Back in high school I got in the habit of keeping a notebook with all my sermon notes, but my prayer journal has evolved a lot since then (check out the pictures below for how I organize my prayer journal). And I love it. I genuinely write out my heart to God. Whatever is on my heart, God hears about. Some prayers are 2 sentences to 2 pages. It just varies, but like David did in the Psalms, he pours out his heart to God. I think that’s what God wants. God knows us and knows what we are thinking before we ever ask, but God still wants us to communicate our cries to Him. He wants us to willingly share our hearts with Him. So for me, my prayer journal is exactly that–an opportunity to pour out my heart to him.
Some people use a certain method of praying, but I just sort of pour my heart out without a specific order. But generally, the A.C.T.S. Prayer Method is what I include in my prayer journal, it’s just not necessarily in this order.
I use the Markings. I found it at Target a few years ago, but now I just order them online. It’s my favorite!
How To Prayer Journal:
Excuse the mess of the picture, but I use my prayer journal for everything. So what you see here is an attempt at labeling how I set up my prayer journal.
Let’s start at the top. Each page is labeled with a page number. I also include the date, but with the date, I like to include the day of the week. This is super helpful looking back at previous prayers. Then when I’m doing my quiet time, I write the study I’m going through in the center of the same line as the date. Then I label the “activity.” I call my personal quiet time “Be Still” but if I’m at church for church notes, I label it “NorthWoods” or if I’m listening to a sermon online, I will label it whatever it is I’m listening to. When I was in Ecuador, I would label the activity something corresponding with Ecuador. To me this is important because I want to accurately label whatever it is that I’m doing so I can look back at a sermon notes, my quiet time, camp notes, mission trips, online sermons, etc.
For my quiet time, I always start with prayer. This portion may be anywhere between two sentences or 2 pages (this is where I just pour out my heart to God). Then after I pray, I will write the lesson I’m on from the study book (or S.P.E.C.K. method) I’m going through. This particular one was Day 2, and beneath that is the Scripture I read that day. Underneath, are the notes I took from the day’s study. Sometimes I write these in my prayer journal and other times, I write them directly in my Bible, or both!
The example to the right is some of the sermon notes I take from church. But I put everything in one place. I know other people like to have separate notebooks for everything, but for me, I can easily reference something if it’s all in one place. It’s also super cool to see God speaking to me between all the different “activities” (I need a better name for that).
The last page of my notebook is where I place my favorite verses. If God speaks to my heart in a verse, I will write it down in the back of the notebook and work on memorizing those verses. It’s super cool writing God’s word on my heart, especially when it’s verses that have encouraged or spoken truth.