I have had a need lately for some serious prayer. Not the while-I-do-dishes kind, but the purposeful, focused kind that leaves you feeling a thousand times better afterwards. I created a prayer journal a while back that helps me focus on my prayers, the people I’m praying for, and the Word, rather than getting distracted by whatever craziness is happening in my house (not that a house with two small children and a giant dog is EVER crazy). It was hard for me to initially figure out how to create a prayer journal I’d actually use– I went through several versions– so I thought I’d share how I put mine together.
I chose to have a binder, rather than a notebook, because I can’t imagine not being able to add pages where I need to. That said, I prefer to write in a spiral notebook (it feels more journal-y to me) so I buy one that has a tear-out option with holes so as I finish a page, I pull it out and stick it in my binder behind the correct tab. By having multiple sections, I can lead myself through prayer in a purposeful way. I give praise and thanksgiving before asking for other gifts from Him, as well as marking when a prayer is answered. I confess my sins before asking for His care over the things I’m worried about, my family, etc. And last, I keep notes about scripture that might be important to me later on.
As a Catholic mama, I try to incorporate our faith into as much of our life as I can. This prayer journal gets incorporated into my morning routine, but that last section helps me to incorporate it into every holiday and season in the Church. This makes me so much more intentional in my faith and allows me to focus on what really matters, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
How to Create a Prayer Journal– The Sections You Need
Praise and Thanksgiving
In addition to answered prayers, we can thank God for all the amazing things He does for us! Spend some time in thanksgiving before you ask for something from Him.
If there’s ever been an important section to have, it’s one where you remind yourself of all the times God has blessed you and answered a prayer.
As a Catholic, one of my favorite sacraments is Confession. I love the idea of consistently writing down my confessions, not just so I can easily recall them for Confession, but also so I’m able to recall my sins in more detail than just doing an examination of conscience right before Confession.
People/Ministries You Pray for Daily/Close-to-Daily
This would include your spouse, your kids, your dogs, your parents, your friends, your church, your missionaries at church or in a group you care about, your kiddo’s teachers, anyone you feel needs prayer from you daily!
What’s on Your Heart
Talk to your Dad in Heaven. Tell him what worries you, what you’re hoping for. Talk to him about your kids or your marriage. Sit on His lap and just talk to him!
Specific Scripture Verses
I use different colors (these pens are my favorite for their beautiful colors, smooth ink, and lack of bleeding through pages) to color-code the reasons I saved the verses. Some of them are specific for our military family, infertility, financial issues, other challenges we’ve faced as a family or a couple, etc.
Scripture that Comes to Mind During Prayer
It might be something that feels important when I’m reading my Bible, other times my prayers are led by a verse that comes to mind. Either way, I feel like there’s probably a part in there that is important for me to remember, so I write it down!
This is the section where I keep my notes about what fun things I’ve found to incorporate our faith into our every day lives, whether it be a holiday or not. I like having notes in here, rather than on Pinterest, because it’s a lot easier to scan for ideas when it comes to a specific reason I’m looking for.
[…] faith in general, as well as the Catholic devotion to Mary. Now, I include all kinds of prayers in my prayer journal, including ones to Mary about my kids, my marriage, or life in general. I’m far from a […]