on Facebook