How to Keep a Prayer Journal


spiritual writingCan a Journal Bring You Closer to God?

Do you want to become more aware of God’s presence in your daily life? To learn to speak to Him in your own words?

When prayer seems dry and you are not hearing the voice of God, a prayer journal can become a pivotal tool for improving your spiritual life.

You’ll be in good company! Lots of saints kept spiritual journals or diaries, including St. Faustina, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Bernadette, St. Perpetua, and many others.

 

How to Keep a Prayer Journal

There are numerous ways to keep a prayer journal or spiritual diary. If you are interested but don’t know where to start, here are some tips on what to write:

 

HEAR HIM: The more you listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice, the easier it gets to hear it. Writing about how the Spirit is working in your life can, over time, make you more conscious of God’s will. Have you ever had that sudden inspiration to say or do something, but repressed it because it was outside your comfort zone? Keep a record in your journal of the times you felt God nudge you like this, and whether you responded. It becomes a brief examination of conscience and makes you sensitive to whether you are staying open to God’s calls. You might also include any inspiring words from others or events through which God spoke to you that day.

 

REMEMBER TO ASK: Recall all the times you’ve promised, “I’ll keep you in my prayers!” Do you always remember? It helps to keep a list of prayer intentions – not just other people’s, but your own intentions as well. Looking back on your petitions to God from months ago can make you aware of all the good He has worked in your life. Especially if you are still facing difficult times, looking back on even the smallest blessings can be a reminder of God’s love. If certain things in your life are unclear and you have unanswered questions, write these down, too. Ask for clarity. Later, reading over past questions, you may realize that many of them have been answered.

 

GIVE THANKS & PRAISE: Don’t stop at requests and petitions – praise Him! Express how much you love Him and how much more you want to love Him. Offer your day and your work to God. Thank Him for specific blessings. It’s important to give thanks not only for life changing blessings like a new job or restored health, but also for the littlest things. The more you thank God for everyday graces, the more you will remember Him as you go about your day. Plus, you’ll start to realize you have more little blessings than you can count.

 

prayer journalsChoose a journal that is a comfortable size and type for you, and use your own style of expression (St. John of the Cross even incorporated poetry into his spiritual writing). You can make tabs to separate prayers of thanksgiving, petitions and inspirations, or you can combine everything into one daily entry. The writing will be between you and God, so don’t get too caught up in avoiding spelling errors or choosing the right words. As long as you can read it, it will be fine.

 

Do you have tips on writing to improve your spiritual life, or a different method of  journaling? We’re interested – please comment to share your ideas with us!

 


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8 Responses to How to Keep a Prayer Journal

  1. Margarita says:

    I’m so happy to read this article. Now I know what to call my book. I started journaling December 2011 precisely to remember the people who needed prayer and to have them write their own prayer requests or thanksgiving prayers. I didn’t know if this was proper or not but now I know it’s a good thing. Thank you.

  2. Fran says:

    When I read The Liurgy of the Hours, I would write down the page number of
    Something that spoke to me. Then I started writing down the phrases themselves, but I did all of this on envelopes, scraps of paper, etc.
    A little journal makes more sense.
    Thanks

  3. Maria says:

    Great idea…..just what I needed to do. I look forward to starting tomorrow to keep a Prayer Journal.
    Thanks

  4. Joann says:

    I am so glad that I came across this article. I will start to write my wishes and prayes down, I think this will bring me a little closer in my thoughts.

  5. Veronica says:

    I was blessed to receive a lovely hand-decorated prayer journal at an ACTS retreat last year. Though I could do with less embellishments (creates “bumps” where I write)I love the small phrases and Bible verses my SIC glued on some pages. It’s great having a journal to commemorate my ongoing spiritual journey.

  6. mary says:

    please pray that i keep a consistent prayer journal . it is difficult for m e i try and never end well. please pray for dicipline in prayer for me.
    God bless.God bless you all.

  7. Mindy says:

    I must say it never crossed my mind to do something like this. I was lost for a very long time and to be able to find my way back is a Blessing in itself. I can say that I do thank GOD for were I am now. He has provided me with total happiness that I believed could not ever happen. Thanks for this idea. I have so many questions I could remember them all.

  8. Mary says:

    Hi Mary,

    I once asked a priest for advice on maintaining a more consistent prayer life, and he suggested that I set aside a particular time each day for prayer, and consider it to be an actual time commitment – like an appointment. Choose a time you know you’ll be able to keep, maybe early in the morning for a few minutes before your daily routine begins. Hope that helps!

    God bless,
    Mary

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