I hesitate using the word journal. For some I think it holds a negative connotation, or may even be intimidating. So don’t click off this post just yet! My how-to guide is a little different than your traditional “journal.”
In 2016 I began a relationship with my first Christian mentor. God handpicked the perfect person and used her in a way that radically transformed my life. One of the best gems she passed on to me was creating a prayer journal.
This was a big year for me; really a “prep” year for what was to come in 2017 – the year I grew closer to God and made decisions to radically obey him. But I had a lot of work to do before I was ready for these major changes, and realizing how to be a mom and take care of myself was important to be healthy to get to this point. I think Amanda over at thinkbaby.org has some great tips to help moms focus on self care.
And I do believe self care also involves praying for others. I think so many of us are so good at saying “I’ll pray for you.” But, some of us are not great at following through. In 2017, I made an intentional shift to not say this anymore unless I meant I’d say more than just the prayer in that very moment. I made sure to jot the prayer request down and humbly offer the request to God. Praying for others authentically changed my perspective on everything.
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I have what I lovingly call Shiny Object Syndrome….you may see it occasionally in my writing but I usually only share its existence in more intimate conversations! Because of SOS, I am a distracted prayer-er. I needed discipline, and my prayer journal offers it in a pretty package.
Here’s how I created my prayer journal (and you can tweak to your own personality!)
Using an ordinary notebook (mine has a scripture on the front), I used a tab every 10 pages to mark each day of the week. Every day has a different theme for dedicated prayers.
- Monday – my husband
- Tuesday – my son
- Wednesday – friends
- Thursday – myself (more on that in a bit)
- Friday – family
- Saturday – my marriage
- Sunday – our church, pastors, ministries and lifegroup
I also have daily prayers tab where I include any urgent or short-term prayer requests.
The most important part is that I have dedicated scriptures to pray over my husband, my son and my marriage that do not change for an extended period of time. For example, I pray for wisdom for my husband every Monday. In addition to those scriptures, I also jot down anything that needs ongoing prayer that may have an ending point (his job interviews last fall for example).
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I mentioned that I also dedicate a day to pray for myself. It may feel weird or self-centered, but I believe it is necessary. I know I need work. I need God’s grace daily! So what I decided to do mid-way through 2017 was read Proverbs 31 in a different translation every Thursday. It’s one of my favorite ways to read a passage, seeing it in different ways can really help my perspective. I think I’ll do this with Titus 2 when I make it through all the translations.
Keeping a prayer journal has helped me be purposeful and also follow up with those I am praying for. And it helps with my SOS – writing everything down keeps me on track!
And guess what? You can have my scripture printables too! Over the next 5 days you’ll receive a different printable per day in the themes I mentioned above. Daily inspiration delivered right to your inbox!
I hope you love them!! Do you already keep a prayer journal? I’d love to hear about your style!
35 thoughts on “How to start a prayer journal (with free printables!)”
This is a great idea! I too struggle with how to keep track of prayer requests and I never want to tell someone I’m praying for them if I’m not. I write down prayer requests on folded up post it nots and keep them in a box. Then my husband and I pull out three each day to pray for in the morning. I’ve been looking for something to do in my personal prayer time though. I might try out some of your suggestions. I especially like the idea of having a prayer focus for each day.
The struggle is real! I do love the post-it idea, and have used a variation in the past. I love having focused prayers. My husband knows on Monday I am praying wholeheartedly for him!
I love your method! I have a prayer journal but I might switch to your method when it fills up.
Thanks! I keep it super simple which helps me get to the prayer part instead of getting stuck on the beautifying part!
Simple is definitely smart. God doesn’t care how neat the pages look 😉
I love your idea of adding tabs to a journal. I also need that focus and will definitely be applying these tips!
Thanks, Carolina! It definitely helps with focus! 🙂
Hi Amerytina, thanks a lot for your helpful tips. I am also a distracted “prayer-er”(love this word), so I have been looking for ways to be more intentional with my prayer life, including doing prayer walks, prayer dances and prayer challenges. All have helped me. I will also try out the prayer journal.
Love these ideas too! I think we could all use a little more prayer dances in our life. Thanks for sharing!
Great ideas. I love keeping a prayer journal even if I suck at being consistent!
Oh girl, I am so horrible at that too! That is the beauty of writing it down, I can just back to it. 🙂
Love this post! Prayer journals have always been very important to me. I am looking forward to using your tips! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thank you, Shelley! I am glad you found them to be helpful.
This is a great idea! I used to journal a lot before my son was born but not since. I really should though!
Thanks! It is hard when we have babies and toddlers. You’ll find the right time to make it work!
I have recently began journaling out my prayers, and it has been such a blessing! I love these tips that you shared. Pinned!
Thank you, Allison! I appreciate that.
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My mom started a prayer journal a couple of months ago and she totally loves it. It makes her very happy.
Love that! It really helps for sure.
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