What is a Prayer Journal (and How do I Use it?)

Prayer.  The most basic skill every Christian possesses can be neglected or nurtured.  Which are you doing?  Most of my early years in faith were spent neglecting prayer.  I found prayer boring, confusing, and too evasive to really commit to pursuing.  Then I learned how to prayer journal and y’all, I swear things change almost immediately!  Today I will share everything you need to know about making a prayer journal.

Prayer-Journal-and-a-cup-of-coffee-on-a-table

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What is a Prayer Journal

Before you can learn how to prayer journal, you are probably wondering what a prayer journal is.  

A prayer journal is something you write your prayers in.  It is as simple as that… and it is that complex.  You could write your prayers in a $0.50 composition notebook from the Dollar General or you could create a prayer journal using beautiful printables. 

The point is that a prayer journal is yours.  You use it how you choose.  You make it look how you choose.  It is not to impress anyone, but it will intimidate the enemy.

What is the Purpose of a Prayer Journal?

The purpose of a prayer journal is to turn your prayer life into something strategic.  This is where things changed for me.  You see, when I used to pray I would have a sort of mental list to go through:

  • Pressing needs in my life. 
  • Sick friends.
  • Lost family.
  • Church needs.
  • Things at work that were stressful.

As I mentally ticked off my list I would sort of drift in and out of focused prayer.  

Lord, please save Irene, and Joe and Lorie…  

Did I buy milk yesterday? Shoot I forgot to switch over the laundry…

We need a new Pastor, lead us to the right man, Father…

Will Bud like the new rub I am trying tonight on the roast? How can I get Amber to focus on her reading more?

After about five minutes of drifting in and out of prayer and to-do lists, I would give up.  Can you relate? 

A prayer journal keeps me focused.  I make a plan, I stick to the plan and the time in prayer feels productive and personal.  

God Answers Prayer

Probably the biggest problem with my prayer life was uncertainty.  I didn’t know if God heard or answered my prayers.  Can you relate?  

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV

Over the years I’ve learned three things that have strengthened my prayer life. 

  1. God is real
    • He cares about the things you care about.  Prayer is how we humble ourselves before Him and lean into all He is and has for us in this life.  
  2. The devil is also real. 
    • He really hates God and you by extension.  There really are spiritual attacks against you as you serve God.  Prayer is the weapon you have access to in the Spiritual Warfare you can neither see nor fully understand.  
  3. God is more powerful than the devil. 
    • He hears your prayers and fights the battle for you. That means you win, but only if you engage in the battle through prayer. 

 It’s easy to forget those things in this busy world, I know I used to and it showed in my mess of a life.  The truth is, we must remember and be alert if we want the victory!  You do want victory, don’t you?

Prayer Journals Nurture Prayer Warriors

Over the years, as I’ve gone through countless prayer journals something shifted in the way other people see me.  Note here that I said ‘the way other people see me,’ not the way I see myself.  

People call me a Prayer Warrior.  When they have a serious need they call me to pray with them.  If there is a crisis I get a message to pray over it.  

At first, it really surprised me.  I didn’t see myself as a Prayer Warrior.  Ms. Norma is a prayer warrior, Sister Iris is a prayer warrior.  I am just a woman who prays.  

Then Sister Iris called me a Prayer Warrior and I asked her to explain what she meant because I didn’t feel like one.  

“You pray.  You pray often and strategically and don’t give in until God answers.  That is a Prayer Warrior.”  

I thought you had to be silver-topped and wise with years of experience on your knees to qualify. No. You just pray.  Believe in the power of prayer and don’t stop praying until God answers. 

Prayer Journals are how I started getting serious about prayer.  And God has answered so many times that I now believe He will always answer.  

Prayer Warriors are needed in this lost world.  Will you pick up the baton and start training today to join our ranks? 

Related: How to Become a Strong Prayer Warrior and Why

tan background with a prayer challenge and worksheets on top

How to Make a Prayer Journal

I bet you have a mental list just like I used to have.  There are a million things we need to pray over, and a prayer journal will help you get it organized so that your prayer time is strategic and powerful.

Everything you need to know about making a prayer journal can be boiled down into two steps.

What does a prayer journal consist of?

  1. Supplies
  2. Strategies

That’s it, supplies and strategies will get you started in the discipline of prayer journaling.  After a while, you will need to invest in resources to help you grow stronger, but even those will be fun and easy to implement. 

Supplies Needed to Create a Prayer Journal

Earlier I mentioned that $0.50 composition notebook from the Dollar General.  That is just how I started in college.  My Residential Assistant (RA) created a prayer journal for each of the students on her floor with them by creating a cute cover page.

If you are just starting out I highly recommend you start there.  Don’t over-complicate this or you might not stick with it. 

Get a notebook and make a list.  

The list is critical!  The first few pages of any of my prayer journals are just lists.  I have to get that list out of my head and onto paper so I can stay focused.

Prayer Journal Cover Page

To be sure this journal doesn’t get lost with the other journals you should create a cute cover page.  If you need prayer journal ideas you could purchase a cute online printable prayer journal, print it out, and put it in a binder. The cover of that will be unique and stand out in your prayer spot.  

A few prayer journals online I recommend are in the resources section a bit later.

