Last September, I heard a speaker who challenged me to have a more active prayer life. Since that time, I have been keeping a semi-regular prayer journal. It’s been a little sporadic, but over all, I’ve enjoyed keeping it and hope to be more regular about it.
My prayer journal is in a regular journal-book thingy. I usually jot down my list of things to pray about, and occasionally what God has been teaching me through my devotional reading. Because I have many regular prayer requests, I may not write the same list every. single. day. But I may write out a list to pray for during the week, and revise it the following week (or as requests are answered.)
I see several benefits in my own life from keeping this prayer journal.
- It keeps my prayer time focused. Often my mind can be off on 50 different tangents at once. (Anybody with me on that point?! Seems like because we women are so good at multitasking, our minds can drift quickly to anything and everything…)
- It helps me see God’s hand at work in my life. Often I pray for specific areas where I feel I need God’s help in growing my own character. Like, I’ve been praying for a meek and quiet spirit. And I can see God helping me in that area of my personality! I tend to get flustered easily. He’s been helping me to be meek and quiet.
- It gives structure to my prayer time. I’m all for impromptu prayer times throughout the day. I definitely believe in creating an atmosphere of prayer throughout my day. But I also believe in focusing in on prayer alone during my devotional time, and this has helped me avoid the hurried “Dear-Jesus-please-bless-my-day-Amen” phenomenon at the end of my devotional time. I can see the difference in my day when I don’t have my structured prayer time.
- It helps me watch for God’s answers to my requests. If I am praying for something, and have it written down, it helps me notice when God actually answers it. And it reminds me that I can THANK God when He answers my prayers!
My prayer journal has been a true blessing in my spiritual walk. I have seen God working in my life, and the lives of my friends. My own walk with God is more intentional, and it makes me more aware of progress in my Christian experience.
So that’s what works for me this Wednesday!
What about you – do you keep a prayer journal? How do you “do” yours if you do?