I have kept a prayer journal on and off for a number of years, and I have found it very useful. Firstly I often look back and read the entries I have made during previous years and I am amazed how much I worried about small things!
Secondly it’s also a great reminder of what was going on in our lives and how we called upon God to participate and help us, or journey with us, through the ups and downs of our lives.
Using faith journal ideas can help you to start, as well as encourage you to continue, using your journal daily
Reasons to keep a faith journal
Spending time in God’s word is a great way to start the day. Using a faith journal takes our quiet time from the realm of simply being a time where you relax and spend time in God’s presence (no bad thing in itself) to a place where you turn up intentionally, ready to hear from the Lord, and to be ready and waiting to write down what you experience on the blank page in front of you.
What to write in your faith journal – faith journal ideas
Writing your prayer requests in your prayer journal seems like the most obvious use of the book. Of course you may want to use your journal in a different way. This blog post is merely intended to help and encourage you to keep a faith journal by suggesting faith journal ideas. If what you are currently doing works for you then please carry on with it!
Monitoring your prayer life in your faith journal has great benefits but it might be a skill and discipline you need to develop. If you need some prayer journal ideas I have listed a few below.
Prayer journal ideas
- Read a psalm, let it wash over you and sink in. Give it a few minutes and then write a prayer out of what you have read and understood.
- Daily life. What is going on in your life? Can you list out things that are going on? It doesn’t mean you have to list all negative things, you may be experiencing a good time. Whatever it is, write it out. Then pray your way through the list.
- Bible passages / Bible stories that you enjoy reading over the year
- Your emotional and spiritual self-care journey. Faith is a gift and we should nurture it. Use your faith journal to chart your spiritual self-care journey. What do you do to nurture and protect your prayer life? How can your faith life assist you in being kinder to yourself?
- Your daily routine. You can pray through your every day life each day.
- Pray for your big life events: an upcoming wedding; the anticipated birth of a child; an important family milestone.
- Journaling about God’s faithfulness can be hugely uplifting and inspiring. God’s faithfulness seen in your own life is a wonderful way to see your faith and God’s presence alive and thriving.
You might be going through a difficult time in which case using your journal to write about what you are experiencing in your everyday life and using your time with God to draw closer to him and hear what he has to say about your issue.
If you are using your faith journal for this kind of journaling then faith journal ideas could be very simple. For example:
What do I feel right now?
What can I do to make life easier right now?
In what way can I talk to God about this?
How can I see things from God’s perspective?
If you are going through a hard time then just getting through the day can be enough. Perhaps develop an affirmation for yourself.
Today was hard. I got through it. I did well. The Lord loves me. I love him. He will see me through.
Bible journaling is another excellent way to use your faith journal. Read a passage of scripture. Stay quiet afterwards and let the text wash over you. Let the Holy Spirit guide you too. Then write about how the passage has spoken to you and what you can draw out from the reading.
Bible reading plan
I have used the Bible in one year book and app to read my way through the Bible. There are other reading plans too. There are Lent reading plans, Advent reading plans and all types of reading plans for life’s experiences.
You can use your faith journal to create a Bible reading plan of your own and have the plan in your journal. Each day read the Bible section and then pray into what you have read and make a note in your journal of your prayer.
Other faith journal ideas could be: Read one section of the Bible over a month and journal about that. Read one chapter of Proverbs each day for a month and journal about that, or Read the Psalms over a year and journal about
Do you have favorite scriptures? I do. There are scriptures which I know by heart, “I run in the path of your commands because you have set my heart free” is my all time favourite. These kind of scriptures seem to have been written specifically for your own life.
Equally, there are other portions of scripture which I love but which I don’t remember so well. Your faith journal is the perfect place to keep all your favorite scriptures. It’s so useful to be able to know where they are.
I was just trying to remember some scripture I had read the other day and which had really stuck with me throughout the day, but I can’t recall it now, and I didn’t write it down. It’s so useful to be able to do that.
Visually creative ways to use your faith journal
You can also use your faith journal to draw pictures, create diagrams, cut and paste pictures in or create a collage, to name but a few creative experiences you could have. You can even join a facebook group to journal creatively about your faith in the company of other people.
Creating a prayer guide, is such a beautiful idea if you have both the time and the inclination. You can set your own themes and you can also choose the length that each theme will take.
For example faith journal ideas that would be really practical could be:
You could have one prayer guide that takes a week to pray through:
And you could have another guide that takes a year to pray through with a different theme each month.
Similar to prayer guides, prayer lists give an order to your faith journal prayer life. Praying for people is a blessing, but it’s very easy to forget unless you keep track and the best way to do that is to keep a prayer list of who you are praying for and what you are praying about on their behalf.
You can put your own prayer requests on the list too. You may want to pray for a family member, or for a hard time that you are experiencing. Of course the best thing about your prayer list is ticking people off the list when prayers are answered!
Christian journaling prompts
For each of us there is some verse or thought or picture that helps us enter into God’s presence. Use your Christian journal prompts to help you feel that you are in God’s presence. Journaling prompts like:
- Where I felt God’s presence today.
- What I felt prompted to do.
- In what ways can I be God’s hands and feet today?
- In what ways do I feel blessed today?
- Who do I need to forgive?
- List all the needs that God is currently meeting in your life.
- List out all the ways that you feel lack.
- In what ways do you need to surrender to God?
- What difficult situations have you faced that God has dealt with?
- What difficult situations do you face today?
- Your favorite Bible verse.
For a period of time I kept all my sermon notes as a journal entry in my faith journal. I’m not quite sure why I stopped. It might have been the pandemic. Keeping your sermon notes is one of the easy ways to remember what you have written and then incorporate it into your daily life.
The sermon notes themselves can form the basis for further faith journal ideas. This kind of interaction with your own work can lead to really useful self reflection and self understanding.
Bible study notes
I’ve also kept Bible study notes in my faith/prayer journal and this can be a powerful tool to incorporate what you are learning about God and the Bible into your spiritual practice. For example learning about the early church in Acts and writing your notes in your journal can inspire you to live your life differently.
Spiritual journaling prompts
Spiritual journaling prompts are a little more esoteric than the Christian journaling prompts above. Spiritual journaling prompts use words like:
- Where did I feel God today?
- Where did I feel closest to God today?
- Where did I feel far away from God?
You could also use spiritual journaling prompts for physical prompts like:
- Sit in silence for 10 minutes. What do you feel God is saying to you?
- Take a walk outside. Where did you feel God? How did you feel?
- Get up early. Read some scripture. Then do some morning journaling around the subject of the scripture. Then, sit in silence and contemplate those verses. What do you think and feel now?
Developing a habit of prayer
It can be hard to pray every day. Sometimes we go through periods of time where we fly in our prayer life. Prayer seems to easy and God seems so near. Then there are other times that feel like hard work, we don’t think we feel God’s presence, our prayers aren’t answered.
Use your faith journal to keep your prayer habit going. Each day make a date with yourself and your prayer journal. I generally have my quiet time in the morning but if you are not a morning person then the afternoon or evening is just as good. The essential matter is to make prayer regular.
Verse of the day
Each day just find a verse you like, then journal about it. It’s as simple as that. At the end of the year you will have 365/6 new verses. Even if you only commit one a week to memory you will also have 52 new Bible verses committed to memory.
The purpose of a faith journal after all is to grow closer to God and to write down some of the ways in which you have done that. Be encouraged by what you write. Approach your journaling with an open heart.
Use your own words, don’t try and imitate a speaker you like. This time with your faith journal is your personal space. Protect it, don’t let others encroach, try and take a set period of time each day to cultivate this writing habit.
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