Friends, there are two things in life that I will never stop preaching about (other than Jesus, of course) and that’s counseling and prayer journaling. But today we’re going to talk about the latter!
Over the past several years I’ve adopted the practice of prayer journaling into my weekly routine, and it’s been one of the very best decisions I’ve made for my relationship with God and my friends and family!
To show you just how impactful it’s been, I have a story to share with you. (When I took this photo below, I never planned on posting it — I eventually knew I had to share this photo because this photo sums up the heart of the impact behind these prayers in a way no words ever could.)
This pink journal is the journal I kept while I was studying abroad in Spain. This is the journal I was writing in when I became a Christian in the Sistine Chapel that day. In a way, this pink journal is the first draft of my book, The Lipstick Gospel.
I picked it up again a while ago when I was having a hard week with God. I'd been praying for some specific things, and it felt like my prayers were going unanswered.
So I found my pink journal and started to read.
As I read my story, and God's story, and as I saw the incredible ways He was showing up in my life, tears began streaming down my face, because all of a sudden I could remember.
I remembered that God is faithful, that I can trust Him. I could trust Him back then, and I can trust Him today.
I've been keeping a prayer journal ever since I became a Christian, and these journals are my most treasured keepsakes. They help me remember my life, they help me remember what God has done in my life, and they help me continue to trust Him.
And THAT'S why when someone in our community asks if there’s a resource I would recommend to help them grow in their faith, one of my first answers will always be to start a prayer journal.
But what is prayer journaling and how do you get started? I’m so happy you asked! 😊
Prayer journaling is a powerful tool to help you grow in your faith. It’s a way for you to express your raw and honest thoughts to God without fear of judgment. One of the biggest challenges I hear from women when they talk about their prayer life is that it’s so easy for their mind to wander to other things. But with prayer journaling, you’re able to focus on writing your thoughts down, which helps you avoid distractions.
Another part I love about prayer journaling is that it’s a way to document your story as it’s happening. With all of the prayer journals I’ve finished throughout the years, I’m able to look back and see where God was working in my life in each and every season — in the good and the bad. It’s helped me trust Him more because I’ve documented time and time again how He’s been so faithful.
How to get started
If you want to get started with prayer journaling the first step is finding a journal that works for you personally. Some people prefer journaling on a blank page, with no prompts, and writing whatever comes to mind. But, if you’ve ever struggled with journaling or feel like you don’t know what to say, prayer journals with guided prayer prompts can be a great way to get your thoughts rolling and keep you focused (so you can actually stick with it).
And since I’m a big fan of journals with prayer prompts, I created two of my own and they’re available in the SMW Shop! Here are the links if you want to check them out:
Every Single Moment: 100 Powerful Prayers to Savor the Present and Prepare for the Future.
The Between Places: 100 days to trusting God when you don’t know what’s next.
Another key to prayer journaling is setting aside a regular time to write your prayers. Maybe you’re a morning person and love to start your day with God. Or maybe you prefer to journal at lunch or in the evening before bed. Whatever time of day you choose, be consistent with it — even if it means waking up a few minutes early or going to bed a few minutes later.
I cannot name one time in my life when spending time with God cost me time elsewhere. Spending an hour (or even two!) in the morning with Him always makes my day LESS chaotic, never more chaotic. I don’t know how He is able to give that time back, but it always feels like He does, and more.
Finally, you don’t have to be perfect at this. You can write as much or as little as you want and you don’t have to worry about things like spelling or grammar. These words are for you and God only, so feel free to write freely and from your heart. And if you’re really struggling with what to say, you can copy down scripture or start making a gratitude list.
Friends, I hope these tips were helpful for you! Prayer journaling will always be one of my favorite resources for growing in my relationship with God. It’s something I can never recommend enough to the women in our community.
Our journals are the first draft of our life story or even our love story. They’re a gift to our future selves, a beautiful keepsake documenting God’s presence and faithfulness in our lives. And that’s what I pray they do for you!
My hope is that weeks, months, and years from now, you can look back on your prayer journals with tears in your eyes as you see just how faithful God has been in your life.
P.S. If you need suggestions on what prayer journal to use, make sure you read this post: Our favorite prayer journals for women!
P.P.S. Also make sure to check out these podcast episodes all about prayer journaling!
How to get closer to God
A new perspective on marriage and praying for your future husband