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What Is A Prayer Journal And How Do I Start One? What Is A Prayer Journal And How Do I Start One?

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What Is A Prayer Journal And How Do I Start One?

Written by: Ronald Rentner

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Ericka Andersen
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Reviewed by
Ericka Andersen

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A prayer journal helps you develop a lifestyle of prayer and thanksgiving. Learn how to start a prayer journal with these ideas and steps that can help you.

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Is there a stirring desire in your heart that you want God to hear? Is there a yearning within you to start a prayer practice that concerns your spiritual life? Do you want to start your quiet time with God in prayer? Turn that thirst into an actual indulgence. Let yourself enjoy the welcoming presence of the Almighty God through prayer. Put these desires of your heart into action and create a prayer journal. The perfect time to get started with your prayer journey is right now. There are no rules on how your prayer journal is should look like or what you can or cannot put inside it. There’s no time left to overlook this wonderful favor we have before the throne of God.

Prayer is a powerful privilege and pleasure that also takes fervor and discipline. Although it begins with a desire, it does not happen with it alone. It calls for a firm decision, obedience and discipline. One of the preeminent ways to exercise prayer and be on track with your prayer journey is by writing it all down. This is what a prayer journal basically does.

What Is A Prayer Journal?

A prayer journal is like a typical diary. However, the only difference is that it contains only your prayers. It keeps a record of your prayer requests for various people, events, and circumstances. It can also include your aspirations, pains and every single thing you want to tell God. Write all your feelings, needs, and wants down with ease.

All it takes to start a prayer journal is having your pens, notebook, and prayers. A prayer journal is a very helpful tool to develop a prayer habit which will eventually enhance your prayer life. Not only does it have a record of your needs and prayers, but it lets you have a tangible record of God’s faithfulness towards you. In this manner, you will never forget the good things God has planned for you and has done for you. If you do forget how God has helped you or how you have gotten through life’s hardships, this prayer journal will remind you of every prayer you have uttered before God.

How Do I Start A Prayer Journal?

blank notebook with blue pen

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A prayer journal doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to be a good writer or have perfect grammar. All you have to do for now is begin by writing down what you feel in your heart. Write about who or what you want to pray for. Some of the most profound insights and experiences of life come through journaling. So, what makes this all the more inspiring is that it’s a prayer journal; a silent but wordy relationship with God. Journaling brings shape and order to everything that we do.

Whatever is in your heart right now, tell God in written words. God wants to speak and give us insights into life. These are some of the most important steps in helping you launch an effective prayer journal. 

1. Get The Best Notebook And Pen To Kick Off Your Journal

The definition of the best pen and paper is your most ideal journal. How do you want your notebook to look like? Choose the materials that will best depict your interest, personality, and preference. It also matters that you choose the notebook and pen you’re most comfortable writing with. Our Lord is a God of excellence, and it matters that we put excellence in whatever we do. This also is a sensible approach to motivate yourself to write. If you can have good stuff around you to stimulate you into writing, maximize it. Aside from these, when you put value into a particular thing, the most likely you’ll want to get the most out of it. Thus, you would make sure to use every page to write your prayers.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what notebook to use for your prayer journal, consider these:

2.  List Down Your Prayer Items

The next step after finding the perfect notebook and pen is listing down your prayer items. These are your prayers for personal requests or other people. Be specific when you list your prayer items. It also matters that you became particular with your prayers. Matthew 6:8 tells us that our Father in heaven knows precisely what we need yet He still commanded us to pray. He also wants us to be specific in our prayers. Jesus also taught His disciples how to pray in the Gospel of Matthew.

When we pray, we openly allow God to look into our hearts. Being transparent to Him means giving Him specific details of our goals and desires. General prayers can get general answers from God. Jeremiah 29:12 reminds us that our God is a God who listens to all our appeals: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” The following prayer items are most used by Christians and prayer ministers:

Personal Prayer

Psalm 20:4 

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

This is probably will be the longest part of your prayer items. It may include your daily prayers, aspirations, and needs. This part of your prayer item should be filled up as often as possible. If you can list new prayers each day, make it happen. Since this is a personal prayer, you can have the leeway to have your notes on your personal space.

