The benefits of keeping a prayer journal are huge. And I’m not even talking about the priceless value of how it can deepen our relationship with God as it helps us get consistent in prayer. Prayer journals can help us stay organized, accountable and allow us keep a record of what God has done in our lives.
Here are a few of my favorite reasons for keeping a prayer journal:
Intimacy with God
Consistently inviting God’s presence into our lives with prayer helps us cultivate a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is our place to pour out our hearts before Him and let Him hold the things that feel hard, scary and overwhelming. It’s also where we can recount His goodness and thank Him for His character and for ways we’ve seen Him show up in our lives recently. Imagine if I didn’t share my struggles or my praises with my husband? I wouldn’t have a very deep marriage and I would be missing out on intimacy with him. Sometimes I do that to God, though, and I forget to come to Him with EVERYTHING. Cultivating this intimacy with God brings my soul peace, contentment, and joy in ways that no human ever could. Could I have an intimate relationship with God without a journal? Yes. But a journal keeps my thoughts focused and gives me a space to write it all out. It’s my place to continue the conversation of something that God has revealed to me through His Word, it’s where I can get really honest, where I can slow down, and where I can process my thoughts and emotions in a way that talking sometimes can’t do for me.
To stay focused
Distractions are inevitable, especially as a mom. Starting and stopping prayer time to handle interruptions can lead to your prayer time never feeling complete. With jotting down my prayer requests and also journaling my prayers, I’m able to come back and see where I left off. My journal keeps my mind on task so that I don’t get caught up in the mental clutter of to-do lists or work.
To pray for what you want to pray for
Has anyone ever asked you to pray for them and you have all the right intentions, but never do because you didn’t have the visual reminder to pray? With my journal, I’m able to actually pray for the things I say I’m going to pray for. I can also reflect on what I’m asking God for and why. It’s fun to look ahead to my month and be really intentional about my prayers, based on what’s happening in the lives of my family, friends, and community.
My prayer journal helps me get rid of any excuses I have for not praying. If the requests are written down, then I can’t say I forgot. And investing financially in a journal is a big motivator to ensure I’m using it! With the prompts for every month, the journal helps me more consistently meditate on God’s character, reminds me to thank God for the ways He’s working, and keeps me accountable for confessing my sin and actually asking God for everything I need. Check out this post for how to help you actually use your journal well.
Are there questions you continually struggle to answer or areas of doubt that reoccur? Writing out my prayers shows me the lies I’m believing about myself or God and helps me see where I’m stuck in patterns of sin or fear. With a written record of my prayers, I’m also able to see the ways that God is growing and changing me, and then praise Him for those things!
A record of God’s faithfulness
This one is probably my favorite reason to keep a prayer journal! It’s so fun to go back and see answered prayers, as well as unanswered prayers that I’m so glad didn’t go the way I wanted. You may find that God has answered prayers you forgot you even uttered, or that He has answered a prayer you have carried with you for months on end. Looking back over my prayers gives me a boost of faith when I’m in a tough season and also makes me love Him even more. Psalm 73:28 says, “But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” When I keep my prayers written down, I have a place to go back and see Him clearly at work in my life. I’m then able to share His faithfulness with others so that He gets all the glory for the ways He’s shown up for me.
Witness to future generations
A prayer journal becomes a record of your relationship with the Lord. Every struggle, every hope, every praise you have written down gets to be seen by future generations so they can see the faithfulness of God throughout your life. What a legacy to leave! I hope Vivi and Vana can look over the prayers I’ve written down for them in their legacy prayer journals one day and see all the ways God has been at work in their lives, too. Psalm 102:18 says, “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” May my children and their future children know of God’s faithfulness because of the prayers I’ve written during my life.
Are there other reasons why you keep a prayer journal? Let me know!