3 Ways to Keep a prayer journal

Have you ever started a prayer when suddenly you discover that your mind has wandered to your to-do list, or worst yet, you actually dozed off?

That was me several years ago (it still happens occasionally too!). I remember specifically asking the Lord, “Please help me stay focused as I pray.” And that’s how my prayer journal began. Over the years, my prayer journal has evolved several times. I’ve tried different methods and have landed on what works for me.

I hope the three methods below will serve to help you become more purposeful in your daily prayer time.

1. Write In A Blank Prayer Journal

You can purchase a blank journal at most retail stores. I have even used a school composition notebook. Here are a few ways I have used my journal:

Step One: Record Daily Prayer Focus On Inside Front Cover
When I first get my brand new prayer journal, I open the front cover and write out the names of people that I pray for daily. It’s usually about 15 people. I got this idea from a book written by my Pastor. http://www.amazon.com/The-World-Smaller-Than-Think/dp/0984036407

Then I write out the days of the week. Beside each day, I write a “prayer focus.”

Here’s an example of what I write on the inside front cover:

Daily People to pray for: Scott, Kevin and Michelle, Chad and Katie, Charity and Matt, Wendy, Sue, Krystal, Kym, small group …
Daily Prayer Focus:
Sunday—Leadership: World leaders, country, state, city, my local church, and household.
Monday— Immediate family
Tuesday—Extended family
Friday—Neighbors and the lost
Saturday—Immediate family

Step Two: The Lord’s Prayer Model
Each daily prayer written in the journal is modeled after the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. It looks something like this:
Praise and worship:  I praise You, Lord for this new day and for my health.
Asking for God’s will: I ask for Your will with Grandma’s failing health.
Forgiveness:  Forgive me for losing my temper with my son yesterday.
Petitions/requests: Guide my husband through his job interview.
Today’s prayer focus: (mentioned above from front cover)
I write short, simple sentences and fill in the rest as I speak with the Lord. I don’t worry about spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Record answered prayers: Thank you, Lord! Scott got the job!

Step Three: Free Writing
Next, I simply jot down what’s on my heart. It could be a poem, song or from time to time, this is where I allow myself to vent about a particular issue that is weighing on me. Here are a few examples from the Psalms to look up: Psalm 64:1, Psalm 22, Psalm 13.
 All prayers are written simply and in a conversational style.

2. Use A Binder And Printable

Although I prefer to use a blank journal myself, I found a few great FREE printable options that I think are wonderful. All you need to do is buy a three-ring binder, then print out your choice of printable downloads (or make your own) and record your prayers of course!

3. Use Technology    

Get An App
I discovered a free version called Pocket Pro Free Lite. It holds prayers by categories, dates and tracks answered and unanswered prayers. There are several apps available, but I like this one best.
Make A Spreadsheet
This may work well for office executives (or home office) if used as part of a morning quiet time routine.

Use Your Phone Reminders
I set my phone alarm to go off at certain times during the day to remind me to stop and pray. I also utilize the calendar to remind me to pray for someone who’s having surgery, or a test, etc.

Remember that prayer is a conversation with our Heavenly Father. There is no perfect method. Keeping a prayer journal is what I use in the mornings to keep my mind focused, serve as a record, and give me structure and discipline.
My prayer is that you may find a few ideas here to enhance and expand your own daily prayer time. The goal is more prayer.

Sharing is caring! Please share any of your own helpful hints in the comments section below.

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