anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How I Use a Prayer Journal



A few weeks ago Brian's little sister was in town with her family. It was fun because his sister had a baby girl only two months before we had Everly, so they finally got to meet each other. While they were here her husband brought up that they had to speak in church that Sunday and Brian's sister's topic was her prayer journal. 

I have tried keeping a prayer journal for years, but have never found a way to be very consistent. While I do feel that I connect best through writing, it just takes a lot of time to write out your prayers every day. I also tried another setup that I'd seen on Pinterest, but this also seemed to take too long. However, when we started talking about what her prayer journal looked like, it sounded like the perfect set up for me. Basically, you just pray like you normally would, but then afterward write down any impressions you get. It gives the Lord space to talk back to you. I modified the idea a little bit and have been using it for a few weeks now and it has worked out so well for me. 

There are three basic parts to my prayer journal.

1. Prayer Roll
I got this idea after Brian talked about how our ward has a prayer roll. I had never occurred to me that I could do that as an individual. Prayer rolls are something that we have in our temples where we write down the names of people we know that are struggling or sick or in need of some extra prayers. So each Sunday I sit down and I think about who in my life might need extra prayers for the week and I put their name on my prayer roll. Then when I am saying my prayers I look at the list and make sure that I include each of them. I don't use this journal all day long, mostly just for my morning prayer.

2. Concerns
I don't know if you've read Present Over Perfect by... but she has a beautiful chapter in there about prayer. She talks about pouring out the vinegar to get to the oil. In other words, telling God all the things that you are concerned about, the things that weigh heavy on your heart. Once you've done that then you can get to the rich oil. The good part that we crave. So again, on Sunday I write out my concerns, the things that are weighing heaviest on my heart. It helps me focus on what I can work on to fix them as well as just getting them out there. There is something so therapeutic about taking my biggest worries and giving them to God knowing that if I can do something about them, then he'll help me to fix them. 

3. Inspiration
I put this on the back of my page and throughout the week after my prayers, I write down what comes to mind. Then I make a conscious effort to do the things that I write down. Because I use this journal every morning, I see what is on the list that I haven't done yet and it reminds me to keep working on accomplishing those things. Some examples are, text a friend, plan a night to hang out with so and so, get back into writing, start doing family history... Sometimes I'm unsure of whether or not it's just me making up things that I want to accomplish, but as long as it's a good thing I put it on the list.

This past Sunday in church one of the speakers talked about how when we pray we should not just tell God our problems, but ask ourselves what we can do to fix those problems. So I also try to listen for inspiration with the thought in mind of how can I help fix my concerns? Is there anything that I can do to help those who are on my prayer roll?



I also include in my prayer journal what I need to be praying for Brian about. We still do couple council every Sunday and one of the questions we ask each other is how we can pray for them that week. It's really easy for me to forget what Brian has asked me to pray for him, but I want to pray for him, so this helps me to see it and remember each day.

I feel like I am constantly learning how to pray better and how to feel more connected to my Savior. I feel like prayer has always been something that I have struggled with, which is why I am always trying to work on making it a habit as well as something that I want to do and look forward to. It's probably something that I will need to work on for the rest of my life, but I'm ok with that. 


How do you make prayer more meaningful for you? Have you tried a prayer journal? What has worked best for you?

Click HERE to get your free printable. I've included a half size and a full page layout. 



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