Throughout my daily life, I am constantly telling people I will pray for them. I have a really great group of friends that my husband and I meet with every Sunday night after church and we are constantly sharing prayer requests with one another. I always have every intention of keeping those promises to pray. And sometimes I do, but a lot of times I forget or I pray about something and I forget about those prayers days later. I'm not being intentional about remembering to be thankful when God answers those prayers (even when the prayer is not the answer I was hoping for.) This is why a few years ago I started keeping prayer journal. Here is my system:
1. Get A Journal
Have a separate place for keeping your prayers. I bought a journal that was separated by days and had a small verse or quote in each day. That way if I couldn't think of what I wanted to say to God that day, the verse might spark some inspiration. I made sure I got one where I could write my own date in so that if I missed a day, it wouldn't matter and I wouldn't have wasted space in my book. It doesn't have to be fancy. Any sort of notebook will do.
What were the high moments for today? Before I come to God with all of my challenges, I like to remember what he has blessed me with today. Most of the time they are little moments like drinking coffee in the morning with my husband or a lunch with a friend, but they remind me that I have so much to be thankful for.
Sometimes I struggle with praying for myself or admitting that I'm having any challenges. I write down what moments were especially challenging for the day and this allows me to see the areas I am continuing to struggle with. Are you having continual challenges at work? Arguments with friends? Trouble keeping calm in traffic? Bring these issues to God.
Keeping a journal allows me to remember what I prayed about months ago. Was one of my pits a challenging work situation? Maybe that situation has been resolved now months later. I like to go back through my journal and highlight any prayers I believed were answered in some way. Back in my journal several years ago I have many entries asking God to help me figure out a tough relationship situation. I remember at the time being devastated that the relationship didn't work out the way I wanted to. Many months later, I see the praises during the beginning of my relationship with my now husband and I can see God was answering my prayers. He heard my struggles and brought me out of that relationship so that I could meet the man that he had for me. Going back through my journal helped to see that God was working in my life.
Is there something specific you told a friend you would pray for? A request for yourself? Writing it down here to remember to continue to pray about it.
This is just one way to keep a prayer journal. I'm sure there are tons of other ways to organize your thoughts and discussions with God but I believe the important things is just find a way that works for you to remember to bring everything to God in prayer and to be able to remember how God answered those prayers.
Do you keep a prayer journal? How do you organize it?