In the movie The Help,one of the main characters, Aibileen, discusses writing down her prayers at one part in the film. It’s a good bet that Aibileen is talking about a prayer journal. This unique type of journal is a way many people communicate their prayers to God. It is a treasured notebook that allows people to reflect on what is on their hearts.
To keep a prayer journal, you don’t need to be a writer, you don’t need to write a page or more, and you don’t need a large amount of time to channel your thoughts. Keeping a prayer journal and writing down your prayers can be as simple as five words and five minutes per day. It can, however, be challenging to get started. But by following the tips below, it will be as easy as riding a bike.
- Use one journal and one journal only. It can be tempting to have multiple journals. Maybe you have one for only prayers and another for writing down your daily thoughts. A quick tip is combining the two into one. A prayer journal doesn’t have to be a specific notebook, just for prayers. It can include your daily reflections, life happenings, and prayers. This is a timesaver, as well. You aren’t switching between books and stopping and starting. Everything is in one place and there is easy access for you to spend more time in thought and prayer.
- Journal everything. Many times prayers are questions we ask God. Yet, some prayers can be thoughts, praises, and more. Channel your thanks, questions, dreams, and answered prayers. One of the things that makes journaling special is being able to look back and see what has happened in your life and how God has influenced it.
- Choose a time that works for you. It might be writing first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. You don’t have to spend an hour, penning a book. Five minutes works for some people and an hour works for others. This habit should be comfortable and not stressful. It is meant to be a relaxing, no pressure way to unwind. The amount of time you spend writing might change day to day, and that is okay. Also, think about how many times per day, week, month you want to journal your thoughts and prayers. Keeping a prayer journal shouldn’t be a burden; it should be a joy. Create a plan that works for you and stick with it, but be flexible for changing your schedule when needed.
- Find a place that is sacred to you. This spot may be inside or out, but it should be an enjoyable and cozy place that allows you to get in the mindset for time in prayer and journaling. Try to avoid distractions while in this area.
- Always start your time in prayer. God will lead your thoughts and prayers during your reflection. Ask Him for the peace to explain what is on your heart and mind. There is no right or wrong answer for what you should and shouldn’t write. Grammar and spelling can be thrown out the window. Don’t be afraid to be honest and give it all to God. Just remember to be specific with what you are praising, asking for, etc.
- Relate your thoughts to scripture. When you are writing, it is helpful to have access to a Bible. This gives you a chance to refer back to and add in scripture to your prayers, if needed. Also, you are able to read as you write.
Writing in a prayer journal can be a special habit to develop. It is a moment to channel what is going on in your world and ask God for guidance. It is a simple task that can make a big difference in your life.