Skip header and navigation
Skip section subnavigation Skip this page's content

Prayer Journaling

Purpose

To provide an outlet for what may be going on internally, and a venue for prayer. To create an open place where God can meet us and speak to us. To keep a record of our spiritual lives and the journey that God is taking us on.

Introduction

Journaling is a tool we can use to help us reflect on God’s presence, his guidance and his nurture in daily comings and goings. It can be “a way of paying attention to our lives—a way of knitting the vast ball of our experiences into something with shape that attests to the state of our soul.”[1]

Journaling is simply transferring what is in your mind and your heart, onto paper and sharing it with God. This could be prayers, a recount of the day’s events, significant insights, bible verses, pictures and doodles, whatever it is that you are thinking, experiencing or feeling that day, positive or negative.

Journaling can be a great way of working through complex issues needing clarity (discernment). The act of collecting your thoughts and writing them out can often provide a perspective that you might not have noticed as you ruminated over those issues in your mind. Journaling can also be a way of slowing down and being more present as you reflect on your daily experiences.

Other types of prayer can be incorporated into your journal for instance, the Examen, Praying the Psalms and Praying in Color (all of which are covered in this manual). Journaling can be a great way of praying for people who have specific needs. Journaling provides an opportunity for you to have the complete freedom be yourself and express what is going on internally and surrender this to God. Journaling requires time and it can often become a burden when we are pressed for time, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

With time, as you look back on your journals, you may be able to see more clearly the journey that God has been taking you on: answered prayers, discernment and clarity, spiritual growth and signs God’s faithfulness and daily presence with you.

Tips for low-pressure journaling

  • You don’t need to journal every day or even every week. Find the rhythm of journaling that suits your phase and stage of life.[2]
  • Find a time of day that works best for you, or allow yourself the flexibility to journal any time that you have the opportunity.
  • Try not to make it a big “thing” or a big commitment, which can become burdensome. See it as an opportunity to be yourself, have fun!
  • If you don’t write well, remember that you don’t have to write beautifully or use complete sentences. Journaling is a way for you to be with God and your thoughts, not an exercise in language arts.”[3]
  • If privacy is an issue in your living situation, use a plain, boring, college-rule exercise book that does not attract any attention.

Practice

Find a quiet place and spend 2-5 minutes in silence inviting God to be with you. Open your journal and share what comes to mind or pray whichever way you feel led.

Remember

The ongoing nature of a journal catalogs a journey of a soul into God. It reveals how we hammer out our identity as a Christ-follower through the ups and downs of daily routines as well as in times of crisis. –Adele Calhoun[4]

 


[1] Calhoun, Adele. The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us. (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2005), 57.

[2] Calhoun, The Spiritual Disciplines, 57.

[3] Calhoun, The Spiritual Disciplines, 57.

[4] Calhoun, The Spiritual Disciplines, 57.

 
Skip the sidebar
Skip the page footer Return to top of page