Prayer journals are personal things. It is likely that you have never shared yours with anyone, or maybe you don’t even have one but are curious about starting one. Whichever the case may be, I’m here to help you make sure you have the 11 fundamentals that every prayer journal needs for your walk with Christ.
You may be thinking right now, “Is there a wrong way to create a prayer journal?” and I’m here to tell you, “There is definitely a wrong way to create a prayer journal!”
Let’s start by defining what a prayer journal is for: it is for you and growing your relationship with God.
If the journal you create does not help you grow into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), then there is something wrong with it. Unfortunately, many of us have never been taught how to pray (I cover that in this blog), and this can cause our prayer journal to harm our relationship with God instead of build it up.
With that purpose defined, let’s cover the 11 fundamentals your prayer journal may be missing.
Did you know there is an effective way to pray? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:8-10 that God already knows what we need before we ask Him, so instead of giving God a “gimme list”, we should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Basically, the two best things you can do in prayer is to pray God’s will to be done (which is for the earth to look like heaven) AND always mimic Jesus’ examples of prayer. He never begged God to heal anyone or pleaded with God for there to be enough food, He just said “Be Healed” or “Thanks Father for the food” and it was done!
If you are sitting there thinking, “Well, I’m not Jesus. How is that
going to work for me?” You must remember that as a Christian, you are in Christ. God the Father looks at you and He sees Jesus.
Also, think about this. When you are learning to do something new:
- do you try to follow the best example despite the fact you probably won’t have the same results as the best example initially OR
- do you toss all instruction to the wind and do it your own way?
If you are the latter, well…we can talk about pride later but the point is, YOU FOLLOW THE BEST EXAMPLE. It is the same with prayer.
2. Answered prayer
During dark seasons, it can be very hard to remember that God answers prayer when you don’t any specific, personal examples to recall. If you do not have the memories of when God has answered your prayers, the enemy will tempt you to doubt the reality of God and His faithfulness.
Plus, it is fun to reread when you are reviewing your journey!
Having personal testimonies in your prayer journal is important because it is easy to sit back and listen to others tell you how God is using them and forget that God can and wants to work through you.
4. Prophecies spoken over you
This may sound strange to some of you. Prophecy used to be a scary, taboo topic to me until I studied it out in scripture. The prophecies that have been spoken over us are important to remember because often we forget them. Why? They become part of us once we’ve received them.
Prophecies can really help to direct the course of our lives, especially in difficult seasons! My girlfriend, Melissa Nichols, shared her experience of this:
“Journaling has helped me tremendously in my spiritual growth! There was a time in my life when I felt like I had lost my identity in Christ. I forgot who I was, what I was called to and what His plan was for me.
My circumstances had overwhelmed me and had caused me to feel as if God didn’t care about me anymore.
Looking back through my journal reminded me of the promises God had given me and the specific words He had spoken to me and had given me about my life.
Keeping a journal has been a great way for me to catalog my seasons with God and to look back on how much He has done in my life, even when I wasn’t seeing it while I was going through it!“
5. God Q&A
Your prayer journal should have a portion of it dedicated to actively seeking God. Whether this is asking Him specific questions like, “God, should I change churches?” or asking Him a more general question like, “God tell me about my neighbors, how can I love on them?” this should be a key element in your prayer journal.
This is the heart behind the prayer journals offered by Move the Mountains. They all come with #PromisePages, which is a tool that helps you learn how to hear God’s voice better! You can check them out by clicking here.
Having a grateful heart is key to YOUR happiness. You will never be satisfied if you don’t take a minute to stop, count your blessings, and thank God for them.
This should seem like a no brainer but I find myself forgetting to write scripture down. I tend to think, “I have so many Bibles and Bible apps, why on earth should I write it down?”
- writing down verses helps you memorize them
- verses are great prompts for journaling
- scripture is my defense against the enemy, I must put it EVERYWHERE
Whether we’re on top of a mountain spiritually, in a funk, or somewhere in between, we should be journaling through the process to help us gain clarity when we are on the other side of it.
Remembering how we came out stronger during a tough season can help us out in another challenging time and it can encourage others in their spiritual journey!
9. Holy Spirit Inspiration
Your prayer journal should really be a source of inspiration from the Holy Spirit no matter where you are at in your walk with God. Inspiration can come in the form of poetry, prophetic prayers, art, song, etc. Just ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in an artistic form of expression and see where He takes you!
This is where we can get into cool topics like Bible Journaling. Never heard of it? Click here to read our introductory article about Bible Journaling.
Dreams are tricky; some are random while others really seem to hold significance. If you have a dream that you remember vividly, write it down as soon as you wake and ask God about it at your next quiet time.
All over the New and Old Testaments, dreams are important. At one point in the Old Testament, a dream and the interpreter saved the WHOLE WORLD (Genesis 41). Don’t discount the power that dreams hold because of how they have been “mystified” by the New Age movement.
11. Date everything
I know it probably feels “schoolish” to date everything but it is a good practice, especially when it comes to prophecies, testimonies, and answered prayers. It will help you to remember and share your journey in a more complete way.
That takes care of list of the 11 fundamentals your prayer journal may be missing! We hope they opened up some options for new entries in your prayer journal, now grab that journal and get crack-a-lackin’!