Have you ever wanted an easy way to organize your prayer time? Me too!
In my 26 years of ministry, I’ve talked with hundreds of men and women who want to pray, but aren’t sure WHAT or HOW. Tell me if you can relate to any of these:
- “I can’t ever seem to stay focused during my prayer time.”
- “My personal level of commitment comes and goes- I can’t seem to stay motivated.”
- “I have a hard time praying when I don’t see answers.”
- “How do I know I’m praying God’s will and not my own?”
- “How can I carve out time for deep prayer?”
- “I can’t seem to stay consistent! I’m great at starting things but not following through.”
- “How can I know what to pray without being repetitive and surface level?”
If you’ve ever thought or felt any of those things, you are definitely not alone! And I’ve got great news. There is ONE way to pray that will help you:
- Stay focused
- Be consistent
- Pray deep and within God’s will
- See more answers to your prayers and
- Be encouraged to keep praying
As I’ve shared this strategy with others, they’ve begun to see their prayer life transform. Women like Anna who said,
‘Thank you for this prayer tool. I have never prayed like this before. I am learning so much, even in how I’ve turned the Scriptures into prayers and how my confidence and expectations are growing. It brings me so much joy!”
And Sheryl who said,
“I cannot begin to tell you what this is doing for me. I so look forward to my time, sitting at my desk with journal and Bible in hand and getting down to the task at hand. I seem to spend my entire time with our Father, crying my heart out to Him knowing He hears my prayers. This is helping me be disciplined for sure and I thank you for the invitation.”
Okay, okay, I can hear you asking, “So what IS this one strategy, AJ!?”
Well, my friend, it’s to pray Scripture. I personally like to specifically pray the promises of God. And if you really want your icing on the cake, keep a journal of your prayers! A prayer journal is the best tool I’ve personally found to not only organize my prayer time but provide me with content to actually pray.
You see, praying God’s word allows Scripture to do your heavy lifting for you. You never have to wonder WHAT to pray- you have an endless source right there at the turn of the page! And keeping a journal has many, many benefits!
Here’s how using a prayer journal to pray Scripture can help:
By writing out your prayers, you can avoid getting distracted and chasing those squirrels! It’s really easy for me to leave sentences undone or trail off when I’m praying in my head… but I rarely leave one undone when writing out my prayers. That’s the power of keeping a prayer journal.
I’m not very good at praying deep on the fly. I typically can pray much more deeply when I take time thinking on a small passage. As I ingest it, I’m able to slow down and articulate what I’d like to say in prayer.
With a prayer journal of Scripture promises to pray, you never have to start your prayer time willy nilly. You have a ready-made plan to pray the very words of God. (If you are going to pray anyway, why not let God’s word give you guidance? When we correctly pray his word, we can be sure we are praying His will and not our own.)
A journal can help cultivate consistency too. It’s a tangible prompt to remind you to pray, and the more you do it, the more you WANT to do it!
Finally, a prayer journal not only helps us pray but also gives a record of our prayers so we can more easily see and recognize when God answers them! This sparks even more prayer as we see God being faithful to His word.
10 Things to Include in Your Prayer Journal
Here are some things I like to include in my prayer journal:
- Photos of my loved ones. When I’m praying over a family member, it is sweet to have a favorite pic of them to look at as I pray. ?
- Scripture writing. Since I like to pray Scripture, I normally start by writing out the verse I’m going to pray. This helps focus my attention and slow down enough to understand what it is I want to pray.
- Observations. After I’m done writing out the scripture, I go back and make simple observations on the verse. I normally take a highlighter and mark key words or terms I see in the text to pray over. These become “triggers” to fuel my prayer.
- Prayer points. Once I’ve made some observations, I’ll list some prayer points specific to my child. These are ways the Scripture is intersecting with my or my loved one’s life. Ex: If I observed “love” in the text, I may list a prayer point as “love for sibling” if there are tensions in a sibling relationship. Making the text personal like this is where prayer really starts to come alive!
- Prayer. Of course this is the main point! I personally write out my prayers longhand, but you could always just leave it at the prayer points alone!
- Answers. This is soooo important- to record how we see God answering!
- Quotes. I like to include favorite quotes in my prayer journal. Learning from others and looking to examples in the faith is inspiring, and I pray that God will help me be the kind of person others can follow.
- Letters. A prayer journal isn’t just for prayer :) I like to write letters in my Mother’s Legacy journal and also have grandparents and other family members add their letters as well.
- Doodles. While I’m not a huge creative journaler…and not artistic at all… I DO like adding flair with cute pre-designed elements like rainbows, hearts, arrows, and lettering. There’s just something about making the journal beautiful! Plus adding these helps me slow down and pray longer as I work.
- Washi tape. This is one of the easiest ways to beautify a journal! I use it to tape photos into my journal, make borders, and tape my prayer cards down. There are so many ways to use washi tape and it’s an easy-peasy way to decorate your prayer journal.
So maybe you’re saying, “AJ, I SO want to pray God’s word like this!” If that’s you, I invite you to check out theworkshop I recently hosted with my friend and special guest, Jen Evangelista, on How to Create your Prayer Journal. In this jam-packed workshop, we covered:
- How to let Scripture do the heavy lifting for you in your prayer life,
- How I use Scripture to pray over my daily to-do list (and my kids!),
- How I pull prayer topics from Scripture,
- and so much more!
- Plus, Jen demonstrated how you can slow down and create a personalized prayer journal with tabs, color, elements, and more.
So if you could use some ideas for your prayer journal, be sure to check out this workshop included inside the Praying the Promises Prayer Bundle. Enjoy!