The Family Prayer Journal and Stones of Remembrance

I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by the account in Joshua 4 when Joshua tells the twelve Israelites–one from each tribe–to take a stone from the Jordan riverbed to build a memorial to God.

We read this:

“When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?” then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

When our children were young, we had a family prayer journal and a little bag of stones. Whenever God answered one of our prayers, we took a stone from the bag and put it into a bowl by the journal. We would look at all the stones that year and rejoice in how God had cared for us. These were our Joshua Stones–our memorial to remember the mighty hand of God.

Over time, we forgot about that tradition. But last night, my oldest brings out a special journal she had purchased for our family. She found the old collection of stones hidden away in some cabinet. We gathered at the kitchen table and made a list of prayers to God–things we were worried about or things we needed–and we began the tradition again.

This time next year, I’ll hold a bowlful of stones in my hands and rejoice in God.

How amazing to consider that the hand of the Lord that dried up the Jordan and parted the Red Sea works on our behalf!

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