Prayer Journal: Making Prayer Meaningful
I firmly believe that prayer is a mother's best friend. As a first time mom, it's been neat to feel how much God is a part of my child's life. There is a certain peace that I feel that tells me that as long as I am doing my best and asking for God's help, he will make up for the areas that I lack. I love having him as a partner in parenting. A prayer journal can help with this.
What is a Prayer Journal?
When I was in college I started something called a “prayer journal” for a summer. I wanted to make my prayers more sincere and focused, so I set up a prayer journal format/template and started journaling before I would pray every night to kind of bring my mind to the right place. Something incredible happened from this experience: I noticed my prayers were being answered far more than I realized. Too often I think we pray for little things, God answers them, but we forget that we prayed for it in the first place and as a result we withhold our thanks.
Now that I am a mom I have had prayer on my mind again. How many times has God answered my little prayers and I have forgotten? I thought it would be neat to start again with a prayer journal but continue it throughout motherhood. Maybe one day I will compile the sections that pertain to each child and give it to them when they are older. How cool would it be to know about every prayer your mother said pertaining to you? What if you saw the following entry in your mother's prayer journal:
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“Please bless _____ that she will find some friends. We just moved into a new neighborhood and I can tell that she longs for a good friend.” A few days later….. “Thank you for helping my daughter find _____. I can tell they have a lot in common and will make great friends for each other.”
Or, “Please bless ______ that he will feel better. It breaks my heart to see him so sick.”
Miracles and answered prayers happen so often but we naturally forget them as time passes (or at least I do). It would be cool to look back on all the blessings received from the Lord, as well as prayers that didn't get answered the way we wanted them to and how the blessings were found after time had passed.
Prayer Journal Template
This is the format that my prayer journal takes (It's printable if you click on it):
In the first part of my prayer journal, I try to list as many things as possible that I am grateful for. I once heard, “If tomorrow you only had what you thanked God for yesterday, would you have much?” I love that thought. Gratitude is a powerful life tool. Second, I try to notice specific answers to prayer, or different things that show the hand of God in my life that day. This could be as simple as helping me to be positive to a particular situation, helping me remember an appointment, or as big as healing me of sickness. Whatever it is I try to be on the lookout for what God has done for me. Next is people to pray for. This is fun because it also gets me in the habit of thinking throughout the day who could use a prayer. Sometimes it ends up being someone I don't even know from a news article I read that day, or someone I just met. Next is short term requests. This would be things that I am wanting help with this day, week, and sometimes month (example: help me have enough energy to accomplish what I need done tomorrow). Long term requests are typically a month or longer (example: help me pay off my debts). Another section that would be good to add in my prayer journal would be “My Part in Receiving Answers to my Prayer,” to help me remember to do my part!
Go here to learn more about how to pray and what prayer can do for your life.
What are some things you do to make your prayers more meaningful?
How has prayer helped you as a mother?