7 Prayer Journal Ideas to Grow Closer to God

It’s not always easy, to remember to pray as we should, or even to know what to pray about. These prayer journal ideas will help you be more intentional about your prayer time and relationship with God.

unique prayer journal ideas

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The struggle is real, y’all! When it comes to prayer, it’s just so easy to forget the real reasons we have to pray, and just go through the motions.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who spent much of her life praying only when she wanted something! (You too?)

But, while the Bible DOES tell us to ask for what we need or want, that’s not what prayer is truly about. The purpose of prayer, is to develop a closer relationship with God… to surrender our worries, give Him control, trust Him, express our deepest troubles/longings/dilemmas, intercede for others, give God praise, and yes… to ask for what we need too.

And yet, I find it so easy to devolve into the most basic, transactional forms of prayer… just giving a brief thanks, asking for what I need, case closed. I often forget important things, like asking forgiveness… humbling myself… praising God… and so forth.

Which is why, keeping a guided prayer journal can be so helpful! Have you experienced this too? There’s just something about keeping a record of prayers, and being reminded of how to pray, that helps a lot!

If you haven’t yet started a prayer journal, check out the section below for some how to make a prayer journal for beginners tips. Or if you’re just looking for unique prayer journal ideas for the journal you already have, you can skip ahead to the following section…

How do you make a prayer journal?

If you don’t already have one, it’s so easy to start your own DIY prayer journal! All you really need is a spiral notebook, or a binder and some notebook paper.

The purpose of a prayer journal is simply to keep track of your prayers, to help you remember what to pray, and make note of anything else prayer-related that may help you. So, once you have your journal in hand, the important thing is to decide what to put in it.

Or, in other words, how to organize it so it’s helpful for you? You could create tabs/sections for different prayer categories, or start a new prayer page each week or month. Or maybe you’d just like one section to write down prayer requests and personal concerns, and a second section for answered prayers. The bottom line is, to set up your prayer journal in a way that works well for you.

Want more in-depth instructions, examples, and DIY prayer journal suggestions? Check out my how to start a prayer journal post.

prayer journal template - garden of life design

7 Prayer Journal Ideas to Grow Closer to God

So, once you have your prayer journal in place, what can you do to make the most of it? I mean, how can you truly use it to enrich your prayer life and grow closer to God? Of course, it’s good to write down prayer requests and concerns, but beyond that, let’s explore some more unique prayer journal ideas…

1) Keep a “humble heart” list

At the tippy-top of our prayer journal ideas list, is this essential concept. All throughout the Bible, God tells us how it’s imperative that we approach Him with a humble heart.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10 (NIV)

So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 18:4 (NLT)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

So, how about starting a “humble heart” list in your daily prayer journal? This provides you an opportunity to write down things that humble you (like looking at the stars at night, or noticing some way you fell short of God’s standards). It’s simply a way of reminding ourselves that He is God, and we are not… and thus remembering to approach Him humbly.

For example, it surprises me sometimes, how little I know about my own body, what’s actually going on inside (and how even the smartest doctors may still be clueless!)… and in contrast, God has every hair on my head numbered (Luke 12:7). Clearly, He knows what’s best for me!

prayer journal ideas - answered prayers

2) Write down answered prayers

This might be the best (and my personal favorite) way for how to use a prayer journal… record prayers that God has answered! It’s such a great way to look back and remember how He’s been faithful in the past, so you can trust Him with your present and future concerns too.

I mean, you know, we humans tend to be forgetful, and in a moment of crisis, we panic and forget how many times God has rescued us before. So, write that down!

prayer journal PRAISE page

3) Create a new page each week, with the P.R.A.I.S.E. acronym

Are you looking for some basic prayer journal ideas? Like, how to make a prayer list, to organize your prayer requests and concerns, and be reminded who/what to pray for? The P.R.A.I.S.E. system is one of my favorites, because it covers all the important things Jesus told us to pray: Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgement, Intercessions for Others, Supplication for Self, and Equipping.

[Jesus said] “This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

If you’ve ever realized your prayers are totally one-dimensional (like, all about YOU), using a guide like this can help you remember to praise God, intercede for friends and family, and so forth. You can see in the prayer journal entry examples above, how this system holds you accountable!

prayer journal ideas - trusting God with list

4) Start an “I’m trusting God with…” list

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this prayer prompts idea! Haven’t you ever prayed over some concern, only to continue worrying about it as if you hadn’t prayed at all? Writing it down in a list like this, is like saying “I’m stating for the record, that I’m choosing to trust God with this problem”. It’s no longer only in your mind, but it’s on paper! And for me, that does make it easier to quit ruminating over something I have no control over. I wrote it down, I’m trusting God with it, and that’s that.

5) Consider writing out your prayers

Another of these powerful prayer journal ideas, is to actually write out a whole prayer. Like, stick an extra blank piece of paper in your prayer journal, and write down your prayer. This can be especially helpful if you have a big dilemma, a major crisis, difficult season you’re going through, or a tough decision to make. As with the “trusting God with” list above, writing it down can really help you commit that issue to God, and then let it go.

6) Add inspirational verses or readings to your journal

Okay, this prayer journal idea is a little different. It’s got nothing to do with actually recording your prayers, but it has everything to do with inspiring and encouraging you in your prayer life! Anytime you come across an Bible verse, devotional, or other reading about prayer that really speaks to you, save it and add it to your prayer journal. That way, when you’re feeling lackluster in your prayer life—maybe you need to be reminded of the real reasons to pray—you can refer back to those wise teachings.

prayer journal printables - monthly themes

7) Plan out a weekly or monthly prayer theme/topic

Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the family, community, and global issues you feel you ought to pray about? This last of our prayer journal ideas is a great for addressing this dilemma: Set up a themed prayer schedule, so you pray for a different person or cause each day, week, or month. Of course, you can pray as normal for any issues that come up, but on the designated day/week/month, devote a time to pray for that person or cause.

I hope you’ve found these unique prayer journal ideas helpful! In brainstorming this list, I was surprised to find several new practices I’m now incorporating into my own prayer journal. Especially, the “I’m trusting God with…” list—I really need that one!

Whatever you decide to write in your prayer journal though, I pray it will help you to focus on God—approaching Him with a humble, repentant heart, trusting that He hears you, and having faith that He will answer in His perfect timing. As Romans 8:28 says, God works all things for your good.

free prayer journal printables

➡️ Want this FREE printable prayer journal template (pictured above)? Head over to my FREEBIES page to download the prayer journal workbook pdf, plus other great free printables!

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