As promised, here is a repeat of the information of actually using one's prayer journal. Putting a prayer journal together is fun and inspiring, but using it in one's prayer time is such a blessing!
Before I begin, I'd like to say a word about prayer requests. A number of people have asked me how I deal with the short-term, more urgent prayer requests which we get at church, from friends, or via our church’s prayer chain (email or phone). They felt these requests would be hard to keep track of on an ongoing basis in a prayer journal. And they’re right. I don’t put these sorts of requests in my prayer journal.
If I get a request for someone at church, I usually write it down in the notebook I keep with me for sermon notes. That’s usually enough to keep that request in my memory for when I pray for that person during the week. When it’s answered, I can cross it out. If I get a request via phone or email, I’ll jot it on a post-it note. When the prayer is answered, I toss the paper.*
The prayer requests I keep in my prayer journal are long-term ones. For example, for my grown children I pray for things like this:
• Closeness to God
• Spiritual growth
• Wisdom for parenting
• Wisdom for marriage
• Wise use of finances
• Wise use of time
• Use of spiritual gifts and talents... etc.
Now, as to actually using my prayer journal on a daily basis. The first section I come to is Adoration -- where I have a number of pages concerning the attributes of God.
|This page praises God that He hears our prayers|
|This page thanks God for the spiritual blessing of His Word|
|These reminders are on the divider for my Agreeing section. At the right you can glimpse the first page in that section, dealing with procrastination.|
How to Make a Prayer Journal to see what I pray for on other days of the week. Topics include friends, church, extended family, our country, personal petitions, and so on.
* Each day I also pray for a portion of our church family. And this is where those prayer requests I get at church or via the prayer chain come into play. As I pray for, say, Sue Jones (made-up name) I remember that Sue is having a biopsy next week, and pray about that.
So that is pretty much my prayer time in a nutshell. I have found that my prayer time is so much more effective and so much more of a blessing to me as I use my prayer journal. I hope that those who are making their own journals or those who receive them as gifts will find them as helpful as I have found mine to be.