Faith Encouragement, How to Start A Prayer Journal

3 ways prayer journaling will improve your prayer life

Like most little girls, I kept diary after diary growing up. In fact, I can remember my first diary was pink, fuzzy, and covered in hearts… The most typical looking nine year old girl’s diary you could possibly imagine.

To be honest, if you look at the color palette of my blog, not much has changed. Mauve roses are just the grown up version of fuzzy hearts.

Back to the point though… I have always enjoyed writing. I wrote poems, short stories (that had no ending nor a real point or plot), essays, you name it, I was writing it. In fact, I can remember one of my very first poems on Microsoft Word:

Good grammar, oh please
Hit me with a hammer!
Why do we have to be so educated?
When we get so humiliated,
with things we cannot do…
Is that just me, or is it you too?

Um, Rachel Shakespeare? Yeeeah boi.

Anyway, the main point here is that before prayer journaling, I well and truly struggled to pray regularly. Prayer journaling has revolutionized the way I approach my Abba.

There is something so quiet, intimate, and reflective about writing what is on our hearts in a small letter. It is an amazingly wholesome experience every time for me and draws me in for more! I was designed to write and that is why it works so well for me.

Without further a do… here are 3 ways prayer journaling will improve your prayer life.

3 ways prayer journaling will improve your prayer life

 You can do it anywhere. 

I have often been in places or situations where all I wanted to do was pray. Eyes shut, breathing in frustration at my circumstances. I have even gone to the toilets to cover my face and pray!

Prayer journaling is amazing in that you can do it out in the open at a park, a coffee shop, in church (I mean, you can just openly pray in church but still!), in the living room whilst your family watches a movie, or just before bed.

Anywhere your heart desires, you can pray by writing a letter. Just keep your little journal in your hand bag and voila! You can now pray at the coffee shop without hiding away in a bathroom stall. 😛

Writing helps us work through what’s on our hearts. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to speak with someone but you knew that a simple conversation wouldn’t do your thoughts or feelings justice? That is why letters are notoriously emotional, sentimental, and definitely romantic.

Praying by speaking is important, but there’s nothing quite like sitting down to write out what is on our hearts and how we are feeling with pen and paper (for me, anyway… did I mention I love to write? 😛 ). Don’t get me wrong, I do love it when I am speaking prayer and the Spirit’s words fall from my lips; it is incredible when the Spirit takes over for you.

Writing however is an act of intention and takes consideration in a different kind of way. It is slow and reflective, leaving room for the Holy Spirit to intervene and impress on our hearts what God’s response may be. Paul’s letters are an impeccable example of the Spirit intervening when we write.

You are more likely to set aside time to sit down and pray by journaling.

I’m not trying to call you out because I’ve been guilty of this one thousand million times (still guilty), but we often neglect to set aside any time to pray apart from before bed. I mean, Jesus spent his nights praying… who are we to believe we should pray less than the Son of God?

Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Before bed is great if there’s honestly no other time. However, it can be easy to make quick work of our prayers just before we are about to zonk out from a busy day. It is difficult to be reflective and wait on God when we are sleepy, basically! My husband has been known to fall asleep mid prayer on me.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…

Again, writing leaves room for the Spirit to guide us and wait on the Lord’s response. Not only that, but we are more than likely going to be fully alert and awake when we set aside specific times during the day to write out our prayers.

You are more likely to set aside time to do it if you are sitting down and physically writing your prayer out. I’m not sure why that is the case for me, but it simply is, and so I’ve kind of just ran with it. And these are the reasons you should too!

If you’re interested in a more specific example of reflective prayer journaling, check out my post When you’re unsure about God’s plans for your future. 🙂


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About Rachel Chamberlayne

14 thoughts on “3 ways prayer journaling will improve your prayer life

  1. I greatly enjoy prayer journaling and I completely agree with your three ways. I also love that I am able to go back and reread my prayers. It allows me to see how God has worked and moved in my life. It also helps me to be more introspective about the areas I’m struggling in and better understand if my prayers are selfish in nature of with the intent on glorifying God. That potentially brings up a whole other topic to prayer journal about!

