How to Start a Prayer Journal: 3 Ways

Keeping a prayer journal is a great way to be more intentional and consistent in your prayer time with God! In this post, I share 3 different ways for how to start a prayer journal.

how to start a prayer journal

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There are three things that have made a huge difference in my prayer life.

For a long time after becoming a Christian, I was super lazy about praying. My only dedicated prayer time happened at night, as I was settling into bed. I’d attempt to pray, only to fall asleep mid-prayer…sometimes even after only one sentence! It didn’t matter if I tried to pray sitting up in bed, either. I was still so tired and longing to sleep, I had a hard time concentrating, and I’d just end up laying down and falling asleep anyway.

So, even though I’m totally NOT a morning person, I decided to start a habit of Bible reading and prayer in the morning. And you know what? It worked out so much better than I thought it would!

The second thing that has changed my prayer time with God, is simply approaching Him with a humble, repentant, worship-full attitude.

Have you ever felt like your prayer life was totally lackluster?

Me too! I think quite often, we find ourselves just going through the motions of prayer… like, just because we feel obligated to pray, or that’s what we’re ‘supposed to do’ as good Christians.

But, I always find that my richest prayer life happens when I’m just focused on being open and honest with God. When we submit to Him, and seek His will for our lives, rather than just rattling off a list of concerns…that’s prayer at its finest.

“True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice.”
Billy Graham

And the third thing that has made the biggest difference in my prayer life is (you guessed it): Starting a prayer journal!

Do you long to be more intentional about your prayer life?

Keeping track of praises, concerns and requests, and answered prayers can be SO helpful. And maybe you already know this, since you’re wanting to learn how to start a prayer journal. But, just in case you need a refresher…

Using a prayer journal can hold you accountable (never forget to pray for that person who requested prayer!)… it can be so encouraging to look back, and see how God has answered your prayers… and, it can help you pray more well-rounded prayers (being mindful to ask forgiveness, pray for other, and so forth). And that’s just a few of the benefits!

woman praying

What to write in your prayer journal?

Before we get into how to make a prayer journal, I thought it would be good to touch on what kind of things you might want to keep track of in your journal. Certainly, you’ll want to keep a list of concerns and/or requests that you want to remember to pray about. But beyond that, there are so many prayer journal ideas you can incorporate!

  • Concerns, requests, or worries you want to pray about
  • A calendar of themes to pray about at different times of the year
  • List of answered prayers
  • Written prayers
  • Notes about Bible passages you are studying/seeking to understand
  • Documenting your spiritual growth from month-to-month or year-to-year

See? Your personalized prayer journal can be so much more than just a list of prayers. It can be a place where you reflect on your relationship with God, document what He’s doing in your life, and more. It’s whatever you make of it!

How to Start a Prayer Journal: 3 Ways

So, now onto the how-to part: What’s the best way for how to make a prayer journal? Really, it depends on your preference. Your two main options are to buy a prayer journal, or create your own. These three prayer journal ideas below should help you decide…

1) Grab a notebook

The cheapest way for how to start a prayer journal, is simply to get a notebook, and start writing down your prayers. If you’re on a budget, or you want a prayer journal you can customize to your liking (literally, you’re creating it from scratch), then this is the best prayer journal for you!

prayer journal notebook

You can draw a chart to keep track of prayers and outcomes (like the example above), draw boxes to write different types of prayer requests, create a combination Bible study and prayer page each day, or whatever you like.

Using a notebook is also a great way to try prayer journaling out, to see what works for you, what kinds of things you’d like to keep track of, and so forth… before you make any further investments, like buying a fancy prayer journal book.

2) Create your own prayer binder

Like the notebook idea, this create-your-own-binder option is also very customizable. Start with a 3-ring binder, and fill it with printable prayer journal pages, blank sheets of notebook paper, or you could even create your own custom prayer pages if you like.

If you want some ready-made pages for your binder, there are loads of prayer journal templates out there. For a simple, yet elegant starter option, check out these FREE prayer journal printables. You can see in the example below, how I took two of the prayer pages and made a 12-category prayer tracker (I used washi tape to cover up the date box on the second page).

free prayer journal printables

Or, I also have some super-cute prayer journal bundles you can purchase, like the “Garden of Life” design in the prayer journal examples below. These lovely bundles come with three different prayer tracking templates, an answered prayer journal page, a lined page for writing out your prayers, plus a beautiful prayer journal cover page, and a ‘monthly prayer themes’ page.

prayer journal printables - garden of life design

3) Get a ready-made prayer journal

Lastly, if you’re short on time or just don’t want to hassle with creating a custom prayer journal, you might prefer to just buy a prayer journal book on Amazon. There are quite a few different ones to choose from… personally, I really like this Prayer Journal for Women. It contains a year’s worth of guided devotionals and prayer journal prompts, with a beautiful layout and even some Bible verse artwork you can color.

SIDE NOTE: If you’re wondering what kind of journal I use, it’s the Lettering Prayer Journal by Krystal Whitten. It’s like a prayer journal, with a side of Bible study (as you can meditate on each weeks’ verse while you’re lettering it, and continue studying and thinking on it throughout the week).

Now that you know how to start a prayer journal, all that’s left is to JUST DO IT. I kid you not, it took me several years to actually start using my prayer journal. I thought about it, made a binder, bought a prayer journal book, and finally made the decision be intentional and keep that appointment with God each morning.

“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.”
Corrie Ten Boom

No matter what kind of prayer journal you decide on, that’s the key: Be consistent. Show up. Give God your heart, much more so than your words. He loves you dearly, and wants to hear from you! And, don’t forget to listen for what He wants to say to you too.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James 5:13-16 (NLT)

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