We've all done it. We run into a friend who shares that life isn't going well, or they are seeking wisdom. At the end of the conversation, we encourage them with the words, "I"ll pray for you." We mean it. When our time of prayer comes through, we can't remember all of those knows and faces we've said it too. TIP: When these moments happen, stop right then and pray.
Or maybe, you've always wanted to have a better prayer life. You want to be one of those people who stop and spend time with God daily. You want to see God work in your life like you heard other people talk about, but you don't know how.
Prayer Journaling helps with these things. Before the men say, "Isn't that a women' thing?" please note, Pastor Philip asked me to prepare this list helps because prayer journaling has made a positive impact in his prayer life. It's something for everyone.
What is Prayer Journaling?
Prayer Journaling is when you write down pieces of your prayers, make a prayer list, or all of your prayers for the sake of remembering what your life to God so you can see how he has answered your prayers. For people who are creative and artsy, feel free to let loose and make your journaling reflect who you are. If you are a person who likes to write, then make your journaling a sea of words unveiling the events within.
It is also beneficial to write down praise or God sightings as well. These are things that God has done for you to help support you, or places you've seen God work in your day. It's compelling to go back over time and see all the things God has done. It's also encouraging when life gets us down.
Why Does Journaling Help?
For many people (including myself), minds can wander during prayer. It takes a lot of focus and practice to pray for an extended time without getting distracted. Having a list of things to pray over, or writing down one's prayers, is a simple way to keep the mind focused.Journaling also helps in the future. Sometimes it takes a while for God to "answer" something. Depending on the prayer, the answer may be entirely different than we anticipate. When we write our prayers down, we can go back and look at them later, see how God has worked in our lives over time.
Ways to Prayer Journal:
This list is not an exhaustive list by any means. I tried to gather as many different ways for prayer journaling so that I could accommodate different personality types. If you've found something different that works for you, please share it with us.
Writing in narrative form is helpful for people who like to write and who prefer not to pray out loud. I would suggest marking what you're praying for so you can find it easily later. The Modern Mary recommends starting your writing by staying, “Father, what do you want me to know about _________?” or “I am sensing that I am supposed to pray about ___________.”
Many of us make lists to keep our life organized, so why not create a list for your prayer life. You can do this in many different ways. You can make a running list of people to pray for, going over it every time you pray. (If you do this, it's helpful to date when you add someone to the list, and when you're done praying for them). You can also group your list into categories: -Praises -Family -Self -Friends -Church - Community -Nation/World. Using lists, you can organize what you're praying for so you can focus a topic a day if you want. You can download a template from Daily Dwelling.
Use an App
It may seem less personal, but our phones/computers are with us all the time. Some people find it easier to not carry around a separate notebook to journal in. Of course, you could do the two options above on your computer in Word, just like you would on paper. You could also create a list using Excel, making a column for date started, and date answered. That would give you the ability to sort your prayer request. There are also some phone apps that you may like to keep your lists so you can add people on the spot. I love how simple the Echo Prayer App is to use. You can add prayers, set how long you want to pray and even have reminders for prayer. Give it a try.