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!