Have you tried prayer journaling?
I am an avid journal keeper and I fully understand this is not everyone’s favorite practice. But writing our prayers in a journal can be a wonderful spiritual discipline. At the very least, this practice records our prayers.
Why Write Out Our Prayers in Prayer Journaling?
- Writing helps us to articulate our relationship with God. We find the words to express our concerns and even our faith when writing them out on the pages.
- Gives us a place and process to organize our thoughts. I often see themes emerge as I write.
- What a safe place to explore our hopes, dreams, fears, joys, and concerns.
- Provides a record for my answered prayer and for insights over time as we pray.
- Keeps prayers and conversations with God we have so they’re not forgotten
- I hear myself in my journal – so often our voice is drowned out by the noise of the world and my own internal chattering I miss my true desires and what God is whispering to me. Sometimes I am surprised how I write my prayers when finding the words to record.
“I begin these pages for myself, in order to think out my own particular pattern of living, my individual balance of life, work, and human relationships. And since I think best with a pencil in my hand, I started to write.”
Anne Morrow Lindberg
5 Tips for Prayer Journaling
- Date your entries. You will be surprised at how quickly time passes or how long some prayers remain on your list. I like to tell people the only two rules to follow when it comes to journaling is to be sure to add a date each time and that there are no other rules.
- Be open to different formats. You can try paper or digital. It is fun to experience with new ways to record your prayers. I have a whole list of different approaches to recording your prayers in the prayer journaling course I mention at the end of this post.
- Add meaningful scriptures and quotes. These words add depth and insight to your prayers.
- “Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked.” (Matthew 20:32) Be specific with each prayer request. Occasionally I leave out details just in case the prayer concern would be read by someone else and this could be challenging but I strive for enough details to help me understand, remember, and clearly state the prayer.
- End with gratitude. We can never share with God enough how grateful we are that he is listening, caring, and answering our prayers.
Who and What to Pray for in Prayer Journaling
The list is endless who and what to pray for in a journal.
- Future friends and family members
- Specific situations
- Jobs and callings
- World and governmental leaders
- Church members
- Specific ministries and countries
- Your neighborhood
- Spiritual growth
- What you feel God is telling you
- Specific prayer requests from others
- Answers for financial needs
- Challenging people in our lives
Prayer Journaling Don’t’s
- Don’t worry how often you write out your prayers.. Find a schedule that fits you best
- Don’t worry about what to day. Keep it simple. Talk with God
- Don’t worry if someone reads your words. Keep this possibility in mind so you may choose your words wisely but be honest, open, and real in your prayers.
- Don’t’ worry how you organize your journal or how neat your handwriting is or if you are using the correct grammar and spelling. This is YOUR journal – you will not be graded.
Resources for Prayer Journaling
I compiled a Prayer Journaling Course: A Practice to Organize, Prioritize, and Energize Your Conversations with God. The course is self-paced, taken on your own schedule, 5 days, 5 weeks or over a weekend.
- Organizing a Prayer Journal
- Prayer Journal Rhythms
- Deepening Prayer through Prompts and Questions
- Creative Prayer Journaling
- Harvesting your Journal
The course only costs $12 and you can get your copy clicking here
This Pinterest page contains a wide variety of great ideas for prayer journaling;
“Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you reread your journal, you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out about five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experience.”
In prayer journaling, we remember and stay mindful of God and experience his presence and love, though we may only become aware of his touch in hindsight.
Prayer journaling gives us hope and provides a practical method to cultivate a vibrant healthy spirituality. I hope you try the prayer journaling course and that is blesses your time with God.
Have you tried prayer journaling? If so how has this practice fueled your faith?
Speaking of fueling your faith, have you downloaded your free copy of my latest e-book Fuel Your Faith – A Practical Guide to a Healthy Spirituality. Get it today!
Lisa notes says
I love your advice to always date your entries. I noticed today that I even dated a scribble I was writing from a phone conversation. ha. I’ve found having a date on things can really come in handy. I also appreciate that you say to end with gratitude. I try to do that with my oral prayers as well. God is so good to us.
Jean Wise says
Love it that you dated a scribble. I love rereading my journals to harvest and ground me and at the start of a retreat to open my heart. And isn’t gratitude so powerful? I am amazed that this isn’t the most popular spiritual practice since it is so effective. I think it keeps Satan away too. Have a great week, Lisa
Nancy Ruegg says
Occasionally I write out my prayers, especially when concerns weigh heavy on my heart. By committing to paper God’s promises that apply, and other truths I hear or read, I shore up my faith. Sometimes I’ll send the prayer to the person whom the prayer is about, to hopefully offer support and encouragement. And sometimes I get to enjoy the delightful surprise of God’s answer, in the exact way(s) His Spirit prompted me to pray! Now that’s some powerful fuel for faith!
Jean Wise says
Writing out those heavy prayers give me clarity and peace. I hope they do that for you too. “Shore up my faith” that is a neat phrase. Quite an image too. AND God surprises are the best!!!
Martha Orlando says
These are wonderful tips, Jean! I do keep a gratitude journal and a prayer list for those in need, but haven’t quite melded the two together. It is something I’m willing to try.
Jean Wise says
Thanks Martha. Journaling is near to my heart and recording my prayers this way has helped me on many levels. Blessings to you too.