How’s your prayer life?
Do you go to bed at night feeling guilty that you didn’t pray more that day? Are you reminded about a prayer request when talking to someone and kick yourself because you haven’t prayed about it since the last time you talked to them?
These are constant struggles for me, and I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. I hear other Christians talk about their frustration with their prayer lives all the time. In fact, my pastor did a much-needed sermon on the subject several weeks ago, which may be part of the reason I’m doing this post now.
I’ve had the idea to do a post on prayer journals for a while – like maybe a year. But I’ve always put it off, because I’ve never felt like my own prayer life is up to par. Really that’s the case for most of my posts. I’m not up to par, but then that’s why I’m writing in the first place: to use my inadequacies to help others. This is different somehow. Nothing ever feels good enough, so how can I help anyone else when I haven’t really settled the issue in my own mind?
Thanks to my pastor’s recent sermon, this post has been pressing more and more for my attention.
Is there a way to pray right, to pray enough, to pray the way Paul instructs?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I do know it’s worth talking about, because prayer is our conversation with our Father. It’s as vital to our relationship with Him as our frequent interactions with those we love around us.
Well, make that more important, because everything is wrapped up in our relationships with God: our worth, identity, relationships with others, everything.
This is where prayer journals come in. Maybe they can help us.
What’s a prayer journal?
A prayer journal is anything you use to keep your prayer life organized. It can be a list of prayer requests, a place where you write out your prayers, or both. It can be as detailed and organized as you like – or not. 🙂
Some people like to use:
- a 3-ring binder.
- a blank notebook.
- a free digital note-taking tool like OneNote.
- a free prayer app like Echo.
For all you visual folks, here’s an idea of what a digital notebook like OneNote can look like:
And here are a few print screens of the Echo app I mentioned above. It’s available in both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. This looks really cool by the way, and I’m excited to see what features they add in the future.
What are the pros and cons of keeping a prayer journal?
I think there are a lot of pros to having your own prayer journal. Just to name a few:
- It can help you focus instead of praying and then realizing you’ve been thinking about tomorrow’s to-do list for the last five minutes.
- It can help you keep up with everything you need/want to pray about.
- It can help you actually pray for things that get neglected like praying for our nation’s leaders.
There is a con I’ve found though:
- It can start to feel like something to tick off the to-do list.
I’m curious to see if this con will fade with persistence. I’ve gone back and forth with a prayer journal: so far, I’ve used one for a while until it feels like a chore and then reverted to the winging-it method. 😉
Keeping a prayer journal can keep you organized, give you a schedule to pray for everything regularly, and provide a way to have that one-on-one time with God without a bunch of distractions.
And then all those things that are so good about it can later become the negative: an item on the to-do list, which is the opposite of relationship. But then that could get better later for me and may not even be a problem for you.
So the question is ‘will a prayer journal solve the prayer problems?’ I think it definitely helps. All we can do is keep trying, because until we’re standing beside Jesus in our new bodies – free from guilt and sin, we may feel inadequate to some degree.
Is a prayer journal for you? I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below.
And be sure to check out my next post. Next time I’ll give you a bigger peek inside my own journal with a downloadable prayer sheet.
Til next time,
I have quite a few extra resources for you this week!
- My Prayer Notebook by Gina Garland
- Echo Prayer App
- How to Start Keeping a Prayer Journal by Rachel Wojo
- 5 Ways to Keep a Prayer Journal by Rachel Wojo
- 5 Ways to Remember to Pray for Someone this Week by Donna Reidland