Prayer for Family

Acts 10:2

“He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”

We can show our love for our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and loved ones through prayer. They, like us, need prayers above all materials in this world. Never forget to bring them also before the Lord with your prayers. You can pray for their protection every day, for provisions, and peace.

Sometimes, it will also help if you ask your family and friends what they need prayer for. By doing this, you not only can pray specifically for them, but it encourages them to pray too. Also, it strengthens your relationship with your friends and family as they know you care for them. Besides, it’s a plus that you can avoid the struggle of guessing what they want to pray about. 

Prayer for the Church

Ephesians 6:18

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

If you are part of a body of Christ, it is your accountability to pray for your local church. Prayer brings revival, restores relationships, mends heart, and unites the Church. There is no secret reason for church growth and expansion rather than prayer. The early Church devoted their time in prayer and fellowship, and as a result, their faith and numbers increased.

Prayer for the Lost

Romans 10:1

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”

We can only approach the holy throne of God because we have been saved and made righteous in His eyes. No part of our prayer can be credited to our works for Jesus made this all workable. We find it easy to pray for ourselves, loved ones and family; but let us not forget others who need salvation. They need salvation as much as we do. Luke 19:10 reminds us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

As you spend more time with God, you will get to know His voice and heart better. It is the desire of God for all people to be saved. No one is outside of God’s mercy or outside the reaches of His offer of salvation (1 Timothy 2:4). We need to pray that God will allow our hearts to beat in the same rhythm as His. Staying connected to His heart is one of the keys to knowing His plans for us.

Prayer for the Nation

1 Timothy 2

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

Praying for the nation and authorities is Biblically commanded. The reason for this is simple. If you want to live a peaceful and tranquil life, pray for those in position. May it be on your household, organization, profession, and nation, it is an honor to pray for them.

3. Create your prayer pattern

It is your time to be creative! Since this is a personal prayer record, use it to express your inner style and system. Based on time, you can have a prayer record for daily, weekly, and monthly prayer. Decide on what items you’ll include for the specific time frame. If you have more time to pray, have your prayer scheduled for morning, evening, or any of your day’s spare time.

Aside from time, it also matters that you have personal space for prayer and writing. Determine if you’ll be carrying with you wherever you go your journal or you’ll store it in your prayer space. 

This is your journal, maximize your liberty to write however you want.

4. Record Your Prayers

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

The primary purpose of a prayer journal is for you to record your prayers so you can track your prayer life. Writing down your prayers is an act of remembering your fellowship with God as well as His goodness. Do not forget to put a date on your every prayer. Never forget to include your thanksgiving and praises as you write your prayers. Giving praises to God is an important part of our prayer. Whenever we remember to ask something from Him, we are also to remember what He has already done or given.

5. Record God’s responses

Deuteronomy 4:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”

Once your written prayers are answered, never let that page hang in there. Go back, flip the pages backward and fill the spaces with God’s responses. You can also add the date your prayers get answered.  Putting down God’s answers to your prayers is as important as writing down your prayers so make sure to have it. These prayers will remind you in the future of how faithful God had been with you.

However, remember that God’s answers to prayers include these:

  • First, yes, which means it is the right time and you have the right attitude.
  • Second, wait further, because it is not yet the right time or you’re still not ready for it.
  • Third, He’s got something better. Whatever is His answer, it takes trust and faith.

6. Incorporate Scriptures

Including Bible verses in your prayers is a strategic way of communicating with God. We can claim His promises by incorporating His Words to our prayers. It is also a sign of submission to His will when we pray according to His Word.

Also, it is an important note that God answers some of our prayers through Scripture. Although, there should be a separate time for your Bible reading, writing it down with your prayer journal is of great help so you can pray vividly. You can insert these verses on your journal:

1 John 5:14-15

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

James 5:13

“Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.”

Remembering God’s constant love and compassion may take extra effort in our part. And this endeavor is not left in vain for it pleases God. Colossians 3:23 reminds us to do all things with all our heart as working to the Lord and not for men. The key to putting excellence and enthusiasm in whatever we do is the knowledge of to whom we’re doing it. 

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