Have you ever considered creating a prayer journal? Do you want to be more intentional with your prayer life? Then today’s post is for you!
I have wanted to share my new prayer journal for several weeks now, but life kept happening and shooting the video kept getting pushed down further and further on the list.
But thanks to wonderful grandparents who love our kids, for a week free of sickness, and a clean house to boot, I was able to set aside some time this week to record a brief walk through of my brand new prayer journal. Woohoo!
But some of you said that you wished you could figure out how to make a prayer journal instead of a prayer notebook. To be honest, I was right there with you, but I was more concerned with getting my prayer life in order and growing in the discipline of prayer rather than getting the perfect system. I started with what I had and the prayer notebook was such a helpful tool for me!
But like many of you, I still wished for a prayer journal.
I missed my journals. I’m a journal keeper and have mounds of them piled in my closet as memories and testimonies of God’s faithfulness. The notebook just didn’t have the same effect for me.
Then, I discovered the Bullet Journal® method of planning, a method of planning created by Ryder Carroll (read more about it here), and it was through this process that my wheels started spinning.
So, I bought a new journal and … stared at it for several weeks. I thought about how I could translate my prayer notebook into more of a journal format. I kept using my Bullet Journal® to plan my days and let the prayer journal idea spin on the Ferris wheel of my mind.
Then, one day I sat down and created this …
I have been using this journal for several weeks now and though the process is still very new, and will likely evolve as I go, I am very pleased with how it is going.
How I Set Up My Prayer Journal
After creating a Bullet Journal®, I decided to stick with the same journal style because I knew it worked for me! I opted for a cheap classic journal from Walmart. It has 240 ruled pages, an elastic band, and a ribbon marker.
Note: I highly recommend choosing a journal with an elastic band. It keeps my journal nice and tight, allowing it to go places with me without feeling too bulky. I keep church bulletins and study guides tucked in as well so the band just ensures nothing falls out. Oh, and I can attach a pen to the band which just makes sitting down even easier.
I happen to like journaling with pretty pens, these to be exact (they don’t bleed), and the pencil bag keeps it all together for me.
As I got into the Bullet Journal® method of planning, I found colored pencils to be a fun way to spruce up my lists when I needed some relaxing, therapy time. So, the pencil bag holds those as well. I find doodling therapeutic during prayer and Bible study when I’m thinking deeply on something. It just helps keep my mind focused.
Finally, I keep some wite-out EZcorrect tape in the bag because I make mistakes a lot. This allows me to quickly correct them without having to start all over again with one of my prayer pages.
Oh, and every once in a while I need a ruler because I create my own daily prayer tracking calendar. I just keep this on my desk and pull it out as I need it each month.
The basics you need to get started with your prayer journal is a journal and a pen. That’s it. The rest you’ll discover as you go because you’ll learn what you like and don’t like.
Watch the Video Flip-Through of My Prayer Journal
If you want to see inside my prayer journal, click here to watch the video on YouTube or just press play below. Below the video, I will explain some of the main features that made it possible to create more of a journal rather than using a 3-ring notebook. But watch the video first so you can get a good feel for what I’m talking about.
My Prayer Journal Game Changers:
The Index feature was the game changer for me when I started my Bullet Journal®. It was the index that made me think that I could create a prayer journal that fit my needs while not sacrificing everything I had learned from my prayer notebook.
By giving each of my pages in my journal a page number, I can now keep track of where all of my prayers are located. This means on Friday, I know I can turn to page 31 to begin praying for our ministry.
This has made all the difference in the world!
The Prayer Trackers
The tabs in my prayer notebook were what helped me to grow in the discipline of praying regularly for others in my life. It was the tabs and the categories that allowed me to organize all those prayer requests I receive into a system that helped me to remember to actually pray.
So, I had to figure out how to translate this into a journal, and this is what I came up with.
Each month, I set up a daily prayer tracker. There are two main sections to this part of my prayer journal.
At the top I write the month and then make a grid for the number of days in the month. Along the left hand column I write down the categories of my daily prayers – Self, Husband, Children, Home, and Homeschool. Those are things I pray for daily.
Then, I simply color in the box as I pray (or not …). Sometimes I pray as I go about my morning routine because my prayer time got interrupted which means I don’t color in the box. But the guide is still there for me to see and prompt me as I need it.
On the bottom half of the spread, I list across the top row the same categories from above. This allows me to collect specific prayer requests and needs for each of these categories for the month. Sometimes this changes from month to month, other times it stays the same. But usually it reflects whatever the Lord has laid on my heart to pray specifically for each of these people and areas of my life during my Bible reading time.
Collections are for the random things I like to keep lists of and allows me to put them in my journal and not lose them.
Here are some of my collections that I’ve been able to index and find again later as I need them.
We love memorizing scripture together as a family. We’ve now started trying to memorize whole passages together, and I keep a running list of passages that I want us to memorize together here. These are passages I come across in my daily quiet times or hear other families recommending.
Prayers from Scripture to Pray Over Others
As I’m studying my Bible, I might come across passages that are great to pray for others. I love praying scripture over my family and friends, and this is where I can keep track of ideas and passages that I find. So, when I write out my prayers, I have some great Bible passages to refer to.
In the mornings, I’m groggy. I can’t think straight and I forget what I’m supposed to be doing.
So, I wrote out my daily Bible and prayer routine with prompts and questions to help me get through my Bible study and prayer time with purpose. I don’t always refer to this page, but it’s here when I need it.
I especially like it when I’m starting a new book of the Bible because it has five essential questions I want to be sure to answer before starting as well as a guide for praying with purpose.
If you’re interested in my current method of studying, then you’ll want to read this book. It’s hands down the best book I’ve read so far on the topic of Bible study.
Bible Reading Plans
I like having a daily checklist for my Bible reading. Breaking down passages into smaller chunks ahead of time or creating a topical Bible reading plan helps me to stay motivated and engaged in my Bible time.
Having a plan goes a long way in keeping me motivated; plus it ensures I’m not just hopping around God’s word trying to chase every worry and fear. Instead, I can approach God’s word as a way to know Him and allow Him to speak through His word.
A few other notes …
This is a work in progress.
I’m sure this process will evolve as I go. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this prayer journal is still very new to me, but I’m adding to it here and there and praying for the Lord to lead me deeper into His word and the discipline of prayer with this as a tool.
I quickly learned that writing out a recurring prayer for the daily and weekly prayers that I want to pray has really helped me to pray more scripture-based prayers and with more intention overall.
Again, writing out my prayers helps me to not just pray a laundry list of needs, but true grace and God’s word over my family and friends.
I haven’t written out a prayer for each of my weekly prayer categories yet, but as time allows and the Lord gives words, I will add to my journal. Maybe I’ll share some sample prayers to get you started in the future. We’ll see!
This prayer journal has really been an incredible process of learning for me. I love that I didn’t totally scrap the prayer notebook I created last year, I just tweaked and simplified it into more of a journal format. I could not be more pleased! I look forward to seeing how the Lord uses it in my life to grow me in the discipline of prayer. What a gift of grace!
What about you? Do you have a prayer journal? I would love to hear more about it!
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