Back many moons ago – many many moons ago, like when I was still pregnant with Esther moons ago – I kept a prayer journal. I have a hard time sometimes focusing when I pray, and writing out what I wanted to pray for helped me keep my head in the game. It is also nice to be able to go back and remember what you have prayed for and see how God answers those prayers. There are polished prayer journals out there you can order, and they are a great starting place for if you don’t know what to pray for. You could also go War Room-esque and create a wall or a bulletin board to pin your prayers.
I have recently restarted my prayer journal. Since I started working more, between two work-from-home jobs, homeschooling kids, including being involved with a co-op, and just life in general, a lot of times the only way I can unload my brain is to just start writing. So I do a lot of actual journaling. I keep a spiral bound notebook with me at all times. It’s probably not what you think of when someone says “journaling”. It’s a lot of bullet points and disjointed ideas instead of a diary entry, and it tends to go down rabbit trails. But my prayer journal is separate.
My prayer journal is a 5.5″x8.5″ three ring binder. It has notebook paper and dividers. And I made a cover for it that only has my signature line and “Prayer” image. I have it divided into sections.
The first section is my immediate family – Jeremy and the kids. I have a page for each of them with the prayers I have for them all. The next section has pages for those who are closest to me that I interact with regularly – the people I share life with. Another section is for specific ministries, and Christianity and the cause of Christ in general. And the very last section is for myself. Since I just started it, I am sure there will be many more pages added, and more sections, probably for community, the world at large, and whatever else God places on my heart.
I have a guideline I’d like to share. I had it written back when I had my old prayer journal years ago. I did a goo bit of tweaking to get it like I wanted it this time, but it’s still a good starting place. Maybe it can help you get your own prayer journal started.
- you talking to God – requests, praises, Bible questions, etc.
- God talking to you – Ga back when a prayer is answered, When you have an insight about a prayer request or praise, or When a scripture verse connects with the entry
- God talking to you – when you’re reading scripture and you get an insight – capture insight and verse in writing
- Reflections – reflections on life in general; something specific; or when you aren’t sure where your thoughts are going
- A section for each child and husband. Section for significant family members. Include prayers for present and future friends and spouses of your children
- Sections for other family members and friends
- Sections for insights from scripture
- Sections for insights from classes or sermons
Get creative! Do what works best for you. Even if it’s not using anything. We all have our own ways of talking to God (personally I keep a running conversation with Him all day long!), and no way is wrong. He just wants to hear from us.