Most people who enjoy successful devotional lives have a plan that assist them in their personal prayer and study time. Most of these plans involve a Bible, pen or pencil, paper, notebook, and an outline. If you want some ideas for starting a prayer journal, or would like to try something different, consider the following ideas.
Write on four separate pages in a notebook these headings:
As you pray, list items on the pages under each heading. Note the dates of significant responses in your prayer requests or concerns. Under each heading, pray, sing songs, and quote verses of Scripture.
Model the Lord’s Prayer
Write a prayer that follows the model of the Lord’s Prayer:
- Acknowledge God for who He is
- Praise and thankfulness
- Commitment of self/will power and expectation to God
- Present personal needs and concerns
- Confessions and repentance
- Expressions of faith and trust
Again Scripture, song, and prayer can be listed under each section.
Read the Bible on your knees
Lay the Bible before you on your chair or bed. Read the passage on your knees. Apply the verse to your life in prayer as you talk to God. Have a pen or pencil and paper nearby to write down thoughts that come to you as you pray. Some enjoy using the Psalms in this manner.
Categorise your prayers
Purchase a pocket-sized notebook to which pages can be added. Divide it into the following sections:
- Praise and Thanks
- Dedication and Commitment
- Daily Needs and Requests
- Answered Prayers
- Special Victories
Under each section, list the items that come to your mind. Again, praying, singing songs and quoting Scripture are helpful.
Write your thoughts and feelings
Purchase a spiral notebook and write your thoughts and feelings to God. This helps you to focus on your feelings. Also, writing down your joys and disappointments assists in bringing healing as you empty yourself before God. An excellent book on prayer journaling is A New Way to Pray, by Dwight K. Nelson.
My Part, God’s Part
Several notebooks available at Christian bookstores are designed to assist Christians in daily prayer life. One such notebook, by Becky Tirabassi, is divided into two sections: “My Part” and “God’s Part”. Under “My Part” are the following divisions:
- P — prayers of Praise
- A — prayers of Admission of sin
- R — prayers of Request
- T — prayers of Thanks to God
“God’s Part” is divided as follows:
- Listening (a time of silence and meditation on Scripture)
- Messages (notes from sermons, other books, and so on)
- New Testament (list helpful verses from the New Testament)
- Old Testament (list helpful verses from the Old Testament)
- Proverbs (list helpful verses from Proverbs)
The last section — “To Do” — is for making notes, lists and schedules to help organise life as God suggests during daily devotions.
As you can see, many ideas are available for structuring and getting the most out of our daily prayer time.
By Kurt Johnson