When people think “prayer journal” their first thought is often lined pages for writing out your prayers, so it makes sense that they’re surprised when they find out the main part of our prayer journal involves very little writing at all. (Click here to learn a bit more about our format if you’re new to VMP!) However, we do believe there is value in actually writing out your prayers from time to time and we also have users who are committed to writing out their prayers even more frequently. That’s why our Yearly Prayer Journal includes the Conversation Section.
This tabbed section for writing out your prayers includes 72 lined pages--enough space to write out your prayers a few times a week. Heavy journalers sometimes choose to rip out the Gratitude Section tab to add 40 more pages to their Conversations Section.
For the gal that’s new to journaling, writing out your prayers can feel intimidating or just plain time-consuming, but we encourage you to fight through that uncertainty and pick up the Conversation Section to use when
- You’re feeling anxious or depressed
- You’re immensely joyful and grateful
- Your prayer life has been feeling stale
- You find yourself with some extra quiet time
- You haven’t felt like praying
- You are feeling distracted
- You’re craving more of Him
If you can fit this practice in even just once a week, we think you’ll start to experience some of the benefits we’ve found below!
1. Finding focus
I don’t think I have to tell you this, but sometimes when we’re praying internally, we can find our minds drifting. Been there? The act of physically writing out your prayer forces you to stay focused on the next word, the next sentence, the purpose behind your writing. If you’ve been using our prompted format and still find yourself needing a little extra focus, taking it to the Conversation Section might be just what you need!
2. PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS
That deeper focus often leads to a more personal view of God. The thoughts that might have drifted off when praying internally are all of a sudden staring at you from the page. Not only are your words visible, but your relationship itself is.
3. A detailed record of how God is working
Although you can look back at your answered prayers lists from previous months and years in the Monthly Prompts section of our journal, going back through your Conversations Section gives you a more in-depth look. You can trace the imperfect progress of how God is transforming your heart and mind, gain understanding into how a “no” might have been exactly the right answer you needed or remember and celebrate how a significant “yes” came about.
As you start this practice for the first time, it can be tempting to pretty up your language and thoughts as you come to the page, but don’t! The key to truly experiencing the Lord throughout this process is that your words, thoughts, and tone are genuinely your own. Our best advice… just write whatever pops into your mind.
The book of Psalms contains major inspiration for what a written-out prayer might look like. David and the other writers poured out their hearts to God. You’ll find that oftentimes what starts out as anger, grief and confusion often turns to meaningful praise by the end of the psalm. The Lord can change our hearts AS we write out our prayers to him, there’s no rule that says he has to wait til after! See an example of this kind of heart transformation in Psalm 13 below.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
If this hasn’t been a consistent practice in your life, grab your Yearly Prayer Journal or a blank notebook and give it a try.
We’ve even created a printable that fits right inside our prayer journal with 10 prompts to get you started!
By signing up for our Monthly Peptalk below, your free printable will be sent to your inbox!