Prayer Journal Sections

After you make your list you will want to break your prayer journal into sections.  This could be as simple or as complicated as you like.  In the beginning, I had these sections:

  • Lost
  • Sick
  • Personal needs
  • Needs of others
  • Church needs
  • World needs

I would pray through a list each day of the week to break it apart into bite-sized pieces and it helped me focus and be consistent. 

Prayer Journal Templates

Later on, I saw several prayer journal templates online with sections I hadn’t thought about and I shifted to these sections:

  • Things I am grateful for
  • Names of God
  • Answered prayer
  • Verses to memorize
  • Sin I struggle with
  • Character traits I desire in Christ

While I highly recommend you start simple, I also recommend that once strategic prayer is a daily habit, you invest in prayer journal resources to help keep your daily time fresh.  


Meditate on your prayers with this 10-page “All Things in Prayer” coloring book!


Prayer Journal Topics

Last year a friend shared her prayer journal with us in a Bible Study and I was blown away by how she used it.  It was more of a journal type journal than any prayer journal I had ever used.  She literally wrote her prayers like a letter or a journal entry to God every day. 

If you love to journal in that way, you can find many daily devotionals that can be like 365 days of prompts for your prayer journal.  She was studying the word fear in the Bible and every day read a verse about it, then journaled her prayers about her own fears and anxiety.  It was beautiful!

Now I use my sermon journal for that.  After a sermon, I journal a prayer to God in response.  It’s so fun to connect to God in that way.

Here are some verses to get you started if this is the way you want to journal:

Prayer Journal Strategy

Often my prayer journals will look like lists with scripture verses noted beside them.  The list is important.  I make the list, then I take the list to God’s word.  My prayer strategy is to invoke the Word of God.  If God speaks about the issue I’m praying about I want to use His Word.

Adding Scripture to prayer is a powerful prayer strategy. 

Another strategy I love is to write the prayer out and email it to myself or text it to myself or save it in my notes.

*I sent you a picture of this

My favorite sneaky prayer journal strategy is to use redeem technology and wasted time!  I keep a list in my calendar so that I can pray while I am waiting in line at the store or the doctors office. The options are as limitless as your imagination and determination.


Prayer Journal Resources

Once you have established a daily habit of prayer and are using your prayer journal consistently you will want to invest in some prayer journal resources. 

The truth is, even when using a prayer journal to stay focused and consistent in prayer there will be times prayer feels dry.  That is the first sign you need some new resources to grow you and push you past your comfort level in prayer.  

Printable Prayer Journal

There are so many printable prayer journals online that can be downloaded and printed as many times as you need.  I love that about printables!  If you want more of a certain page you can just print more!!!!!

There is an added bonus with printable prayer journals, they can give you new ideas to keep you fresh.  

Let-Go-and-Let-God-Prayer-Journal-pages-on-a-blue-background

I highly recommend the Let God and Let God Prayer Journal Bundle!  We believe in the power of adding scripture to prayer for powerful spiritual warfare!  

This prayer journal is more of a bundle because there is a beautiful journal but there is also a great set of resources to help you:

  • Identify areas of life you need to give to God.
    • Prayer list ideas to get you started.
  • Find scripture to pray over those areas.
  • Internalize the scripture through coloring.
  • Track your prayers.
  • Stay reminded of God’s truth with screensavers!

I enjoy this bundle and I know you will too!  As school starts, I will be using this for my tween.  It is great for teenage prayer ideas and getting them inspired to connect with God.

You might also want to use some Christian journaling prompts to spark ideas for writing.

Books On Prayer and Fasting

Fasting and prayer go hand in hand and bring the spiritual breakthrough you are dreaming about.  Through many years of trial and error, I have learned how to fast successfully.  I believe you can do it too!

In A Beginners Guide to Fast and Pray I share what worked and what didn’t work along my journey to learn to fast and pray.  It is my prayer that through the short book you will find the confidence and tools you need to start your first fast. 

Even if you have tried and failed at fasting and prayer in the past, after reading this short book you will have all the tools you need to succeed!

Prayer Journal (Notebook) Examples

If you are still searching for ideas, go to Pinterest or Instagram, and search prayer journals.  You will see many prayer journal examples, prayer notebook examples and you can connect with those believers and be inspired by their faith.

Until a few years ago I still had the original prayer journal from college, but a flood in our basement destroyed it.  Right now I am using a spiral bound notebook shown below.  

It’s messy.  My kids have doodled in it.  There is nothing special about my prayer journal, but that’s okay.  This is a battle tool that is well used and the only ONE I want to impress and move by it is God.  


Will You begin to Prayer Journal Today?

I hope what you take away from this article is that anyone can prayer journal.  Anyone.  There is nothing special or super spiritual about me.  I don’t have a college degree.  Spelling is like kryptonite to me.  Anxiety weighs me down most days.  Sin is still a part of my day to day life.  

God doesn’t care. 

He is relationship-driven and prayer is how we communicate.  God wants to talk to you.  He wants to hear what you will say to Him.  

Set aside all your fears and anxieties.  They are lying to you about prayer.  God is listening.  God cares about what you care about.  

You can pray powerful prayers.  God will answer those prayers.  

Will you pick up the baton today and start training to become a Prayer Warrior?  

All you need is a prayer journal and a time set in your schedule to meet with Him each day.  You can do this!!!!

in HIM, Tiffany

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