    1. One of the main reasons I enjoy prayer journaling is to look back on my prayers as well! It is definitely a great way to measure how God is working. And yes, in total agreement about realizing if my prayers are selfish in nature. Writing my prayers out has helped me to be more reverent and thankful rather than stream off a bunch of requests which I’ve done in the past. Thank you so much for your comment, Melissa 🙂

  2. Hi Rachel

    Thank you for your blog post about a prayer journal.

    You say you’ve always enjoyed writing; when I read your material, I feel the joy you feel for writing.

    It seems like you’ve been an all-around writer 🙂

    I believe you’re right about how a prayer journal can make our prayer life more regular and robust.

    (PS: You have some beautiful pictures in this blog post).

    Praying is something we can do everywhere.

    I use the note function on my iPhone quite similar to the way you describe your prayer journal.

    You say:

    “Writing, however, is an act of intention and takes consideration in a different kind of way. It is slow and reflective, leaving room for the Holy Spirit to intervene and impress on our hearts what God’s response may be.”

    The way you formulated this gave me new words for what’s happening when we write in a Christian context.

    My favourite part of your excellent blog post was this sentence:

    “ . . . who are we to believe we should pray less than the Son of God?”

    I can only speak for myself but when I think about it; I could do so much more to have a consistent prayer life.

    Your blog post was an important reminder for me about this matter.

    I’ll share on social media November 2

    Edna Davidsen

    1. Hi, Edna! Thank you so much for your comment and your kind words. I like that you are able to use the notes in your phone as well for a bit of reflection – I bet you’d get a lot out of using a Bible app to go along with it so that you can highlight key phrases and whatnot. I like to use the Holy Bible+ app by YouVersion for all of that, including a daily verse for reflection! 🙂

  3. Hey Rachel!
    Thanks for the blog post. You’re a lot like me in that I’ve kept some sort of journal/diary since I was in the 3rd grade! One of the coolest things about writing your prayers down is that you can look back, sometimes years later, and see how God answered those prayers! I don’t know about y’all, but my memory “ain’t that great” for remembering how God answered prayer. So, it helps to jog the memory!

    Just one more thing… do you have a journal you like to buy? I know Amazon carries a huge, diverse line of journals, so I was wondering if you use anything special?

    1. Hey, Lisa! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I’m with you on that I can’t remember how God is working in my life and love prayer journaling for that reason as well!

      And I do have a specific type of journal that I love which I did manage to find on Amazon which I’ll leave a link to at the bottom. But basically I love the Oxford Campus A5 Notebook – it is the one I am currently using. I love it because it is small enough to fit into a hand bag, I can tuck my pen into the spine, and the spine is also great because I can easily lay the journal out flat, flip it around, write on the back easily, all that fun stuff! I don’t use any kind of prayer prompt journal with devotionals or anything like that but I do use the Holy Bible+ by YouVersion for daily verses. I write those verses down and read a bit from the book it comes from and then do some journaling based on that. 🙂

      This is the journal/notebook here:

  4. Loved this post! Since I am a writer by nature, I tend to express myself best through the written word. I use a journal for my prayers almost everyday and I agree wholeheartedly when you say “There is something so quiet, intimate, and reflective about writing what is on our hearts in a small letter.” You put into words exactly how i feel about prayer journaling! I’ve pinned this post so I can read it again and share it’s goodness with others!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Kimberly! Thank you for sharing as well! You have made my day. I’m so happy that you can relate to what I’ve said. I completely agree that because we are writers, there is something so special and lovely about prayer journaling. I’m just happy that I can share that and find others like you can relate 100%! <3 🙂

  5. Journaling can be a really useful prayer tool! I’ve found it also keeps me focused. I’m much less distracted when I’m writing prayers down!

    1. Yes, absolutely! It is definitely less distracting in that we are focusing on the task at hand. I also like to listen to worship music while doing a bit of prayer journaling.

  6. Rachel,

    Thank you for sharing this information. I love to write out my prayers. I don’t do it now as often as I used to. This blog post will definitely change that for me! As I read, I thought about how I love going back and reading prayers that I wrote long ago. It’s fascinating to see growth as well as notice just how faithful God as been at answering those prayers.

    My favorite part of this post is that you share 3 simple, yet profound reasons why we all should consider prayer journaling.


    1. Hi Christy, thank you so, so much for your sweet words! I am thrilled that I have inspired you to take up prayer journaling again. I also love to go back and read my old entries to see how God has moved! Many blessings to you!

      Rachel 🙂

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