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I'm curious how others journal their prayers. I have tried so many different methods:
Usually I find my prayers filtering into my daily journaling. I discover prayer entering into my mental meanderings as I process life's trials and victories and as I attempt to mine the treasure trove of Scripture through word study and commentaries. As I journal my personal journey of transformation I find God slips into my pen and shows Himself on the page, revealing His thoughts of me and His love for me.
How do you journal your prayers? Do you journal at all? Do you prefer a paper journal or an electronic one?
~ In Him, kim
I've used a journal since about 1994, not just during my Bible study or prayer time, but throughout the day as I experience each day and ask God for direction. I've always used spiral notebooks. I've got a tote filled with these completed 'books' with dates written inside. I didn't begin writing specifically to journal my prayers, but to write down verses, definitions, commentary notes and my personal thoughts on different verses, along with cross references I found. I love a highlighter and so, I highlight a lot of things; it might be something God's telling me as I'm going through a storm, depression, or whatever may be the case for that day, Bible verses, the upcoming days ahead, specific things I need to pray for each day and/or things that 'stand out' to me or that I feel are 'just for me on that day'. I also underline things, write in different colors or make stars next them...anything to catch my attention. As I began journaling these verses and thoughts, I unconsciously began to write down people with a specific needs in their live that I wanted to remember in prayer, special prayer request, my own prayers, and things God revealed to me or spoke to me.
If I want some real encouragement, which we all need from time to time, I pull out one of my books and read through those highlighted things. I promise, by the time I've read through a few pages, my spirits are lifted and I am filled with a calmness and peace as I realize, once again, God's love for me and it helps get me back on the path of optimism, rather than pessimism or discouragement.
For me, writing all things pertaining to Bible verses, notes, thoughts, prayers and God's answers is important because over the course of time, I can look back and see how God brought me and my family 'safe ' thus far. Because of this, I am even more thankful for His grace, His mercy, His love and for salvation.
I have only recently begun prayer journaling. At first I was confused about what medium to use: 3x5 cards, leather bound, loose-leaf, electronic, web-based, etc. I think I've come to a sort of workable solution. I use a black leather bound lined journal with plain white paper. It's comfortable to hold, functional, and above all, it doesn't have flowers in it or on it. I'm glad the ladies take pleasure in journaling too, but it took me a really long time to find a journal I was comfortable using.
But I think the important aspect for me is the format that I use.
Date | Scripture of the Day | Personal Entry | Prayer Requests
The prayer requests are all indented off the left margin to allow me to go back in at any time and write in the date the prayer was answered. The longhand writing in my personal journal makes my prayer time intimate and casual, friendly but not familiar. When I write the prayer requests I do not use a full name - and I write only one-word requests, unless there is a need for specialized detail to be included.
On the other hand, for intercessory prayer, especially as it relates to those in authority, events, people groups, nations, etc. I use an Excel Spreadsheets. It's quick and simple to splat a date, request, scripture, and answer date in one row. I can size it up to fit the printer properly, then simply copy/paste the entire page to a new worksheet for every month of the year, then save the entire workbook by year (Intercession 2011.xls). The cool feature about this is I can go back and insert 'comments' as follow-ups to the initial prayer.
In the end, though, I find my prayer time is considerably more personal, more heartfelt, when I pray with my pen.
After reading these different ways to 'record' my prayers, I may have to consider a more detailed way of storing and retrieving prayers based on prayer type, keyword, keyword phrase, date, etc. I just really don't want to get into having to keyboard my written journals into a database, but I guess I could do that once a month if I needed to. Can you say "boring"? :D
I have kept quiet time/prayer journals for many years, settling on primarily writing in plain black notebooks. I love the convenience, security & "searchability" of electronic journals, but typing does not give me the same satisfaction, fluidity, and connection as writing.
I have recently started drawing in my journal as I pray - it is really a cross between writing and doodling as my artistic ability is very limited. It helps me to focus and connect ideas and thoughts in a less linear way than writing alone, and to be more attentive to the Spirit's quiet voice as patterns emerge. The book "Praying in Color" has some similar ideas (although I have not read this, others have mentioned it to me)>> http://www.amazon.com/Praying-Color-Drawing-Active-Prayer/dp/155725...
