How to Start a Prayer Journal
There are many benefits to prayer journaling. Prayer journaling can be a helpful tool for Christians who want to have spiritual growth and accountability in their lives.
It is important because it helps keep you accountable to praying, and keeps track of how your prayers are answered. In this article, we will discuss the process of making a prayer journal as well as keeping one!
What is a prayer journal?
Prayer journaling is the process of notating prayer requests, organizing those prayers, and keeping track of how those prayers are answered.
In order to make a prayer journal, you need:
- a blank notebook or diary
- pencils or pens
First, find an empty book that is big enough for your needs. The bigger the better! Find at least one pencil or pen to write down prayer requests. I usually keep mine with me to write requests I think of or other people ask for.
There are many templates available online for prayer journal pages, but you can also find them in Christian bookstores, on Amazon, or even make one yourself.
The important thing is to find one that works for your needs!
To keep the prayer journal, it is most important to organize every request in sorted lists so you know exactly what you are praying for.
This way, you can make sure that every request is answered and you don't forget what to pray for!
Tracking Your Prayers
I then mark my daily prayers in one of three ways: "answered," "not yet answered," or "no answer." I also like to include a list of things I am thankful for. This helps me remember to approach God with reverence and thanksgiving.
Another way to keep your prayer journal is with a text document that you would use as an electronic journal. This will allow you to type in the prayers on your phone or tablet and mark them when they are answered or not yet answered.
This may work better for those who have trouble handwriting, or wants more privacy because fewer people have access to their phone. It also has the added benefit of traveling with you wherever you go.
There are several apps available in both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store to help you with tracking your prayers, but you can also use any notes app that comes pre-installed on your phone.
I personally use Google Docs when I find myself away from my journal, but again, find what works best for you so that you will use it.
Step-by-step guide to prayer journaling:
- Start with a blank notebook or an app on your phone.
- Next, you want to write down prayers in the form of requests and thanksgivings.
- Keep these prayers in your notebook, or keep track of them on a prayer list app.
- At the end of each day, write out what happened during the day and how you felt emotionally at that time.
Obstacles to Prayer Journaling
Starting to journal every event is hard for some people because they might not remember everything that happened throughout their day. That's okay. The important thing is to practice.
As you continue to keep your prayer journal, you will find it easier to put your thoughts, memories, and concerns to paper.
Remember, prayer was not given to us for God's benefit, but for our own. It exists to help us keep God in his rightful place, and make us more mindful of our own shortcomings and the needs of those around us.
Your journal is a reflection of who you are. As you go back and review your past entries, you will likely find you have grown as a Christian. Many of my old prayer journals seem more focused on me the further back I go.
The more recent entries seem to contain more requests for fellow church members, friends, and acquaintances. I have also added the company I work for, my church, my country, and my household.
God has brought me so far in my spiritual growth, and I can attribute most of this growth to prayer journaling and learning to listen to God. It has forced me to think of others and realize that my own problems are not as bad as I think they are.
Goals for Prayer Journaling
- Track your prayers for a set time (one year)
- Set alerts or alarms to journal your prayers
- Forgive yourself if your forget
Setting a goal to prayer journal for a set time period like one year keeps you accountable and focused on creating this habit. After a year, you should have built a pretty good habit of prayer journaling, and you may find you no longer need help remembering to do this.
Creating an alert or alarm on your phone or a calendar reminder can be an effective way to ensure you continue your prayer journal. If you aren't sure how to do this, there are plenty of tutorials online for creating alarms on your phone or reminders on your calendar.
One of the biggest things that can derail any habit forming behavior is getting frustrated with yourself for forgetting and giving up. Be forgiving if you forget one day, and be sure to start new the next day. If you forget for a week, don't let it become two.
Remember this Prayer Journal is for YOU!
Choosing not to journal for a day is your choice, but remember, you are the one it is affecting the most. The journal is to keep you accountable and is there to help you get closer to God. It is also to help you keep track with praying for your requests and those who are closest to you.
Also know that God may choose to wait to fulfill your prayer requests until you understand what it is He is trying to teach you. Many accounts of answered prayer in the Old Testament of the Bible come only after a sustained and concerted prayer effort from God's people.
I'm praying for you and your choice to begin prayer journaling. If you take this seriously, I can guarantee you that your relationship with God grow. Not only that, but you will gain insight and understanding into who you are and what is most important to you.