Many friends have been asking me how to organize a prayer journal. Looking back at different ideas to organize a prayer binder, now I have a clear vision on what works best for recording daily prayers and tracking answered prayers.
I started my research by looking at the different ways for organizing prayers, such as prayer boxes, prayer binders, war room prayer journals, and prayer closets. Then I read many books about the best prayer methods.
When I applied my research I started a prayer method which actually works well for me.
Step 1: Choose your binder size.
Full size binder has the advantage of using standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Small binder (such as Bullet Journal, A5 Websters Pages, Travelers Notebook, etc.) have the advantage of less weight, pretty cover designs, and are more decorative.
Step 2: Create your RESOURCE TABS.
Behind each P.R.A.Y tab, you’ll keep helpful pages to inspire or guide you. Use Scripture verses, Pinterest, Google, YouTube and prayer books for ideas. This will take time to compile because it’s a “work in progress” as you journey through prayer with God.
Step 3-A: Organize your PRAYERS with TABS.
You could organize by days of the week. Behind each tab, list your prayer targets. For example:
911= things I’m praying for daily/urgent prayers
Monday= small group leaders and members
Tuesday= spouse, children, family
Wednesday= ministries, speakers, authors
Thursday= neighbors, city, country, government
Friday= finances, coworkers, business, career, coaches, mentors
Saturday= myself, my friends
Sunday= churches, missionaries, nonprofits
Step 3-B: Organize your PRAYERS with TABS.
Another method to organize is by days of the week. Print double-sided planner or prayer journal page, you’ll need 15 or 16 pages for each month.
If you want prayer prompts- take the days of the week list above and print on a SINGLE sheet. File under the ASK tab in your binder.
When you see a prayer need- social media, text message, phone call, news story, etc- write this on your daily prayer journal. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Step 4: Organize your CONTACTS.
Keep a printed contact list in your prayer binder. You’ll use the list for sending a text message of encouragement, a handwritten card, email, or a phone call.
Keep a list for birthday by month. Make a simple chart of the 12 months, put names under those months with the celebration date.
Keep a list for celebration of life by month. Remember those family and friends who are separated from loved ones by death.
Keep a list of milestones by month. What do you want to celebrate: anniversary, addiction recovery, baptism, salvation, etc.
Step 5: Fillers.
As you work through your Prayer Journal, you’ll start adding “fillers.” These might be family photos, social media quotes, cards you received, words of encouragement you saved.
HOW TO CREATE A GOOD HABIT
Using the concepts I studied from James Clear in his bestseller book “Atomic Habits” I created this model for myself to follow. After all, a prayer journal is useless if I’m not using it. Right? Once I crafted my journal, then I set a habit plan like this:
Make it obvious. Keeping my prayer journal where I SEE it. Not hiding the journal in a drawer, back room, or under piles of books and projects. It needs a specific location. This might be a prayer closet, a prayer chair, or the desk in my kitchen. It’s a place where I meet God, Holy Spirit and Jesus.
Make it attractive. As a creative person, I’m attracted to colors. So my prayer journal/war binder has an attractive cover, decorated pages, and inspirational words. If it’s not pretty for me, then it might resemble a college textbook and the visual cue for “work.” My attraction is to spend time in the creation of God, using my journal, Bible, and a heart like His.
Make it easy. I started with a simple and easy plan: binder, tabs, prayer pages, some Scriptures. As I work through the days, months, and years.. the binder becomes deeply personal with thoughts, photos, and stories. I didn’t start with perfection. I didn’t compare my journaling skills with other women.
Make it satisfying. My reward in using a prayer journal is time with God. It’s deeply satisfying to partner with Him over my day. I carry my fears, anxiety, troubles, and praises to Him. The journal along with my Bible remind me I’m not alone and I’m participating in God’s Kingdom plans.
HOW TO BREAK A BAD HABIT
Make it invisible. To stay focused on daily Bible reading and prayer I make my distractions less visible. I wait to open the social media apps or news until AFTER I’ve spent time with God. Distraction is a weapon of the enemy and doesn’t bear good fruit. I choose the visible presence of God whenever my Bible is opened.
Make it unattractive. Whenever I neglect prayer or Bible reading, I feel overwhelmed and lost. Like a sheep who strays from the good pasture. Reflecting myself through the lens of social media and approval ratings is distorted of who I am in Christ.
Make it difficult. Social media is super easy to access, like a drug feeding pride. When I remove social media from my phone and tablet, it’s less convenient to access. By using my desktop computer for this, I need to sit in specific location with an uncomfortable chair. I limit my time because it’s more difficult to access.
Make it unsatisfying. The lack of transparency and picture-perfect images make social media a marketing experience rather than personal experience. These platforms are business corporations, not neighborhood homes. The deception is in the conversational style. We’re not conversing with the Spirit of God. Content is filtered by artificial intelligence, as technology is designed to limit exposure to His glory and the worldview is magnified instead.
While your habits will look different from mine, the method can be applied and it works. get out a sheet of paper and try it.
Free Printable Prayer Journal PDF
If you took time to read to the bottom of this article then I KNOW you are as committed to prayer as I am. So here’s my printable PDF to start your journal too.
Comment below with your prayer ideas too! I’m a lifetime student of the Bible and love learning new ideas.