I keep ongoing prayer topics on a number of 3x5" cards locked in a case with my journal - one card for each person or topic that I pray through and add to as appropriate.
I use loose leaf, lined paper most often and store the pages in a large 3-ringed binder. My second choice is the 5 subject, spiral bound notebook with sections described above. I also like the bound journals; I'm attracted to the colorful covers; they aren't fancy, but just pretty; has nothing to do with the content I put inside, just that I like to look at them on my shelf when finished.
Hello Kimberly and everyone. I have been keeping a prayer journal on and off for many years. I have tried the different ways that you, Kimberly, have tried, and I've also used the "Life Journal" - Christian version. I've struggled with what really works best for me until I discovered Catherine Martin's website and her materials. I use her journal now, and I absolutely love it. It is a 3-ring binder with different sections and forms to put in it. She has videos on her site which will show you how to work with it. I still must admit that I'm not always faithful to write in it, but it is the one that works the best for me. She has several forms for different topics/studies/prayer. I also like some of the ideas I've read in this discussion. If anyone is interested, you can find Catherine Martin's materials here: www.quiettime.org She has some wonderful materials/bible studies/ideas. I also found her to be biblically sound which is very important to me. This is a great discussion, and I hope it continues. Linda
Hi Ann. I actually use all the sections but not everyday. It really depends on what's going on in my life at the time. For example if I'm working on doing a word study with cross references, observing the text of a passage, etc. I will be heavily using the "Read and Study" portion of my journal. If I want to keep short accounts of prayer requests and their answers, then I use the "Adore God" section. The "Prepare" section has pages for journaling whether it's your prayers, your response to the reading of God's Word, what God seems to be saying to you, etc. It's a notebook that can be set up in a way that works for you. I've noticed that some women in my church have felt overwhelmed by the notebook and the forms, but you really have to give yourself time to work with it and allow the Lord to lead you in your prayer and study time. For my particular needs, the pre-printed sheets have enough room. When they don't, I have occasionally added lined sheets from Staples or Office Max to supplement. As far as how long the sheets last, it will depend on how often you use them. The sheets I've used the most, so far, are the journaling sheets. Before purchasing the journal, it would be helpful to work through Catherine Martin's study, "Six Secrets To A Powerful Quiettime". This will give you an idea of how the Quiet Time Notebook is used. Then I think you can make a better decision whether to get it or not. I lead this study in my church, and the ladies loved it. Remember not to become overwhelmed with it if you decide to do it. I hope this has been helpful to you and answered your questions. Have a nice night. Linda
Hi. I am so glad to hear that some else uses the Quiet Time materials. I hardly know anyone who even likes to journal let alone use pre-printed study pages. Thank you for sharing.
I get the notebook filler pages from Office Max. They get expensive though. So I got a paper punch and a cheap note pad that is multi-colored and make my own papers. I use the Quiet Time Journal as the first page and then those as the rest of the day journaling. That way it divides also. I color code my journaling. Like I use purple to write what God says, white for my journaling, green for study, etc. Then when I want to see just what God said I can read the purple pages.
Anyway thanks for listening. Judy
Your so welcome Ann. Linda
Hi Judy. I like your idea of using different color pages for your journaling. I do something a little bit different. At the top right corner of each page I journal, I write a few words that tell me what's in that journal entry. Then I highlight it with a yellow highlighter to make it stand out a bit. that seems to work well for me. Have a nice night. Linda
I use a five subject spiral notebook to create a monthly to quarterly prayer journal. I use it page by page entering the date/time/location of my journaling activity. I've tried loose leaf paper, but somehow the paper gets scattered too much for me this way. The notebook is easier to use as I enter into my place of prayer for worship, intercession and journaling, etc.
I have a spiral notebook and have it as a monthly journal. Everytime I hear of a prayer request or have one myself, I write it down. If it's one that I must give a lot of prayer time to, I highlight it in red. When God answers the prayers I write down how it was answered and highlight it in yellow.
I'm a paper person because I like to scroll back in my journal and see how God has worked and it gives me a chance to keep track of births, deaths and special occasions. Sometimes it reminds me of a death of a dear friends relative, say a year ago, and it reminds me to send a Thinking of You note.